Reading to your children is the most effective way to teach early literacy skills.

So, on top of rushing through the morning routine, getting kids to daycare, making it through the workday, cooking, cleaning and getting the young ones to bed, parents are supposed to find time to read 1,000 books to their little ones before they even get to school.

Yes, and it’s possible, according to the San Mateo County Library system.

“Reading 1,000 books with your child before kindergarten may seem like a daunting task in addition to all the other obligations of parenting, but shared reading is fun and yields considerable benefits for you and your child with very little commitment of either time or financial resources,” reads the opening paragraph announcing the initiative on the library website.

Consider: If a parent reads one book a day to a child from age 1 to age 4, that would total 1,095 books by the fourth birthday.

The library system and many experts maintain that the shared reading experience is the most effective way to instill early literacy and develop the habit of reading in children.

Local libraries have log sheets to keep track of your reading and a welcome packet for parents looking to participate. There is even an incentive: After you record 500 books, the library will give you a free book.

Go to to learn more and to see a list of suggested books to share with children.

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