A 3-year-old Mulberry boy was the first to reach the goal of reading 1,000 books before starting kindergarten as part of a reading program at Mulberry Public Library.
Brian Wilmoth, with the help of his sister, parents and grandmother, has read more than 1,000 books as part of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading program at the library.
It took Brian about 14 months to read his first 1,000 books, said Robin Egerton, Mulberry Public Library youth librarian.
"His family deserves a lot of credit for introducing him to reading at such a young age," Egerton said. "He likely will read another 1,000 books before he starts kindergarten."
Faye Wilmoth, Brian’s grandmother, has been taking him to the library in Mulberry since he was six months old, she said.
"We check out about five books each week and read some of them three or four times," Wilmoth said, adding that the repetitive reads do not count toward Brian’s book total.
The library’s 1,000 Books program is meant to help children learn pre-literacy skills to prepare them for reading and learning throughout life, Egerton said.
Egerton credits Anna Moore, the library’s previous youth librarian, for bringing the program to Mulberry.
"She brought it to the library to start children reading very young," Egerton said. "The younger children are when they’re introduced to books and ready, the better off they’ll be."
To participate in the program, the child must first get a library card. Parents or guardians can enroll their children in the program at their participating library and receive a log binder to track their first 100 books.
After each set of 100 books is read and recorded, the log is taken to the library in exchange for additional log pages and information.
Once the child has read 1,000 books, they will receive a reward and have their picture taken for the Reading Wall of Fame and the library’s website.