Little literature lover soars to new heights

Little literature lover soars to new heights

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Not many people can say they've read 1,000 books in their lifetime. One little reader can say just that, and all before she walks into her kindergarten classroom for the first time.

That's right, two-year-old Kaitlyn, with the help of her mom, has paged her way through more than 1,000 stories. Imagine how many will be in her repertoire by the time she finishes her first year of elementary school. Talk about a blooming bookworm!

"We'll read between 25 and 50 books a day," said Katherine Dedeaux, Kaitlyn's mom. "We didn't change our reading habits, we just started counting."

Do the math. Kaitlyn and her mom have read far more than 1,000 books. In fact, they reached this impressive milestone after only five weeks.

The Hattiesburg Library is piloting a program called A Thousand Books Before Kindergarten to encourage a love for reading in youngsters. The program kicked off in February and is continuing to grow.

"I did some research and read about some libraries in Wisconsin that started it," said Chris Thornhill, children's librarian. "All you have to do is read about three books a day and in a year, you've read over 1,000." 

And for avid readers like Kaitlyn, three books a day isn't nearly enough to satisfy her voracious appetite for words.

For each 100 books they read, the kids get stickers and a prize. Lists are available so parents can easily keep track of the books as they go. Kaitlyn is the only one to read 1,000 books so far but hopefully other little readers aren't far behind.

"It's not me," said Katherine. "She wants to read, so we read."