EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — At four-and-a-half years old, Stevieann Leuci is the first reader to complete East Rutherford Library's "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" program.
"For a girl her age, reading that much is exceptional," Children's Librarian Maria Russo said.
The " 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten " program is a national initiative to help instill a passion for reading in young children, and to get parents to read to their kids. Bergen County Cooperative Library System joined the program in April of 2015.
To participate, children can sign up at their local BCCLS library, and are offered a log sheet to keep track of their books.
When the program launched, Leuci was one of the first East Rutherford readers to sign up. Her mother Chrissy said they have been making weekly trips to the library since starting the program, often picking up 15 books at a time.
"I think she has really learned to love to read," Chrissy told Daily Voice.
Leuci reads between two and five books a night from a selection of Disney fairy tales and Winnie The Pooh stories, among others, Chrissy said.
She said the benefits of reading to her daughter every night are obvious.
"It has been really good for her development," Chrissy said. "It has helped her learn to speak and pronounce words, to be more inquisitive, and to comprehend the reading."
Leuci, who will start kindergarten in the fall, is one of 24 readers participating in the "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" program at East Rutherford Library. For her achievement, Leuci received a certificate of completion and a goody bag.
Email Maria Russo for more.