CIRCLe Grant Funds RPL’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” Program

The first five years are the most formative and significant in every child’s life. Did you know that 90% of the brain develops during this time?


The CIRCLe Fund, a donor-advised fund of RCCF, not only realizes this fact but is pleased to support Rush County’s youngest residents with their 2021 grant. The Rushville Public Library (RPL) will receive $10,500 to implement their “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.


A partnership between RPL, First5 Rush County’s Early Learning Coalition and local childcare and healthcare providers, will put new books in the hands of every Rush County child from birth to age five. Caregivers will be given access to an app to track each time a book is read. Whether it’s one book read 1,000 times or 1,000 books read once, the goal is for each child to have finished 1,000 read-throughs by the time they enter kindergarten.


Reading to very young children (0-4) before they start kindergarten sets the stage for a child’s entire school career. The CIRCLe Grant award means our youngest Rush County residents, along with their caregivers and parents, will have plenty of books to read and the means to track their progress,” shared Nicki Kirchoff, RPL Director. “Making sure all Rush County children have the same starting point entering kindergarten will pay dividends in our community for years to come.”


Titles selected will be age-appropriate and award-winning or favorably reviewed and reflect diversity. New books will be available every two months at various locations such as childcare centers, food pantries, courthouse, hospital and restaurants. New Little Free Libraries will be installed at Riverside Park and the Pediatrics Toddler Zone.


Funds will be used to purchase books and make the app available to both families and the library to track their progress.


There are opportunities for the entire community to participate in this initiative. Individuals and groups can donate money to purchase books, sponsor fees for the app and help spread the word. Banding together to create a consistent and cohesive message around early childhood literacy will benefit not only the individual children but the entire community as well.


Cindy Taff, one of the CIRCLe Fund’s founding members, shared her thoughts, “The potential for a lasting impact on our community is immeasurable if they succeed in getting our youngest residents exposed to 1,000 books by the time they head to kindergarten. The coalition of organizations working together to achieve a goal and the enthusiasm they have is exactly what the CIRCLe founders had in mind when we started the fund eight years ago.”


The CIRCLe Fund (Chicks Impacting Rush County Life) was formed when six friends and RCCF supporters wanted to find a way to pool their resources to make a positive difference for their community. Any Rush County chick can make an annual donation of $300 and become part of the committee. To join for the 2022 award, donations must be received by 12/31/2021. Since 2013 CIRCLe grants have totaled nearly $100,000 to support the community. Now that’s one for the books!

Like this? Share it:

Comments are closed for this post.