Celebrating 7 years, Books in Motion® (BIM) is a FREE literacy program that encourages reading through dancing by focusing on Common Core Standards for Reading Literature for children, K-3rd. KDA is proud to work in collaboration with Kern County Library, Kern Literacy Council, and Kern County dance organizations by bringing this beloved summer reading program back for a full summer of reading, dancing, and fun. Families will have the opportunity to visit Kern County library branches and watch a dance performance based upon a children’s book. Post-performance, children will engage in kinesis by learning choreography and will create a craft that coincides with the book’s theme. At the culmination of the session, children will be divided into groups based upon age/level and posed questions to evaluate their comprehension- open completing the evaluation, children will take a FREE book home.
“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin
“Cindergorilla” by Gareth P. Jones
“Everybody Dances” by Pinkfong
“Goldilocks & the Three Bears” by Teresa Mlawer
“Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs” by Eric Litwin
“Mother Goose” by Tomie DePaola
“Swan Lake” by New York City Ballet
“Sweet Dance Party!” by Random House
“Stone Soup” by Ann McGovern
Books in Motion 2023 is proud to offer American Sign Language (ASL) services! Nine performances throughout the summer will feature support for people with disabilities via a partnership with the Independent Living Center of Kern County. Performances marked with a ^ indicate an ASL show.
ILCKC empowers people with disabilities to grow creatively, professionally, and personally; and educates the community about disability-related issues.
The vision of Independent Living Center of Kern County is to promote positive change in society leading to the integration and acceptance of persons with disabilities within our community.
Aloha Entertainment by Polynesian Spice is a family owned and operated group that has been bringing island entertainment to Bakersfield for over 20 years. Their mission is to share their appreciation and love of the culture, songs, and dances of the Pacific Islands. As a halau (Hawaiian dance school) comprised of family (ohana) and Polynesians at heart, their goal is to preserve and exhibit the authenticity of the Hawaiian culture and dance by sharing their Aloha Spirit throughout the community. They offer classes for all ages. They hope you will join them for a culturally educational experience and a fun way to exercise! Polynesian Spice Island Entertainment has participated in BIM since 2020. www.polynesianspice.com
Bakersfield City Ballet is Bakersfield’s premier pre-professional ballet company. Their mission is to inspire and enrich our community and foster a love for the arts in youth through dance. As a pre-professional company, BCB serves as a stepping stone between studio training and a college dance program or professional contract. Their annual performances provide a live artistic cultural experience for our community, with an emphasis on classical and contemporary styles of dance. Bakersfield City Ballet is committed to making dance accessible to the widest possible audience through annual performances, educational programs, media, and other outreach efforts. Bakersfield City Ballet participated in BIM since 2019. www.bakersfieldcityballet.org
Civic Dance Center believes that there are no shortcuts to growth and development, and only through time and quality instruction will each dancer experience improvement. They welcome dancers of all ages and skill levels to come and share in the joy, learning, and development in the art of dance. They offer many classes to choose from, as well as many talented, professional, and knowledgeable instructors to teach them. 2023 will be Civic Dance Center’s first time participating in BIM. www.civicdancecenter.com
DAT Krew Academy is a non-profit dance and performing arts organization located in Bakersfield, Ca founded in 2014 by owner/instructor, Luther Gray and assistant Brushay Taylor. DAT Krew’s mission is to inspire today’s youth through art and expression by providing a healthy, creative and social alternative to gang violence, crime, and addiction worldwide. DAT Krew has participated in BIM since 2021. www.datkrew661.com
Heather Benes has been creating dance experiences in East Kern and the Antelope Valley since 1985, when she directed a full length Nutcracker ballet for Cerro Coso Community College. She opened Mojave Movement Arts Center in 1993, offering classes in ballet, jazz, and tap for students from Ridgecrest to Pearblossom. She also directed the dance program at the Palmdale Playhouse from 1999 to 2018, creating such works as The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, The Pied Piper, Little Red Riding Hood, and several abridged versions of the Nutcracker. She earned an M.A. and an M.S. and has taught dance and dance-related subjects at a number of colleges and universities, including California State University, California, University of Kansas, University of California, Irvine, and Scripps College. Currently, she teaches ballet at the OneCore Dance Studio in Rosamond and at the Palmdale Playhouse. Ms. Benes has been a member of KDA for 8 years and Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels have participated in BIM performances since 2017.
J and M Dance Center is award-winning dance studio located in Tehachapi, CA offering professional instruction from experienced dance educators. Offering classes to students 2 and up, J and M Dance Center offers instruction in ballet modern, jazz, tap, hop hip, just to name a few. The studio participates annually in state and national dance competitions, often achieving the highest awards and rankings at many nationally-recognized dance conventions. J and M Dance Center is proud to serve the high desert communities and looks forward to participating in BIM for the first t time in 2023. http://jmdance.center/home.html
McLaughlin Dance Collective started as a way to guide Bakersfield dancers towards their dreams, give them an opportunity to share their gifts with their community, and bring joy to Kern County through community events. They have been a part of Kern Dance Alliance’s Books in Motion since 2021 and performed as a guest artist for Ballet California in their Bravo show. Under the direction of Kristen McLaughlin and assistant director Jenai Wilcox, this community company is adding new and exciting events to their 2023 season. www.Mclaughlindancecollective.com.
Since 2011, Spotlight Dance Academy’s main goal has been to provide quality dance education and a positive outlet at an affordable cost for the youth of Kern County. Now in its 12th year and proudly a subdivision of a full performing and visual arts school, Spotlight Academy of the Arts, SDA offers an expanded curriculum and takes pride in setting the bar high for our students in order to help them achieve their personal goals in the performing arts. Spotlight Dance Academy has participated in BIM since 2018. www.SpotlightBakersfield.com
Spotlight Academy of the Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and performing & visual arts school serving Kern County. Spotlight’s signature program “The Triple Threat Program” offers students industry-style, technique-focused instruction in the three pillars of the performing arts: singing, dancing, and acting, as well as proper education on how to become a well-rounded performer. Our goals are to help our students grow as performers, enhance their natural talents, build confidence while encouraging individuality, and nurture their dreams and ambitions in the arts, whether it’s excelling in their school programs, auditioning for a local show, getting into their dream college, or even having a career in Hollywood or Broadway. With a new education building, an expanded curriculum, and over a decade of experience of serving the youth of Kern County through the arts, husband and wife directing team Sharida Rejon-Rodriguez and Bertin Rodriguez strive to train and mentor the next generation of performers and creators. 2022 was Spotlight Academy of the Arts first BIM performance. www.SpotlightBakersfield.com
July 7 @ 12 PM Tehachapi Branch, Sweet Dance Party!, performed by J and M Dance Center^
July 7 @ 4 PM Beale Branch, Mother Goose, performed by Civic Dance Center
July 8 @ 1 PM Beale Branch, Everybody Dances, performed by Dat Krew^
July 11 @ 11 AM Wasco Branch, Mother Goose, performed by Civic Dance Center^
July 12 @ 11 AM Rathbun Branch, Mother Goose, performed by Civic Dance Center
July 12 @ 1 PM Northeast Branch, Swan Lake, performed by Bakersfield City Ballet^
July 12 @ 5 PM Southwest Branch, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, performed by Aloha Entertainment
July 14 @ 11 AM Delano Branch, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, performed by Aloha Entertainment^
July 17 @ 11 AM Mojave Branch, Sweet Dance Party!, performed by J & M Dance Center
July 18 @ 12 PM Wilson Branch, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, performed by Spotlight Academy of the Arts
July 19 @ 12 PM Shafter Branch, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, performed by Spotlight Academy of the Arts^
July 20 @ 12 PM Holloway-Gonzales Branch, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, performed by Spotlight Academy of the Arts
July 20 @ 4 PM Holloway-Gonzales Branch, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, performed by Aloha Entertainment
July 21 @ 12:30 PM Southwest Branch, Everybody Dances, performed by Dat Krew
July 21 @ 3 PM Delano Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels
July 22 @ 11 AM Beale Branch, Swan Lake, performed by Bakersfield City Ballet
July 22 @ 1 PM McFarland Branch, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, performed by Aloha Entertainment
July 24 @ 11 AM Baker Branch, Cindergorilla, performed by Spotlight Dance Academy^
July 24 @ 12 PM Wasco Branch, Swan Lake, performed by Bakersfield City Ballet
July 24 @ 3 PM Mojave Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels
July 25 @ 12 PM Wilson Branch, Cindergorilla, performed by Spotlight Dance Academy
July 25 @ 3 PM Rosamond Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels^
July 26 @ 12 PM Shafter Branch, Cindergorilla, performed by Spotlight Dance Academy*
July 26 @ 3 PM California City Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels
July 27 @ 3 PM Ridgecrest Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels
July 28 @ 3 PM Boron Branch, Stone Soup, performed by Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels
July 31 @ 4 PM Wasco Branch, Everybody Dances, performed by Dat Krew
August 1 @ 2 PM Wilson Branch, Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, performed by McLaughlin Dance Collective
August 2 @ 3 PM Shafter Branch, Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, performed by McLaughlin Dance Collective
August 4 @ 4 PM Delano Branch, Sweet Dance Party!, performed by J & M Dance Center
August 5 @ 12 PM Southwest Branch, Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, performed by McLaughlin Dance Collective^
^ Performances with American Sign Language (ASL) Services
* Bilingual Performances
Books in Motion features story-telling, performance, choreography, and crafting.
Story-telling + Performance – Children will listen to the narration of a children’s book while viewing an accompanying dance performance.
Dance – Children learn/perform choreography in an injury-free, nurturing environment from dancers based upon the Books in Motion text. Kinesthetic learning, attitude, and confidence are emphasized during the class.
Small Group Crafting – Children create crafts corresponding to the Books in Motion text. Children and guardians are encouraged to work together, producing a creative product reflecting the session’s teachings.
Evaluation– Children are prompted to answer questions via critical thinking about the Books in Motion text reflecting the Common Core Standards for Reading Literature.
Learning how to read begins at birth and continues through 3rd grade. Once a child enters 4th grade, studies show that those that are not proficient readers will find difficulty in adjusting to complicated English, Grammar, and Literature applications. Children begin to read by learning the sounds of spoken word. They begin to understand written language when they are read to, and their comprehension of reading and writing is increased upon entering a formalized education (K-3rd).
Studies also show that not every child learns at the same pace, nor in the same manner; therefore, offering multiple ways to grasp educational applications is necessary for the growth of every child. Books in Motion will provide a visual, aural, verbal, and physical (kinesis) opportunity to engage in literacy. By utilizing kinesis, movement and action replaces more passive forms of learning, such as listening to a lecture. We have all forgotten facts once memorized in a classroom, but we seem to be able to remember dance moves we once learned. By connecting the different ways in which we learn, Books in Motion enables effective understanding and retention of information in addition to infusing abstract literacy concepts with a physical meaning. Because movement allows a student an alternative approach to the information, students learn when they are receptive.
Locally, only 28% of Kern County 3rd graders meet or exceed grade level standards for English Language Arts (Ca Assessment of Student Performance and Progress 2014-15). 15% of Kern County adults have not attained a 9th grade literacy level (US Census Bureau, 2010). 13.9% of Kern County adults lack the basic literacy skills necessary to perform daily job functions (US Census Bureau, 2010), and 16.2% Kern County adults over 25 years are high school dropouts (CA. Dept. of Education, 2014). Books in Motion was conceived to assist in combatting these dismal numbers. Providing a free, hands-on, innovative approach to assisting children with their literacy journey is the main objective. According to the Kern Literacy Council, one of the top factors for predicting school success for students is to increase the number of spoken words for children in early childhood. Books in Motion celebrates the opportunity to increase accessibility to literacy and the arts, while also focusing on the 34% of Kern County residents that do not have an income sufficient to meet basic needs and whose children growing up in these low-income households hear approximately 30 million fewer words by the time they reach their fourth birthday (Report on the Status of Women + Girls in Kern County 2015).
Books in Motion is geared for children in the early literacy stages (K-3rd grade) and is designed to tap into their imagination and encourage them to read. For some, reading is a concept that is too foreign to understand due to age and brain development. Books in Motion will bypass this intangible feeling by allowing children to see the magic of a book laid out with real characters coming to life. Children do not have to read the words – they can read the dancers’ movements to understand the story. By tapping into curiosity, children are motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life. Books in Motion has reached over 8000 children and has given away nearly 4500 free books since 2016.
- -Create motivation and interest in reading- The Books in Motion bibliography taps into curiosity via dance performances. . . children will be motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life.
- -Create motivation and encouragement for movement through dance – Children learn choreography to reinforce their critical thinking of the story.
- -Cover Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature for grades K-3rd grade- Books in Motion text covers Common Core Standards for Reading Literature including but not limited to: Ask questions to demonstrate understanding of a text; recount stories from diverse cultures; determine the central message and explain how it is conveyed through key details; describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
- -Instill a sense of connection and ownership of reading through listening and viewing of stories- Children dance choreography corresponding with the Books in Motion text. Children produce art reflecting the session’s teachings. Children take a free Books in Motion book home.
- -Foster creative abilities of youth through cultural arts learning- Books in Motion supports literacy development through unified thematic experiences of dance, crafting, and story-telling.
- -Activate Youth Voices- Books in Motion actives youth voices during the craft session with children speaking about the book and creating a craft that coincides with the session’s teachings.
- -Critical Thinking- The Books in Motion evaluation promotes critical thinking by asking questions about the book.
Books in Motion is FREE to all participants and is made possible by generous donations from our community. You can help others to participate in Books in Motion by becoming a donor:
~ $25 affords four free books for one Books in Motion session
~ $100 affords craft supplies for one Books in Motion session
~ $2,000 affords crafts for an entire summer of Books in Motion
~ $10,000 affords free books for an entire summer of Books in Motion
July 7, 2023: NBC/KGET Channel 17 :‘Books In Motion’ brings books to life at Kern County Libraries
July 7, 2023: ABC / KBAK Channel 23: Kern Dance Alliance holds yearly ‘Books in Motion’ literacy program
July 7, 2022 BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN: Reading is fun-damental for KDA’s Books in Motion
June 22, 2022, ABC/KBAK Channel 23: Kern Dance Alliance’s Books in Motion program promotes literacy
June 21, 2022 NBC/KGET Channel 17 : Tiler Peck to read her second book at Kern Dance Alliance’s 6th Annual Books in Motion program
July 10, 2021 ABC/KBAK Channel 23: : Books in Motion Inspires Children’s Literacy
July 8, 2021 BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN: Love of reading, dance in sync for Books in Motion
July 3, 2021 ABC/KBAK Channel 23: Dance organizations come together to inspire children literacy
Looking for previous Books in Motion videos? Visit our YouTube page for more!