2020 dates will be announced soon!


2020 flyers will be available soon!

Books in Motion is a FREE literacy program that encourages reading through dancing! Children will hear the narration of a well-known children’s book while seeing the book come to life through dance performance. Children will learn the official Books in Motion dance and create a craft that relates to the story. Free books will be offered to Book in Motion participants on a first come, first serve basis. Join us for fun while learning and dancing!

SAMPLE Books in Motion Bibliography:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Marshall

Pete the Cat by Litwin

Kitchen Dance by Manning

Teddy Bears’ Picnic by Kozikowski

Stone Soup by various authors

The Lion and the Mouse by Pinkney

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Various Authors

Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish

Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak

Books in Motion will be available at 21 Kern County Library branches + Barnes and Noble Bakersfield:






















    • Create motivation and interest in reading
    • Create motivation and encouragement for movement through dance
    • Cover Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature for grades K-3rd grade
    • Instill a sense of connection and ownership of reading through listening and viewing of well-known stories
    • Reinforce Common Core Standards through kinetic learning
  • Support literacy development through unified thematic experience of art craft, dance movement, and story-telling

Books in Motion is a program geared for young students in the early literacy stages.  These students are in the pre-reading, pre-decoding, decoding, and early emergent reading stages.  This program is designed to tap into their imagination and encourage them to continue to read books.  For some students, reading is a very difficult concept that is still too foreign and out of reach to understand due to age and brain development.  Books in Motion will bypass this intangible feeling for children by allowing them to see the magic of a book laid out on a stage with real characters coming to life through movement.  Children do not have to read words to read- they can read the dancers’ movements.  By tapping into curiosity, children will be motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life.  The goal of Books in Motion is to allow every young child the opportunity to read, even if you cannot read the words, you can read through movement. Research shows that kinesthetic learning is a highly effective tool not utilized enough in the traditional classroom.  As evident by the KDA SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS program, dance can be successful in teaching complicated applications, from math to reading.

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 an hour-long program featuring story-telling, performance, choreography, and crafting.

  • Books in Motion Narration + Performance –  Children are invited to sit back and listen to the narration of a well-known children’s book while viewing an accompanying dance performance.
  • Dance – Children will learn a dance from experienced dancers based upon the Books in Motion text. They will learn a dancer’s warm up and stretching routine, and choreography reflecting the Books in Motion text/theme. Kinesthetic learning, attitude, confidence, teamwork, and dedication will be emphasized.
  • Small Group Crafting – Children will join volunteers to create customized crafts corresponding to their grade level and the Books in Motion text. Children and guardians are encouraged to work together, engage in creativity, and produce a product reflecting the session’s teachings.
  • Evaluation – Children will be divided into groups based upon grade level.  Children will be prompted to answer questions and details about the Books in Motion text, perform the official Books in Motion choreography, and provide reflection upon the sessions teachings.  An exit survey for children will provide quantitative and qualitative data about the success of Books in Motion.

Books in Motion curriculum covers the following Common Core Standards for Reading Literature for K-3rd grade:


RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g. what moment in a story an illustration depicts.)

First Grade

RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Second Grade

RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Third Grade

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g. their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g. create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting.)


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:

  • $100 affords craft supplies for one Books in Motion session
  • $250 affords one Books in Motion Dance Organization Honorarium
  • $1000 affords craft sessions for an entire summer of Books in Motion
  • $3,500 affords free books for one Books in Motion session
  • $12,000 affords an entire summer of Books in Motion


2020 partners will be announced soon!

Books in Motion 2019

Books in Motion 2018