We are pleased to offer FREE craft kits and books available for curbside pick up at the following Kern County library locations:

Arvin Branch
201 Campus Drive
Tuesdays – Thursdays @ 12-6pm

Beale Memorial
701 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield
Mondays – Fridays @ 12-6pm

Delano Branch
925 10th Avenue
Mondays – Thursdays @ 12-6pm

Kern River Valley Branch
7053 Lake Isabella Boulevard
Wednesdays – Fridays @ 12-6pm

Ridgecrest Branch
131 E. Las Flores Avenue
Mondays – Thursdays @ 12-6pm

Taft Branch
27 Cougar Court
Mondays – Wednesdays @ 12-6pm

Tehachapi Branch
212 S. Green Street
Wednesdays – Fridays @ 12-6pm

BIM Survey

Have you enjoyed a Books in Motion experience?  Tell us about it by taking 2 minutes to fill out our survey!

Books in Motion® is a FREE literacy program that encourages reading through dancing! Kern Dance Alliance, Kern County Library, and Kern Literacy Council have launched a digital version of their annual summer reading program Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY.  As COVID-19 limits opportunities for in-person experiences, the organizations have pivoted to continue to bring dance and literacy to life through digital dance performances. 

Throughout the summer, various Books in Motion performances will be released online to inspire children to read through dance!  Featuring beloved children’s books like 12 Dancing Princesses and Elephants Cannot Dance, Books in Motion videos will feature a narration and performance of the book, as well as choreography children can learn to promote the book’s theme while keeping fit through movement and dance!  Additionally, the videos will feature a craft session utilizing pipe cleaners to create dancers so that children can continue to role play at home.  Finally, children will be able to pick up a FREE book and a craft kit from various Kern County libraries via curbside pickup throughout the county.  Library branches include Arvin, Beale, Delano, Kern River Valley, Ridgecrest, Taft, and Tehachapi. 

Books in Motion is geared for students in the early literacy stages (K-3rd grade) and is designed to tap into their imagination and encourage them to read books. 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 on with real characters coming to life. Children do not have to read the words – 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 4th annual Books in Motion program is a collaboration with four contracted Kern County dance organizations: Bakersfield City Ballet, McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center, Polynesian Spice, and Spotlight Dance Academy.

Books in Motion has been generously funded by Chevron, the Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation and Kern Family Health Care. 

  1. 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.
  2. Create motivation and encouragement for movement through dance – Children learn choreography to reinforce their critical thinking of the story.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Critical Thinking- The Books in Motion evaluation promotes critical thinking by asking questions about the book.

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 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. 

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

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.  www.bakersfieldcityballet.org 

Working in collaboration with Civic Dance Center, McLaughlin Dance Collective is a brand new company directed by Kristen McLaughlin. The company 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 Bakersfield through community events. Civic Dance Center welcomes dancers of all ages and skill levels to come and share in the joy, learning, and development of dance. There are many classes to choose from, as well as many talented, professional, and knowledgeable instructors to teach them. www.civicdancecenter.com 

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!

Ever since its grand opening in 2011, Spotlight Dance Academy’s main goal has been to provide quality dance education and a positive outlet in children’s lives at the lowest cost in Kern County. SDA takes pride in being a “non-traditional” dance academy, specializing in hip hop, jazz funk, Latin rhythms, and musical theatre dance. Ran by husband and wife team Sharida Rejon-Rodriguez and Bertin Rodriguez, SDA enjoys training and inspiring the next generation of performers.

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