Celebrating 6 years, Books in Motion® (BIM) is an award-nominated FREE summer literacy program that encourages reading through dancing by focusing on Common Core Standards for Reading Literature for children, K-3rd. After two years of presenting BIM in a digital format due to the pandemic, KDA is proud to work in collaboration with Kern County Library, Kern Literacy Council, and Kern County dance organizations by bringing this beloved program back to an in-person format. Between July 6 – August 10, 2022 families will have the opportunity to visit 22 Kern County library branches to watch 25+ dance performance based upon a well-known children’s book, engage in kinesis by learning choreography, and participate in creating 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 and will be able to take home a FREE book after participating in the evaluation.

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 6000 children and has given away nearly 3000 free books since 2017. 

  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. 

We are pleased to offer FREE books available at Kern County library branches.  Stay tuned for more information this summer!

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
  • $850 affords one Books in Motion Dance Organization Honorarium
  • $1000 affords craft sessions for an entire summer of Books in Motion
  • $6,000 affords free books for one Books in Motion session
  • $18,000 affords an entire summer of Books in Motion

2022 partners will be announced soon!

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 performances?  Visit our YouTube page for a complete listing of shows!