In the summer of 2016, our guest on todays show, Talia Bailes, assisted with emergent literacy research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and was shocked to learn that if students are behind in academics by third grade, they will most likely continue to stay behind for the rest of their lives.
So when Talia learned that being exposed to reading at a young age could drastically improve children’s futures, she was spurred into action to figure out how to create a program that would help improve children’s literacy, thus creating ballet & books.
But why not just host a program of public reading at the library with these students? Why did Talia feel the need to incorporate ballet into the mix?! And not only ballet, but mentorship as well?
Well not only was it due to her own love of ballet growing up but also a very unique situation she was in as an english teacher in Ecuador which involved her using her ballet background to get very creative in her teaching in order to keep her students engaged.
When Talia combined learning with movement, her students not only retained information, but enjoyed themselves in the process. This seed she took with her when creating Ballet & Books in 2017.
Ballet and Books serves children through our “Seed” (3-5 year olds) and “Sprout” (6-9 year olds) programs. A typical class consists of dance instruction as led by experienced dancers from local Universities. For the younger children, the hour dance class integrates literacy and reading activities into the class itself. The older children have a dance class followed by 1:1 mentorship from local high school and college students that allow mentors to perform activities that bridge dance and literacy.