Children sit on green yoga mats with their parents and program manager, Elisha Underwood, in an open room.

Healthy Reading Through Newfane Programming developed from a collaboration between the New Brook Elementary School Library and the Moore Free Library in Newfane Vermont in the winter of 2019 through the summer of 2020. These partners wanted to increase programming at both locations through healthy, fun activities including, Story Time Yoga, Books And Cooks, and expanding the Storywalk® offerings.

  • Story Time Yoga was created in partnership with RiseVT and Newfane Village Yoga Studio. Courtney Perkins taught the yoga classes using the Kidding Around Yoga curriculum and stories chosen by the steering committee.
  • Books and Cooks provided three cooking/book workshops during the winter afterschool offerings at Newbrook Elementary school. RiseVT provided the chosen books for this program that include recipes and cooking utensils such as chopping tools, bowls, cutting boards, spoons for the school so that this program can be repeated.
  • A Storywalk® at Newbrook Elementary School was organized by Fiona Chevelier the school librarian. Another storybook walk motivated by outdoor social distancing programming was built at the Moore Free library. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and was developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.
Children and parents lay on green yoga mats while the yoga teacher walks around giving suggestions for improving their poses. In the background there is a table with a RiseVT tablecloth in a large room.

The programs were a great success. In Newfane, yoga classes were offered for four weeks as an after school program for both upper and lower level students. The library also piloted a week long family Story Time Yoga program during February vacation. Thirty-five people attended the classes throughout the five days. Families with children of ages ranging from 7 months to 11 years enjoyed practicing yoga, learning meditation, and listening to a story. Throughout the program, participants learned that moving their bodies and listening to their breath makes them feel good and calm. Children learned to connect with their own power and ability to self-regulate and reflect. Incorporating physical activity into school, art and reading shows children that yoga and mindfulness is a lifestyle, and can be practiced throughout their day. Offering the family yoga classes free of charge, extended school activities to parents to foster a community committed to healthy living.

The Moore Free library committed to continuing this program every Wednesday in July and August outdoors on the library property. Courtney Perkins continued to offer family yoga on Wednesday mornings through the end of September out on the lawn. The Storywalk® has also continued to be a big hit with non-patrons and non-residents of Newfane.

“We are so grateful to RiseVT for making these opportunities available to us. It was great to try out new ideas through the partnership and then find the things that worked for us once they became ‘proven winners’.”

Erica Walch

Director, Moore Free Library

Healthy Reading Through Newfane most closely aligns with CDC Strategy number 14 to increase opportunities for extracurricular physical activity.

For more information:

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