Healthy Reading Through Newfane was a project that stemmed from a collaboration between the New Brook Elementary School Library and the Moore Free Library in Newfane Vermont this past winter and early spring. The goal was to increase programming at both locations through collaboration and healthy fun activities including, Story Time Yoga, Books And Cooks, and expanding Storywalk® offerings.

  • Story Time Yoga was created in partnership with RiseVT and Newfane Village Yoga Studio. Courtney Perkins provided the yoga classes using the Kidding Around Yoga curriculum and stories that the steering committee chose ahead of time.
  • Books and Cooks offered three cooking/book workshops during a winter round of after school offering at Newbrook Elementary school. RiseVT provided the chosen books for this program that include recipes and cooking utensils like chopping tools, bowls, cutting boards, spoons for the school so that this program can be repeated.
  • A Storywalk® at Newbrook Elementary School that 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 developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson. The supports we have were constructed and donated by the staff at WW Building Supplies in Newfane allow to change the book monthly.

The programs were all a great success. In Newfane, yoga classes were offered for 4 weeks as an after school program for both upper and lower level students. A week long family Story Time Yoga program was piloted every weekday during February vacation and was well attended with 35 total people 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. They were given opportunities to see that moving their bodies makes them feel good, and paying attention to their breath makes them feel calm. Children learned to connect with their own power and ability to self regulate and reflect.  The ability to incorporate physical activity into school, art, and library broadens children’s understanding that yoga and mindfulness is a lifestyle, and can be practiced through their day. By additionally offering the family yoga classes free of charge, we are able to extend school activities to parents and create a community committed to healthy living.

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

Erica Walch, Director of the Moore Free Library states that “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’.”