When we hear the words "kinesthetic" or "physical" linked with literacy, we often think of sports, gym class, dance, yoga and other gross-motor-type programs. What we often overlook is how we are already incorporating much physical literacy in our library programs by adding tactile, hands-on activities to storytimes or events. And this is awesome — not only are we appealing to tactile learners (those than learn best by doing, not just seeing or hearing) but we are enhacing everyone's literacy skills, even the parents!
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Every library has its spikes and lulls of programs, traffic and behind-the-scenes craziness. Some staff feel like they are running full-throttle almost constantly, while others feel immobilized when the quiet time comes because there is just so much to catch up on they don’t even know where to start. No matter where you are on this libraryland rollercoaster, the reality is that many of us feel exhausted and overwhelmed. So exhausted and overwhelmed we might not even bother reading to the end of this blog post. I live there, too.
Sometimes when I am training librarians, teachers and staff on how to start yoga programs in their schools and libraries, I see a look of fear and panic creep into their otherwise eager-to-help faces. That’s when my empathy kicks in and I think back to when I was first learning how to teach yoga to children and was completely overwhelmed.
Every day, thousands of children and teens all over the country and the world are bullied by their peers. These victims — who have been judged to have some weakness, perceived as somehow abnormal or lacking, or who are just a tiny bit different — are vulnerable to not only day-to-day torment but life-changing and decades-long repercussions.
Welcome to the first post about kinesthetic library programming! I have been teaching yoga in school and public libraries since 2008. This is a great post to read if you are thinking about doing yoga programs at your own library. You probably have a lot of questions, so let’s get started.
So what, exactly, is yoga?