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Reading in Motion

With generous support from the Andrew Family Foundation and the Dana Foundation, teams of ArtsBridge scholars and mentors participated in the two-day workshop with professional RIM teaching artist, Avo Randruut. After participating in the workshop, four ArtsBridge campuses are currently implementing the RIM curriculum in local schools during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Join us at the 2010 ArtsBridge America Conference on May 1-2, 2010, at UC Irvine to learn about the successes and challenges of adapting the Reading In Motion curriculum to the ArtsBridge model in the first year.

For more information on Reading in Motion, please visit their website at:


Reading in Motion

Reading In Motion was founded in 1983 by three artists. From the earliest days, the organization's founders, who include current Executive Director Karl Androes, created programming based on the belief that children can learn basic skills through the arts. In 1984, the Illinois Arts Council challenged this young organization to create a model for arts company residencies in Illinois schools, which was implemented the following spring in Danville, Illinois. This pilot provided the design for the organization's school programming which linked the arts with the teaching of core curriculum, a format the company followed successfully for over 10 years.

In the mid 90s, it became clear that the biggest challenge facing students was their poor reading skills. After much study and research, the company shifted its focus to improving the reading skills of children, especially those in the Chicago Public Schools.

Reading research shows that reaching children early in life is the most effective way to impact their development positively. Therefore, 2003 saw the company refocus its educational efforts more closely on the critical kindergarten through third grade years. Using the best current reading research and 20 years of experience in teaching children to read through dance, drama, and music, Reading In Motion developed a new, more comprehensive reading program for the primary grades. The new program, called Benchmarks, has as its goal to have students reading at or above grade level from grade K-3.

Results from the Benchmarks program K-3rd have been very promising. A study of the kindergartners who started in the program during the 2004-2005 school year showed that 60% of them reached grade level at the end of 3rd grade four years later. This is compared to only 19% of students who met the year end grade level benchmark in the closely matched control group.

Benchmarks emphasizes teacher training as the best means for amplifying the impact of the Reading In Motion curriculum. Teachers, who know their students best, are trained in Reading In Motion methods and implement the curriculum as part of their daily lesson plans.