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Ballet & Books

Every Saturday for about two years, Anabelle went to Ballet & Books class at Southside, and worked with Grace, her mentor. Grace is an amazing, patient and wonderful person, and she works so well with Ana.

Talia and Grace are the mentors who I communicated the most with during our time, but all of the mentors are really inspiring because they are genuinely present and interested in dancing and reading with our little ballerinas…you can feel it! Talia as the founder of this program is an amazing wonder woman and her passion, care, love and support of diversity and inclusion…

This week, Meryl shares how Ballet & Books’ Ithaca chapter has impacted her youngest daughter Gemma.

You know that feeling when you’re approaching a yellow light, and you’re not sure whether you’re close enough to speed through it or far enough to stop, and whichever you pick, you’re pretty sure you were wrong? That’s exactly how I feel as a parent all the time.

This is Gemma. She is our tenth and youngest kid. We are a foster/adoptive family and Gemma is our very first child without any identifiable developmental, emotional or learning disabilities. You’d think this might make things simpler, but in fact, it means we simply have no idea what to do with her…

If you asked me to describe myself in three words at any point in my life, “leader” would not have made it on the list. Growing up, I was painfully shy and even when I started to break out of my shell, I cared too much about pleasing others and being likable. That being said, Ballet & Books has taught me that leadership is less of a description and more of a compilation of actions. I learned through Ballet & Books that being a leader means trusting your team, being comfortable with delegation, and creating opportunities for others to reach…

I started my journey with Ballet & Books as a sophomore. It was my second year at Cornell University, and I really wanted to get back into my passions of volunteering and dance. Throughout the two years and counting that I have been a part of Ballet and Books, I have had the privilege of watching my mentee grow in every way, right down to the size of her ballet shoes!

Ballet and Books gave me skills as a leader in the sense that I have grown confidence in my own abilities. Kids are an interesting group to work with…

Ballet & Books

Ballet and Books is a national, non-profit organization striving to reduce the literacy gap through the hybrid storytelling of dance and reading.

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