Babies Project – Frequently Asked Questions
Babies Project was created by Sarah Barnaby and Amy Matthews, who are Infant Developmental Movement Educators (IDMEs) trained through the School for Body-Mind Centering. We (Amy and Sarah) have taught Babies! since 2015 (together with Nisha) – Amy started the class at The Breathing Project in 2008. Since then we’ve served hundreds of babies and their caregivers for free, or at very low cost. Since 2015, Amy and Sarah have also co-taught an Adults class, which explores developmental movement in the context of adult bodies.
The Breathing Project is giving up the space and ending its programming at the end of July 2017. (See the announcement.) This space has served as an “incubator” as we’ve grown Babies! classes into the thriving hive they are now. Keeping our existing space will nurture the growth of our project — the current location is central and easily accessible via public transit and it is known to caregivers who have brought their babies here over the years.
We’ve completed our first round of fundraising to support and grow the Babies Project.
We raised over $50,000 from almost 250 donors — this enables us to remain in our current space, to sustain our continuing operations and to expand our programming to serve many more babies and families. Having a home base will allow us to build local community AND offer free Babies! sessions to underserved communities through outreach programs.
Q. When Babies Project takes over The Breathing Project space, will anything from The Breathing Project continue (besides the Babies sessions)?
A. Yes, while much of our programming will be oriented to babies and their caregivers, we’re also excited about our offerings for adults! Many of these offerings are a continuation and/or evolution of existing classes, workshops and events — and they’re all informed by a Body-Mind Centering approach to exploring and learning.
Amy and Sarah will continue their weekly movement classes, some of them with name and/or focus changes. These classes include Adults (co-taught by Amy & Sarah), Developmental Fundamentals (Amy), Patterns & Pathways (Sarah) and Movement for Any Body (Sarah).
Amy will continue to offer weekend workshops, roughly once a month. These include her developmental movement series, Developing Patterns, as well as the next manifestation of her Practices in Embodied Teaching series.
We’re also looking forward to a new season of members events. We plan to continue Geek Nights, our Den of Inquiry conversation group and Amy’s Body Parts & Poses (which will get a developmental movement twist).
Q. What’s the timing of the changeover?
A. The Breathing Project will end its programming this summer: Amy and Leslie will each teach a weeklong immersion in the final weeks of July 2017. (More information on Amy’s immersion here and Leslie’s here.) We’ll take the month of August to make the transition to Babies Project, including reorganizing the space a little bit. Our new Babies Project programming starts in September.
Q. I understand Babies Project will be a non-profit. What does this mean?
A. Yes, Babies Project will be an educational non-profit. Our plan is to support our programming through a combination of income earned through our classes and workshops, and generous donations.
We’ll continue to offer our weekly drop-in Babies sessions on a by-donation basis, and we will add fee-based classes, workshops and private sessions.
These new classes and workshops include a series of babies classes that are geared to specific age and developmental ranges. These classes will be limited in size, which will allow for more individual attention for each baby and caregiver. Private or semi-private sessions will also be available. Babies Project will offer class series and workshops for planning and preparing parents, to introduce our principles and teach handling skills before the baby arrives.
Q. Why do you need us to help?
A. We (Babies Project) believe this work with babies is important. Working with babies and their parents and caregivers is how we think we can most effectively help change the world.
We have seen how a child’s early experiences of movement and touch influence their ability to relate to themselves, others and the world throughout their life. We support babies in first finding safety and comfort so that these earliest learning experiences are nourished by a sense of confidence and curiosity. How we handle a baby and facilitate (or inadvertently impede) their movement affects all aspects of development: their patterns of perception, their problem solving abilities, their emotional well-being, cognitive functioning, and their sense of agency in the world.
In our approach, based on Body-Mind Centering, we start from the premise that body and mind are not separate; they are mutually interdependent and inseparable. This means that movement skills and integration are not separate from intellectual and emotional abilities.
We believe there’s an enormous gap in education about teaching handling skills and movement facilitation in a way that appreciates and respects each baby’s process and experience. Our mission is to help fill this gap.
We’ve offered Babies sessions for free (or at very low cost) to over 400 babies since 2008. This community service has been subsidized by The Breathing Project. Going forward, we will continue to offer free Babies sessions in our space and bring these sessions to underserved communities through outreach programs. We’ll be able to cover a portion of our expenses through earned income and will also need the support of our community through donations.
If you’ve already donated, thank you! If you’d like to support us by donating, we’d be very grateful.
Q. Why do we need you – why should we care, especially if we’re not parents?
A. How would it be if more people had tools to find comfort and cultivate their ability to self-regulate? What if we were all encouraged to learn by following our curiosity, rather than by being pushed to reach milestones? Imagine a world where process and experience were prioritized over getting it right!
Our approach to working with infants and their caregivers stems from a philosophy that applies to everyone. It’s a Body-Mind Centering premise that as adults we can revisit developmental movement patterns in order to find more support and become more resilient. Babies Project will also offer classes and workshops for adults to explore developmental movement.