Pharos-Tribune

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March 10, 2014

Block by block

Flora Lego club aims to stimulate children's creativity

FLORA — A new housing development was underway in Flora last week.

One lot had a graveyard with smiling skeletons popping out of the ground. A tree house went up in another part of the neighborhood.

Inside one structure, musket-wielding soldiers garrisoned themselves from the wizards and knights outside. At another, a police chase ended with a chef and a baker falling through the roof.

It was the first session of the Flora-Monroe Township Public Library Lego Club. After two snow delays, the Program Room of the library was able to open up with several tables lined with base plates and large tubs of bricks in their centers.

Twelve kids spent the hour at their respective workstations, the sound of hands rustling through the brick bins meshing with giddy expressions of their exploits to parents and fellow builders.

The club was made possible through a grant from the Carroll County Community Foundation after a focus group identified a need for more creative outlets at the library and in the community.

The grant application praises Lego for its physical, imaginative and mechanical qualities that increase attention span, memory, creativity, language and vocabulary skills all in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. It goes on to cite a study from the journal “Science and Children,” which states playing with hands-on manipulative toys like Legos increases student understanding in the classroom.

“It seemed like a natural fit for this need that had been identified,” said Melissa Bishop, director of the library.

Bishop said every session of the club will revolve around a different theme. Tuesday’s was houses and was complemented by a slideshow of Lego homes and a display of children’s books about houses and Legos.

Danny Butcher, 13, attended the session. His house consisted of a fortress occupied by colonial soldiers seeking shelter from wizards and medieval soldiers in what he called a “time travel mix-up.”

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