Originally published Dec. 20, 2012.
If you build it, they will come. And they did.
Huntington resident and Flint Springs parent Keely Oswald combined her sons' love for LEGOS and her desired to be more involved in school activities and started a LEGO Club at the school.
"There aren't many clubs for younger kids so I decided to start the club for second and third-graders," Oswald states. "I talked it over with the principal, Cindy Kiefer, and she gave me the go-ahead."
Oswald says the club started meeting in October and meets twice each month.
"The first thing we did was have a brick drive, where students could bring in LEGOS for the club to use," she notes. "These are LEGOS that remain with the club - the students don't take them home.
When deciding on a curriculum for the club, Oswald says she decided to keep it simple.
"Our themes are based on what the students are learning in class," she states. "It just makes the program easier and also keeps the information fresh in their minds."
Since the club started in October, theme nights have included farm, Halloween, library light - scenes from students' favorite books - Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"Towards the end of the year, we also choose themes from the students' Impact classes," Oswald adds. There are four: P.E., library, art and music."
Other planned themes include space and LEGO games night, she notes.
"On a typical night, we start off with 30 to 35 minutes of build time based on the theme," Oswald states.
"Afterwards, I take a picture of each creation, and the students have a show-and- tell period."
Following show and tell, Oswald says everyone helps to ‘tear down' the builds in preparation for the next meeting.
"That's why I take a picture," she says. "So they can remember what they build each time."
Since it started, the LEGO Club has had a steady following, Oswald notes. On average there are 15 to 20 students each session.
"One of the requirements for participation is that the students have to be accompanied by an adult who is 18 or older," she says. "I wanted to make sure that the students would receive individual attention, instead of me trying to attend to all of them."
Oswald says that a lot of the students are accompanied by their grandparents, and it allows for a good bonding experience.
Another thing club members work on via their rules of conduct is incorporating Flint Springs different Lifeskills, she adds.
"Some of the Lifeskills include flexibility, personal best, truthfulness, cooperation, respect and sharing," Oswald states. "Our rules work in conjunction with these Lifeskills."
Future plans for the club, Oswald adds, include possibly opening it up to other grades, namely fourth and fifth grade.
"We've also talked about having a signup sheet where the Impact teachers could join us at the meetings," she says. "Also, we would like to get the students moving towards working with motorized LEGOS, something that some middle-schoolers are already doing."
Oswald says there are no plans, however, to adjust the curriculum.
"We plan on staying with school-based themes," she states. "That's something that won't change."
The LEGO Club meets at Flint Springs on the second and fourth Thursday of each of each month, in the cafeteria at 4 p.m.
At this time, it is only open to Flint Springs second and third-graders, who are accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
For more information on the club, contact the school at 356-7612.