Club builds enthusiasm

Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Emily Simmons, 9, and Christopher Langford, 5, were among a group of children at North Suffolk Library Wednesday participating in a Lego Club that meets there, as well as at Morgan Memorial Library in downtown Suffolk, twice monthly.

Emily Simmons, 9, and Christopher Langford, 5, were among a group of children at North Suffolk Library Wednesday participating in a Lego Club that meets there, as well as at Morgan Memorial Library in downtown Suffolk, twice monthly.

Twice monthly at North Suffolk and Morgan Memorial libraries, the Legos come out and the creativity is unleashed.

The libraries’ Lego Club was started last summer, said the library service’s youth and family service librarian assistant, Shawna LoMonaco. “Just to see how it would go,” she added.

Nowadays, the club meets at North Suffolk Library on the first and third Wednesday of the month, and at Morgan Memorial Library in downtown Suffolk on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

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Sessions run from 4 to 5 p.m., and LoMonaco said they would continue through spring, then probably beyond.

“It was something for school-age children over the summer, “she said. “It was extremely successful. We would hold it in the (North Suffolk Library) lobby, and had very high numbers. Then we started to offer it during the school year as well.”

The club is advertised as being for 6- through 12-year-olds, but LoMonaco said no child with a passion for Legos would be turned away. The program, she said, is passive and unstructured. “One time we did have themes, like ‘build something transportation-related’; however, we want it to build creativity and allow for a lot of positive reinforcement.”

In a world where they’re told what to do and how to behave at every turn, LoMonaco said, this allows the pint-sized participants to “control their own world for a few seconds.

“Here, they are in control. They can build whatever they want, and it can be completely made-up. They can create things people have never heard of, which leads to lots of creative language development.”

At North Suffolk Library Wednesday, Shannon Langford said her 4-year-old son Christopher Langford usually concentrates on Star Wars vehicles. “He also likes to build trucks,” she said.

Playing with Legos, she said, helps her son expand his imagination, and Shannon Langford said she and her husband both join in at home.

“We use them at home to work on counting and math,” she said.

Lauren Simmons, another mom at the library Wednesday, said the club was a great opportunity for her daughter Emily Simmons, 9, an only child, to connect with other children.

“It’s nice (for her) to work with other kids and be able to see what everyone else is doing and be able to talk with them,” Lauren Simmons said.

LoMonaco added that parents don’t need to register — they can just show up with their kids — and there’s no cost involved.

The Legos were donated, she added.