Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Building to Greatness... or, at Least, a Lot of Fun

Once a month -- usually on the afternoon of the last Saturday of the month -- Mentor Public Library hosts a program called Kids @ Work.

It doesn't require a lot of rhetorical gymnastics to explain what Kids @ Work is. It's children playing with Lego and Duplo blocks.

Sometimes, they build something based upon a monthly theme. Other times, they build whatever they want.

There aren't a lot of rules. Kids younger than 8 need to have an adult with them; and, as with any library program, we ask that you be kind to the other patrons. But, in general, it's just kids playing with Lego. (Legos? Legoes? I'm not certain how to pluralize Lego.)

So why do we do it?

Well, for one, Lego are a fun way to stimulate the brain.

Arthur Gugick, a math teacher at Beachwood High School, builds Lego replicas of monuments and uses his techniques to teach calculus.

But we also host Kids @ Work because it's fun for the kids.

They have a good time while building amphibious cars and medieval castles and chapels that might even impress Arthur Gugick.

Occasionally, the kids build friendships too. (It warms my heart to watch the kids share blocks and ideas.)

So, yes, the Kids @ Work program may be the starting place for some future engineers and architects; and that's awesome.

But, if nothing else, it's still a place where kids can play with Lego and have fun.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Kids @ Work is taking a break for the summer. However, it will return on Saturday, Sept. 28.  For more information on children’s programs at Mentor Public Library, call (440) 255-8811 (ext. 221) or visit

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