LEGO Club sparks creativity in Escanaba

Courtesy photos Abbigayle Deiter creates a project with Legos while her brother, Solomon, looks on. The LEGO Club, which meets on the second Saturday of each month in the Escanaba City Council chambers, creates various projects from LEGO building blocks in an effort to encourage constructive building and imagination.

ESCANABA — Kids and adults alike are gathering at the Escanaba Public Library to take part in an unique club that encourages imagination, sharing and building through the use of the popular building blocks, LEGOs.

According to Aaron Deiter, an active volunteer of the LEGO Club, the club is the perfect opportunity for kids and their parents to spend time with each other while creating something from scratch.

“It’s been pretty exciting,” said Deiter.

Deiter decided to bring the club to the local library after attending a similar club at a Lower Peninsula library. He then went to Carolyn Stacy, the director of the Escanaba Public Library, to see if he could volunteer his time and see if there was a LEGO Club already taking place. There was a similar club taking off at the library, explained Deiter, but since taking the reins the club has expanded and grown into its own community event.

At the meetings, which take place in the Escanaba City Council chambers on the second Saturday of each month, children and their parents bring one small box of LEGOs or a one-gallon sandwich bag of the building blocks to make their creations. Small amounts of LEGOs are available if needed, noted Deiter, adding he one day hopes there will be a supply of the building blocks at the library at all times for kids to use.

When the club first began in June, builders used to meet at the children’s library room located inside the Escanaba library.

With a spike in attendance and the LEGO Club becoming more popular, Deiter said the decision was made to move into council chambers to allow more space to imagine and create.

On average, Deiter said the LEGO Club draws in about 25 kids and parents, but attendance has been as high as over 100 people.

To begin the class, Deiter explained the kids and parents head into the library itself to find inspiration for what they want to create based off of the theme of that day’s club meeting. Themes have included the ocean, deep sea, boats/ships, cities and buildings. Kids and their parents find books, movies and other resources around the library to draw inspiration from, noted Deiter, adding this also helps people get familiar with the library and all it has to offer.

“I hope it helps cross-pollinate with the library resources and hopefully increases the traffic for the library,” said Deiter.

The upcoming session of LEGO Club on Saturday, Jan. 13 will feature the theme of “Video Games.”

Once the aspiring architects are finished building, Deiter said he goes around the room and allows the kids to explain and articulate what they have created. Prizes are also drawn at the end of each club meeting, where kids have the chance to win LEGO kits.

Deiter said the club is also a great way for parents and kids to interact not only with each other, but with others in the community.

In addition, Deiter hopes to expand the club to have special guests, like the area robotics teams, to visit with participants and talk about their respective clubs.

Flyers advertising the club were also put into schools around the area to let kids and their parents know the full schedule of LEGO Club.

Deiter said he would like to thank the sponsors of the club, who have allowed him to purchase the prizes for after each meeting as well as additional LEGO kits. The club is sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula, Youth Advisory Committee and the Escanaba Kiwanis. The next LEGO Club will be Saturday, Jan. 13 beginning at 10:30 a.m.