Kids build on their imaginations at Berkshire Athenaeum Lego hour


PITTSFIELD -- Seven-year-old Tyler Rougeau's space station was almost complete. All he needed was a gate to keep out monsters and zombies. Superman kept watch atop a tower, holding a walkie-talkie.

Tyler, an aspiring inventor, was one of more than a dozen kids and parents in the Berkshire Athenaeum auditorium Wednesday for the first Lego Club meeting of the year, where like-minded Lego lovers can build whatever they want under a specific theme.

The meetings are held every third Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. This month's session shot for the stars under the theme "Rocket Ships and Outer Space."

Usually, there are 40 to 60 kids at a meeting, according to Keri Warfield, the senior technician of Youth and Child Services.

"I let them come in and just go with it," she said.

Warfield has overseen the program since it started last September. She pitched the idea after seeing other libraries hosting Lego clubs.

"It's only a half-hour, and it's never long enough," Warfield said. "Their creative juices start flowing."

The multi-colored toy bricks have built up a fanbase across generations since taking the Lego name in 1953 -- now there are Lego TV shows, games, theme parks and an upcoming movie starring Morgan Freeman and Pittsfield native Elizabeth Banks.

It was nostalgic for the parents, including Warren and Betsy Rougeau, who were second in command to their young architect, Tyler.

Shannon Barrett watched her son Ty Barrett, 6, build his version of a space station.

"I love that they're able to use their imagination on something that's old-fashioned, clean fun," Barrett said. It was the first time the North Adams residents attended a Lego meeting.

"Every set I get, my [3-year-old] brother breaks," Ty said.

"So he was happy to come here without his brother," his mother added.

Dakotah Hunt, 7, has about 10,000 Lego pieces at home, said his mom, Sharon Hunt. On Christmas, Dakotah received even more.

"It expands creativity, but it's also all about geometry," she said. "You fit science and math in without them even knowing it."


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