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WHO AM I

Hi. My name is Max. I’m fourteen and I live in Virginia.
Here are a few facts about me:
1.       I have a younger brother. He's great most of the time. He’s always getting into
something, like when he used a pocket knife to try to saw through a beam on our
deck (luckily he didn’t get very far). We’re planning to start a car company when
we graduate college, at least, that’s the current plan.
2.    I have no pets and am not sad about it. During the summer I live with my
grandma and cousins and so there are dogs around the house. They are a lot of work, and
they bark too much
3. I like to cook, but I don’t make many dishes. One of my favorites to make is
Mediterranean pasta salad.
4. I’ve gone to the same school most of my life and I have to stay in the after-school
program because my parents work outside of our house.
5. I love building things, taking them apart, and building them again. Blocks.
Puzzles. Forts. Rubix Cubes. And, of course, LEGO®. I’ve built a whole lot with
LEGO®- sets and free-builds. One of my favorite sets that I’ve built is the Bugatti
Chiron.

How I started

Books and Builds Beginnings 

I started Books and Builds in January 2022. But the story really starts in January
2021. It was the middle of Covid. My third-grade teacher, who had moved to a different
school, sent out a note on social media asking for LEGO® bricks. She was getting
ready for when school went back in person. I’ve got tons of LEGO®, so when my mom
told me about Ms. Micklem’s message, we decided to donate. My brother and I filled a
big shopping bag full of bricks for her. When we dropped them off, she said that they
would be great for her Kindergarteners. She also said that she was trying to collect
enough LEGO® for the kids who stay after school.

 

        I have had to go to after school care a lot. When I was younger, I even did a
LEGO® afterschool class on Thursdays. Ms. Micklem said that at her new school, they
didn’t have enough LEGO® to do afterschool activities. It started me thinking, I could run
an afterschool club. Why not? I’ve got LEGO® and lots of ideas for builds. I
asked Ms. Micklem about it and she said that she thought it was a great idea. But it was
Covid. So it took until January 2022 to actually get the program running.
I thought a lot about how to make Books and Builds fun. The first requirement
was snacks. Everything is better with snacks. And good snacks, like Fruit Rollups and
chips. Second, I thought about what everyone would build. When I went to a LEGO® club,
we had directed builds. I thought it would be fun to give kids some ideas for what to

build, but mostly let them do what they wanted. It was harder to come up with a list of
build ideas than I thought. I asked my mom, and she said look in books for inspiration.
That made me think that it might be a good idea to read the kids a book and then have
them build something based on a theme in the book. For instance—Where the Wild
Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. If I read that book, then I could ask student to make
some kind of monster with their LEGO®.
     

         The first time I visited the school for Books and Builds, I was nervous. I was
working with second-graders. I wasn’t sure they would be interested. But they were!
They loved the snacks and ate while I read the book. Then we spilled all the Lego®
bricks I brought (and I brought a lot!) on the floor and everyone built until they had to go
home. I’ve been doing Books and Builds ever since. It’s fun and easy! You can start a
Books and Builds club too.

 

Welcome to Books and Builds. I hope you’ll stay a while.

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