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NEWSMVNU

Lego Club building personal, community connections

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — There is a lot of construction going on at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and it has nothing to do with campus expansion. A partnership between MVNU’s Community Services and Ministries Opportunities and Knox DD (formerly the Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities) is forging a creative way to build foundations for personal relationships between those whose paths might not otherwise cross.

Lego Club is the brainchild of Brody Boggs, Services and Support Administrator with Knox County DD, in an attempt to provide an atmosphere of connectivity between those with and without disabilities.

“A lot of people will go through their whole life never being around somebody with a disability, Boggs said. “I think Lego Club is a great way for people with disabilities, and people without disabilities, to get together and share similar bonds, meet each other and develop friendships that are unique.”

When Boggs developed the idea, it was to bring together boys between 8-12 years old, believing Legos would bridge any differences between participants. The program in its original form was not proving as successful as hoped. After placing it on the shelf for a few months, the project took on new life when Michael Mohnasky, student director of Community Service Ministry Opportunities (CoSMO), reached out to Boggs.

“We heard about some of the cool things Knox DD is doing in the community like the Inclusive Playground,” Mohnasky said. “We were on their website and saw other things including Lego Club. We asked if there was anything we could help with including a Lego drive.”

What Boggs needed was space, which MVNU provided offering to host Lego Club at Foster Hall inside Ariel Arena. While the new and improved Lego Club is still in its infancy, Boggs and Mohnasky see great learning potential for all who participate — including MVNU students and staff.

“Legos are a great conversation starter,” said Mohnasky. “The best part is the fact that we have the opportunity to interact with people. These are people in the community we might not run into all the time. Now, we get this opportunity to build a relationship over something as universal as Legos.”

Boggs is quick to note disabilities are not always easily seen. Those participating can have Autism, ADHD, stutter, cognitive disorders or a wide range of other disabilities. The goal, he said, is for families, community members and MVNU students and staff to simply pull up a seat, create with Legos and start a conversation.

“This is a cool opportunity for people to develop communication skills, even if somebody is different and they think in a different way than you do, there is still this common ground of Legos,” said Boggs. “You can still be friends with somebody who is different or who enjoys a slightly different viewpoint than you do.”

Lego Club is free and open to the public, beginning at 4:30 p.m., in Foster Hall in Ariel Arena on Feb. 14, March 14, March 28 and April 11. Additional dates will be announced on www.facebook.com/kcbdd

For more information, contact Boggs at 740-263-1032 or bboggs@knoxdd.com. New or used Legos can be donated through MVNU’s Campus Ministries or by contacting Mohnasky at micmohnasky@mail.mvnu.edu.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.

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