BILLINGS — Eighth-grader Gabi Shaw applied her knowledge and love of LEGO to a school project to create a LEGO drive for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
“LEGOs can help brain development, improve hand-eye coordination, and get a child thinking and analyzing. It also helps them learn new skills,” Shaw said on Sunday.
Her history teacher Mr. Jarvis runs the Two Roads Project, where a select group of students work to make positive impacts in the community. Gabi was one of the students picked to participate.
“(Mr. Jarvis) likes to instill service attitude and leadership into kids,” Gabi said.
Gabi decided to host a LEGO drive with the goal of creating a LEGO wall for the Boys & Girls Club. After researching the benefits of LEGOs, Gabi found that playing with them can help build confidence in kids, while also reducing stress and anxiety.
“I’m going to buy some tubs and put the LEGOs in the tubs, and then just put them on the shelf, and then when the kids want to play with them, they just take the tubs and go to a table and they can play with them,” Gabi said.
When Gabi brought the idea to her parents, Jayson and Rachel, they said they were both proud of her.
“She just grabbed onto the idea and was just like, ‘There’s so much going on in our community that’s negative, and I want to do something positive. I want to be solution-oriented instead of just sit around a complain about it.’ So, I really admired that and she wanted to benefit kids her own age,” Rachel said. “One of the first things I told her, I said, we can’t buy LEGOs, honey, you’re going to have to get other people to get on board with this.”
Gabi is taking donations of new or used LEGOs, that can be dropped off at her father's office at 2817 Second Ave. N., Suite 202. She has also set up a GoFundMe if people prefer to help by donating money.
Gabi said there is no official timeline set up for her drive, but she will end the drive when she has collected enough LEGOs to fill up a wall of cubbies at the Boys & Girls Club.