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Youth learn, grow through Bricks 4 Kidz program
With a ceremonial slice of the ribbon, Ai Richardson officially began her Kent franchise of Bricks 4 Kidz, an education-oriented business that attempts to teach children skills and concepts through Lego bricks.
"It's like a mini Lego museum," said John Anderson, a Kent Chamber of Commerce member, who attended the grand opening May 29 at host RedWoods Enterprises downtown on First Avenue.
Bricks 4 Kidz is a multinational business with franchises in countries as close as Canada or distant as Bahrain and Egypt.
Lego allows Bricks 4 Kidz to use its products with special licensing and restrictions. The activities are designed around education. Depending on the grade level, participants will do different activities with Legos, ranging from building a simple animal to constructing machines with moving parts, or robotics at later ages.
The grand opening included demonstrations of different activities for age groups, such as robotic sumo wrestling, stop motion video creation and creating simple mechanical constructs like Ferris wheels.
The program offers activities for children, primarily from 3 to 13 and up, through after-school enrichment classes, summer camps, birthday parties, preschool classes and Kidz Night Out.
Richardson reached out to Green River Community College to host activities at summer camps, but acknowledges that she will need more connections to get Bricks 4 Kidz moving.
She is trying to extend her reach to more clients in Kent, Renton and north Auburn. She has the Renton School District on board.
For Richardson, it marks her first official business opening after several months of networking and marketing. She has hosted Bricks 4 Kidz workshops at the Kent Community Center and made outreach attempts to the school district.
She and her husband, Brian, have attended numerous events to raise awareness of the program, and that's beginning to slowly pay off. They attended the Kent International Festival last weekend, as well as other events.
"I'd like to see them succeed," said chamber member Michael Skarin. "Once you get it going, it will keep itself going."
Andrea Keikkala, the chamber's executive director, welcomed the new venture.
"They're doing everything right," Keikkala said. "I think they should try to get involved in 4H clubs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts."
For now, the Richardsons hope to spread the word.
"Getting all of us here presents the opportunity to learn about it," she said.
To learn more, visit www.bricks4kidz.com/washington-kent-renton.