WARSAW — Areas designated to incorporate creativity, learning and community are popping up all over Indiana. These areas are called markerspaces or maker clubs. One local school librarian had a dream to create such a place for kids. This past year, librarian Amanda Scroggs had the vision to give students at Lakeview Middle School a creative outlet.
An average of 40 kids finish their school day on Mondays at LMS by heading to the library and participating in the maker club, which is organized by Scroggs.
Kids have a wide variety of choices to spend their hour at the club. Stations are allotted all over the library with creative activities for kids. They can choose from working on sewing projects with sewing machines, knitting, crocheting and using 3-D printers. Students can use the high-tech station to take apart old electronics and see if they can put them back together correctly. They can use their hour to build Legos or work on paper crafts as well.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Scroggs.
The club gives kids the ability to create items they will get use out of. Throughout the year, students have been learning about recycling as they have made a table out of recycled products. The table will be used in the library. Students have also restored a bicycle that can be ridden.
In addition to giving kids the space to learn, individuals from the community and schools come to the club to share their expertise with the kids. School staff member Jean Beeson guides kids with sewing projects. Scroogs’ husband Jon helps the kids with building projects.
The club is a fruition of a summer of learning and preparation on behalf of Scroggs. She was awarded a Red Apple grant by the Warsaw Education Foundation to fund the club. She spent last summer re-doing the LMS library with the funds to make it a welcoming environment for the club. Scroggs has researched what other communities have been doing to incorporate an area of creativity by reading and visiting makerspaces that have opened in libraries in local areas.
For Scroggs, the club is more than just a place to do crafts, it’s a space geared to nurture creativity and community at the school, “It’s so much more than about crafting,” said Scroggs.
Eighth grader Alyson Owens said she loves spending time at the maker club working on projects, “When I’m here, I feel at home.”