Learning with Legos is niche of Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Offering educational activities with Lego bricks for children, former elementary school teacher Stephanie M. Widrick has launched Bricks 4 Kidz.

Weeklong summer camps, after-school classes and birthday parties are hosted by the education-oriented business, Mrs. Widrick said. She completed training offered by the corporate franchise in St. Augustine, Fla., to launch the Watertown franchise this year. The business, which does not have a storefront, will host activities at the Watertown Fairgrounds YMCA, Cici’s Pizza and classrooms at the Watertown and Immaculate Heart school districts. Summer camps at the YMCA, offered for children ages 5 through 12, will kick off in July and run through August. Registration is available online at http://wdt.me/bo2z5v.

Bricks 4 Kidz is permitted by Lego to use its products for educational activities. Geared toward different grade levels, the curriculum enables children to complete a range of Lego projects with different themes and levels of difficulty, Mrs. Widrick said. Activities might range from creating simple animals, for instance, to building more complicated machines with moving parts powered by small motors.

Weekly summer camps, which run three hours per day Monday through Friday, cost $175 per participant. There is a range of prices for birthday party packages.

Mrs. Widrick, who is leading camps by herself this summer, said additional teachers from the Watertown area may be hired as needed.

Mrs. Widrick, 39, was an elementary teacher in the South Jefferson and Watertown school districts for a combined seven years before she gave birth to triplets in 2004. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Oswego in 1996, then completed her master’s degree in reading and literacy at SUNY Potsdam in 2000. Her three children now are 9 years old and enrolled in third grade in the Watertown City School District.

Mrs. Widrick said she believes hands-on activities should play a key role in the education of children. She said that Lego model building helps children understand how things work by completing projects with their own hands. The curriculum is tailored toward teaching the principles of STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

“I think there is a lack of time spent on creative activities in today’s classrooms and a focus on testing,” Mrs. Widrick said. “This business appeals to me because of the value I have for creativity in children’s development.”

Eventually, Mrs. Widrick said, she hopes to expand the business to offer educational activities at school districts across Jefferson County.

For more information, visit the Bricks 4 Kidz website at http://wdt.me/mU6dqV or follow the business on Facebook by searching for “Bricks-4-Kidz-Watertown.” Mrs. Widrick can be contacted at 777-1783 or swidrick@bricks4kidz.com.

By Ted Booker, Times Staff Writer.