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Hempfield’s Clairview School overrun by 4,000 sets of Legos

November 20, 2018

Almost a year since they were donated to Clairview School, students there are still loving the Lego bricks.

They use them to build gadgets, for math manipulation and for other science, technology and arts activities.

Pretty much everything but using the bricks in the way they were intended.

“The kids love it; they’ll ask for the Legos,” said Colleen Suchko, principal of the Hempfield Township school that serves students throughout Westmoreland County. The school is operated by the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.

Middle school emotional support teacher Luann Murtha said a man who she met through a Harley Owners Group that regularly donates to the school made her an offer to donate 60 boxes of Legos. She accepted, not knowing that 4,000 sets of Legos would descend on the school for about 100 students ages 3 to 21 who have special needs.

“I didn’t realize the 60 boxes were cases that were going to come in on pallets on the back of a flatbed truck,” Murtha said.

Teachers used the opportunity to touch on various subjects, from counting the boxes to deciding how many would fit in a certain space.

“It was a continuous math lesson for probably a good month,” Suchko said.

And it was paid forward to Burrell School District fifth-graders at Stewart School. School director Gretchen Beveridge came across the boxes when she attended an open house at Clairview School. She left with 140 boxes.

Murtha and Suchko are willing to part with more of the sets if an opportunity arises. They’ve used about half of what was donated.

“We feel like we were blessed,” Suchko said.

But in the meantime, teachers will keep finding creative ways to use an old-time favorite toy.

“We just keep using them as we find difference activities to do with them,” Suchko said.

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