School children from across the Eastern Suburbs will be busy ‘Little Builders’ when they celebrate Social Inclusion Week 2016 on Tuesday 22 November at Paddington Public School. 

Students from Paddington Public School, Clovelly Public School, Maroubra Junction Public School and La Perouse Public School will come together in small teams and build Lego models.

Paddington Public School have partnered with Ability Links, a program run by St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, to coordinate the‘Little Builders’ day. According to Michael Bones, Ability Linker   with the East Sydney team, it is based on the principles of Lego Play Therapy.

“‘Little Builders’ provides an opportunity for students experiencing social isolation, or who find it difficult to communicate with other students, to be included in play and social activities with other children,” says Michael.

“Lego Play Therapy is known to help children to improve their verbal and non-verbal communication, sharing and turn-taking, as well as their collaborative problem-solving skills.”

This year Paddington Public School introduced a Lego Club, running once a week at lunchtime in the school library.  Jono, a teacher and the Lego Club facilitator, has seen the positive outcomes.

“Lego Club has helped promote communication and social skills amongst those students with autism, ADHD or even those who feel they need that safe space to come at lunch time,” says Jono.

“In this way it has also helped to reduce challenging behaviours as it offers students strict roles to play as they socially interact.”

Michael  is hoping this event will showcase its numerous benefits to the other participating schools.

“Ability Links is a program that helps support people with disability aged 0 – 64,  their families and carers live the life they want, as valued members of their community,” says Michael.

“For children, it is so important to support them to become more independent and confident in their own abilities.”

One Paddington mother has recognised the positive outcomes of the Lego Club: “being part of the Lego Club has given my son a sense of confidence and belonging around the school he didn't have before”.      

The event is proudly sponsored by Toys R Us, Supa Centre, Moore Park who have donated the Lego for the event, and Earth Catering.

To find out how your school can start up a Lego Club, contact Ability Links NSW (02) 8622 0456

Media contact:  Phyllis Sakinofsky | phyllis.sakinofsky@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430