Members of the Coffee County Middle School Lego League got some dirt and paint on their hands to give a facelift to the garden at the Coffee County Manchester Public Library.

Thanks to the group, now the garden behind the building welcomes library patrons to enjoy a picnic area with colorful seating, beautiful plants and a chalkboard.

Mitzi Smith with Coffee County Middle School Lego League is one of the sponsors of the program.

 “This is a group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders,” Smith said. “Each year, the Lego League is given a project, and this year our project was called City Shapers, We chose the library because we knew that it needed some uplift.”

The Lego League approached library officials to ask if they could help.

“They said we could help with the garden area behind the building because they didn’t use it a lot,” Smith said.

The space needed some TLC.

“(Library employees) told us they would like the garden to be decorated and a little more user-friendly, so people can come out here and enjoy the chalkboard and the flowers and the new picnic table,” Smith said.

The Lego League members rolled up their sleeves and started working.

“We dug up a lot of old stuff,” Smith said. “We cleaned up all the mess. The students painted the table. They painted the flowerpots and planted some flowers. We made a chalkboard for the kids (visiting the library) to come out and draw on the chalkboard.

The garden is now completed, thanks to the 10 Lego League participants.

Seventh grader Melena Gibbons was one of those students. She said she enjoyed the project.

“It’s pretty interesting,” Melena said. “It’s the first project I’ve done out of school.”


“Everything looks so nice”

Pauline Vaughn, library director, expressed gratitude.

 “Everything looks so nice,” Vaughn said.

“I wanted to spruce the area up because it is space that wasn't being used,” Vaughn said.  “I have wanted to change that for some time now because it would be nice for patrons to enjoy the area on good weather days. It also would be a nice change of pace for our story time program to be outside occasionally.”

She commended all involved for their dedication to the community.

“I really appreciate the Lego Team for reaching out to us after the article in the paper concerning our parking lot and carpet issues,” Vaughn said. “They read the article and came to me wanting to know if there was anything they could do for us. I thought this garden project would be ideal for them and they agreed. We gave them some basic guidelines and they just ran with it and did an amazing job.”

Lego League is a nonprofit devoted to helping students, ages 9-14, discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Participants learn how to master skills and concepts of science and technology through innovative projects and robotics competitions while gaining valuable career and life skills.

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