Build the Change with LEGO

A new approach to providing resources for First Book's Network of educators.

In 2021, the LEGO Group, a partner of First Book, worked to take a new approach to provide resources to our growing network of educators. Instead of creating resources based on corporate goals or assumptions, the LEGO Group worked with First Book to conduct research and create materials that were specific to the current needs of educators. Particularly, the LEGO Group wanted to adjust its product offering and model to accommodate the increasingly virtual environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research and educator feedback guided the creation of a sustainability-focused learning experience that was engaging for students, effective for teachers, and allowed educators to easily integrate the Learning through Play STEM sessions into the existing curriculum.

Learning Through Play – Build the Change

The LEGO Group’s Build the Change program is a powerful way for children to express their hopes for the future using their imaginations, LEGO® bricks, and other creative materials. Their long-standing program allows children to have hands-on creative expression to learn through play as they explore and engage with solutions to important environmental and societal challenges. These topics matter as they are challenges that will be theirs to solve in the future.

At the heart of Build the Change is the Learning through Play model which allows children to develop and practice key skills like collaboration, communication, design, and creativity as they play and learn. The Build the Change program’s wider mission is to give children a voice so their ideas and visions can inspire leaders and influence decision-making around the world.

The Network Impact

During the campaign’s duration, 44,850 children and 3,002 educators were reached through the launch of the Build the Change Biodiversity and Climate Change Course Pack on the First Book Marketplace. To help educators jump into the curriculum, 18,006 Brick Play Boxes were donated to First Book classrooms through the LEGO Replay Program, giving children a chance to access and play with LEGO bricks.

As a result of collaboration, the developed resources and campaign resonated with First Book educators who downloaded and used the resources in their classrooms. Ninety percent of educators who responded to the post-launch survey stated that they would recommend the Build the Change learning experience to other colleagues and educators.

“I just feel like this is a wonderful way to incorporate STEM to an issue that everyone in the world needs to take more seriously. My young students have impressed me so far with their desire to help our planet and just the interest that they are showing has been amazing to me. Again, I am grateful to have been a part of this experience for myself and my students.”

First Book Educator

Biodiversity and Climate Change

Free Course Pack

In the 10-session course, students ages 7-12 will learn about animals, their habitats, and how they are threatened by the effects of climate change. Students can create imaginative solutions to these real-world challenges and share their ideas with others. At the heart of the sessions are hands-on creative activities called “Time to Create.”

Climate Change Accelerator

Climate change is a global issue that affects different countries and climates in different ways. First Book’s Climate Change in the United States is an educator resource that provides information about how changing weather patterns and increasing temperatures affect specific communities and industries throughout the country as well as activities for students and links to additional climate change lessons and resources.

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Revolutionized Learning for Children in Need

The primary goal of the partnership was to use human-centric design to identify the relevant need and a go-to-market virtual product that would inspire U.S. educators to leverage the LEGO Group’s Build the Change program as a classroom resource. It was important to use educator feedback from First Book’s Network to inform the resource to help drive adoption, specifically for educators serving children in need. The research completed prior to launch informed the First Book Accelerator and helped create a Course Pack that localized climate change and its effects in communities that First Book serves.

Ninety-four percent of educators who responded to our survey said that Build the Change’s Learning through Play activities encourage kids to learn about climate change and biodiversity. The success of the Biodiversity Course Pack has helped shape future opportunities for improvement and expansion.

Through the combined strengths and assets of First Book and the LEGO Group, Build the Change and future Course Packs are set to revolutionize learning for children in need. First Book’s partnership with the LEGO Group provided our Network with a first-of-its-kind resource on sustainability that included their contributions and ideas from start to finish. The end-product and design were created with the voice of the educator in mind, woven throughout the Build the Change Course Pack and First Book Accelerator resource.

Create Your First Book Partnership

First Book works closely with leading businesses, nonprofits, and individuals to promote equal access to quality education for kids in need. Together, we have distributed more than 200 million new books and learning materials to schools and programs serving children from low-income families.

We are deeply grateful for the support of our generous partners and eager to collaborate with organizations that care about making a difference on behalf of kids. We invite everyone to explore ways to work together to provide even more books and resources to kids who need them. Email us at partnerships@firstbook.org.

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