When the COVID-19 pandemic forced libraries across the USA to shut down, Dawn Dittmar needed a new way to help her community.
Dawn, who works at the Highland Township Library in Michigan, joined a Facebook group for librarians to share ideas for stay-at-home entertainment.
“We were all looking for “take-and-makes”, where we would bag up craft materials that would have everything the kids would need,” she recalls.
By chance, she saw a comment recommending Simbrix.
“I always like to find those unusual things that can spark creativity,” says Dawn, “so right away I looked Simbrix up online.”
As a public library with limited funding, Highland Township couldn’t afford a kit with enough beads to supply every child. So Dawn contacted Simbrix creator Assim Ishaque, who specially organised 50 smaller boxes of 400 beads to be sent to the USA.
The kits quickly became a success, with all of them being taken home and several parents sending in pictures of their kid’s creations.
“These kinds of collaboration are what we are looking for as libraries,” says Dawn. “We can introduce the kids to something they might never experience.”
The collaboration also inspired the new Simbrix Digit Kit, which features 300 beads at a lower price.
“The Digit Kit pushes us into 3D, which we haven’t done before,” says Assim, “and it gets kids truly experimenting with shape. Credit goes to Dawn for pushing us forward!”
Librarian Dawn Dittmar hand-packed the kits she received from Simbrix to give to local children
Unicorns made by Freya using a Simbrix kit she got from the library
Highland Township Library, Michigan, USA