LEGO lessons hidden in play at Karns Library
Nancy Anderson, Shopper News
Karns Branch Library is slowly returning to regular programming, including the LEGO Club, held May 21.
Desk Assistant II Paula Davis said the LEGO Club is one of her favorite programs because she gets to see the kids being creative.
“The kids… and adults too… mom and dad are welcome to lend a hand to their kids… all seem to enjoy the LEGO Club. We have a ridiculous amount of LEGOs and the only limitation is imagination. I love to see all the creations come to life.”
“LEGOs speak to every child especially when they see how many we have. We have a whole big box of LEGO people, just people. So we have more than they would probably have at home. I think the kids can see the endless possibilities. We have about 15 containers of LEGOs.”
LEGOs bring out the creativity in a child, but they also teach the child to share. With thousands upon thousands of LEGO pieces, competition for a certain piece can easily be redirected.
There are many skill sets involved in LEGO play. There’s math and science, there’s understanding of space, and the physics of how to build things. There’s planning and testing. If the plan doesn’t work, try again. Those are invaluable lessons hidden in play.
The LEGO Club was made possible in 2018 with a generous donation from the Karns High School Alumni Class of 1968.
The LEGO Club was on hold during the pandemic, as was all group programming, but Davis and the rest of the staff made sure there was something fun for the kids to do at the library.
“We couldn’t have groups, so we made up To Go Crafts. We put everything needed for a fun craft in a paper bag and sent it home to be assembled. Of course, there was always a book or two to companion the craft,” Davis said.
The only bad thing about LEGO Club is the kids can’t take home their creations. The LEGOs stay at the library, but the creations are put on display for a month until the next LEGO Club.
Check out the online calendar for more programming coming soon.
A banker in a sombrero gives Powell all the love
Al Lesar, Shopper News
Heating up a cold call has allowed Adrian Allman to find a niche in the Powell community.
When Allman took over as the manager of the Powell branch of First Horizon Bank on March 1, he immersed himself among the business people who make the tight-knit locale function so well.
“There are so many ‘mom and pops’ (businesses) that make this place great,” Allman said. “I see this as servant leadership. We want to help make the businesses a success, which will help make the branch a success.”
Just a couple months into the job, Allman, who lives in Powell, repped his clientele in a competition the bank had for the more than dozen branches in the Knoxville area. The focus of the event was to figure a way to present your community.
He put a notice out on the “I Love Powell” Facebook site looking for as many business cards from Powell merchants as possible. He took more than 25 cards that had been submitted and completely decorated a hat.
“We came in second,” Allman said. “It was just fun getting to know everyone and having them get to know me.”
Changing to ‘banker’s hours’
Allman hasn’t been a banker his entire professional life. He grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and was in management at a big box store.
“We’ve got a 4- and 7-year-old (boys) and I was missing time with them,” he said. “When we were working in the store, we’d talk about ‘banker’s hours.’ When I had the chance, I gave it a try.”
Allman had the chance two years ago when aging relatives in East Tennessee needed someone nearby. He thought that as long as he was changing scenery, it was a good time to change profession. He took the necessary classes, then found a home with First Horizon.
“I like to think of myself as the Santa Claus in (the Christmas classic movie) ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’” Allman said. “When someone came to him looking for something that his store did not offer, he referred them to a store that did have it.
“I’m here to help people. I’ll do my best to help them. But, if they could find what they’re looking for somewhere else, I’ll tell them.”
Regarding himself as a “people person,” he tries to see that “cold calls” don’t stay chilly very long.
“When I meet someone for the first time, there’s always something that we could share that’s in common,” Allman said. “If you can find common ground, the connection will heat up.”
Getting immersed in Powell
Allman began his introduction to Powell by joining the Powell Business and Professional Association, getting involved with the Easter Egg Hunt and the Flotilla.
While out and about in the community, I’ve stumbled onto Billy Ratliff’s Tap 40.
“Every business has its specialty,” he said. “But Tap 40 is reasonably priced with an expanding menu. Who would have thought a place with all those different craft beers was just about 10 minutes from my house?”
One of Allman’s relatives loves Lincoln roses, which are hard to find.
“We have looked everywhere for Lincoln roses,” he said. “I go into Thress Nursery, and there they are.”
Those are just two examples of what Allman has found since March 1. Every time he makes a call, he finds something special.
“The important thing about Powell is to keep the small-town feel,” Allman said. “It’s something I understand and want to preserve.”
Knowing the community is a big part of serving it.
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Happy Memorial Day!
Tears of a hypocrite
Leslie Snow, Shopper News
It’s late in the evening and my husband and I are looking for something to watch. We scroll through the offerings on a couple of streaming services before we land on something we both want to see, a nature show about animals and national parks. I slide under the covers, snuggle with my great dane, Buttercup, and wait for the sight of wolf pups frolicking in the forest to help me relax.
But just as the playful pups are lulling me to sleep, the narrator comes on to say something about declining populations, shrinking habitats, and climate change. The next few minutes is an onslaught of ice caps melting, storms raging, and the planet suffering. Sleep will be a long time coming.
The next morning, when my husband and I are sipping coffee, we talk about how depressing nature programs have become. “When I was little,” my husband says wistfully, “I used to love watching ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.’ Now it seems like every nature show is about the death of the planet. It’s disheartening.”
I tell him I’m glad we make contributions to organizations that promote conservation and help maintain our national parks. “You can’t give to every charity,” I say, “but I’m happy we do our part for the Earth.”
We spend the next few minutes talking about all the things we do to help the environment. My husband mentions his electric car and I say something about recycling. We talk about giving up plastic grocery bags and single-use plastic bottles. We pat ourselves on the back for buying natural insecticides and refillable plastic containers. We go on with our day feeling pretty good about ourselves and the small size of our environmental footprint.
But later that afternoon, my fingers find my phone and my Amazon account. I need some cedar planks for grilling and some washcloths to use at my folks’ house. I want another hummingbird feeder and some natural tick repellent.
I place my order, and when I’m finished, Amazon asks if I’d like to help save the planet by limiting my deliveries to once a week. I say yes, of course I want to save the planet and pat myself on the back one more time.
That’s when I realize what it means to have fewer deliveries. It means I’d have to wait six days to get my bug spray. Six days to get those cedar planks and six days to get that bird feeder I was so excited to find.
I don’t want to wait a week. I want it now. I want everything I ordered in the one to two days I’ve grown accustomed to waiting. That’s what Amazon promises and I want my money’s worth.
So, I pick up my phone and change my settings. I’m relieved to see that my environmentally safe insect repellent and my bird feeder will be delivered the next day. But the irony isn’t lost on me.
I am part of the problem. While I might congratulate myself for refilling my soap bottle, I’m not willing to wait for the cedar planks I use for grilling. I’ve gotten so used to the convenience of online shopping that I brush aside the impact of the daily deliveries coming to my house.
It just goes to show two things can be true at the same time. You can care about the planet and your environmental footprint and still be a hypocrite. Even if animal documentaries make you cry.
Leslie Snow may be reached at snow email@example.com.