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Hartford's Camp Courant Gets a 'Brick' Up on Summer Thanks to $100,000 Grant From The LEGO(R) Children's Fund

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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HARTFORD, Conn., July 17 The 1,200 Hartford area children who attend Camp Courant this summer have more opportunities for hands-on, minds-on exploration and fun thanks to a $100,000 grant received from the LEGO(R) Children's Fund.

Issued earlier this year, the money was earmarked to replenish supplies and equipment for arts & crafts and athletic activities, to add new resources and programs to the camp's existing curriculum and to bolster educational and personal development activities.

"This generous grant will go a long way toward making this summer both fun and a learning experience for Hartford kids," said Gene Sheehan, chairman of the camp's board of directors. "Visionary gifts such as these enable Camp Courant to offer every Hartford kid six weeks of free fun plus the possibility of having an experience that will positively affect their lives forever."

To commemorate the grant, more than 100 employees from LEGO Systems, Inc. (LSI), based in Enfield, participated in a camp clean-up day on May 21. Smaller groups of LSI employees will also sponsor "LEGO Days" this summer at camp to teach children the creative problem-solving skills employed in building with LEGO bricks and elements, then coach them through the process of designing and building their own creations.

"The LEGO Children's Fund is our way of supporting organizations that tirelessly foster, promote and advocate children's creative development," said Soren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems, Inc. and LEGO Children's Fund chairman of the board. "We're thrilled to award this year's major grant to Camp Courant, in recognition of the incredible role they play in providing Hartford's children with a constructive, fun place to spend the summer months engaged in activities and programming designed to develop creative minds and innovative spirits."

The $100,000 grant is only the second of its kind issued by the LEGO Children's Fund, a non-profit foundation that for the last two years has provided monetary support to youth organizations. The majority of the Fund's support is through smaller grants, issued to qualifying organizations that apply, meet criteria and are accepted by the Fund's board of directors. Each year, the Fund issues one $100,000 grant independent of the application process. The first large grant was made to the Connecticut Science Center in 2008.

About Camp Courant

Founded in 1894, Hartford's Camp Courant is the largest, and one of the oldest, free day camps in the country. Camp Courant will be open this year from June 22 - July 31st. Over 1,700 Hartford children have registered for camp so far and over 1,100 children attend each day.

In addition to the regular camp programming - swimming, arts & crafts, sports, and playground - many special educational activities which focus on healthy choices, literacy and life skills are provided such as: photography, low ropes course, golf lessons, yoga & stress management, computer lab, dental screening, financial literacy, recycling & the natural world and an early learning center for the five and six year old campers which prepares them to enter kindergarten and first grade.

About the LEGO Children's Fund

The LEGO Children's Fund supports organizations and programs in the United States that champion the importance of creativity in a child's life and are dedicated to inspiring and encouraging youth creativity through monetary grants that subsidize the costs of fostering children's exploration of personal creativity in all forms. Guidelines and grant applications are available at www.LEGOchildrensfund.org.

About LEGO Systems, Inc.

LEGO Systems, Inc., is the Enfield, Conn. based North American headquarters for the Danish LEGO Group which is committed to helping children develop their creativity and learning skills through constructive play which can lead to a lifetime of creative learning and innovative thinking. Employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough." For more information, visit www.LEGO.com

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. (C) 2009 The LEGO Group.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Julie Stern, LEGO Systems 860-763-6731 / press@america.lego.com Beth Gibbs, Camp Courant 860-241-3674 / bgibbs@campcourant.org

SOURCE LEGO Systems, Inc.
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