This year we started a makerspace in our library with puzzles, coloring tables, legos and kinex toys available for students and teachers to use while in the library. I have observed students from different grade levels collaborate and play together. There is one student in particular named Deon that is pretty quiet and always used to come to the library before school and sit on his computer. He would say he was doing homework, but I don't think he was.
After we started putting all the makerspace stuff out, he quickly engaged with the different toys before school and during lunch. He displays his creations or works on puzzles- he is free to choose. I observe him talking to other students while he works in the makerspace. He seems comfortable and comes everyday. He takes ownership of the stuff. I learned from another teacher that his grades are improving.
I want to expand the program to help continue the culture of community in our space so everyone feels welcome and leave the library understanding that they are part of a bigger community.