Press Release: October 8, 2019

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Eagle Scout Project Helps Students with Special Needs Learn Social Skills

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are known for being helpful, and for many years, they have been generous and supportive to ECLC of New Jersey!

Scouts have volunteered at annual walkathons and other events and completed projects at ECLC's school in Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus for students with special needs, as part of working toward Gold Awards and Eagle Scout.

Jackson Koury of Troop 121 in Chatham is the latest Scout to lend a helping hand to ECLC of New Jersey. Koury built a mobile LEGO® Therapy station as his Eagle Scout project, which will help students with special needs improve their communication, creativity, collaboration and social skills.

LEGO Therapy is a lot more than just playtime. It was developed by a clinical neuro-psychologist and used in classrooms, in Occupational Therapy and in social skills groups at ECLC's Chatham school, which enrolls about 170 students with special needs, ages 5–21. Students select a kit and take on one of three roles: supplier, builder or engineer.

After choosing a kit, the supplier finds the LEGO pieces. The builder puts it together, and the engineer makes sure everything is correct. The small groups and clearly defined roles, help students with special needs work as a team, collaborate and talk. It has been a big hit with students and teachers.

"The LEGO cart is always moving from room to room. It is constantly in use. Our students really love it, and we can see how it helps develop their social skills," said Assistant Principal Allison Clemens. "We are very thankful to Jackson for his work!"

Koury decided to complete his Eagle Scout project at ECLC after joining the Play Unified Club at Chatham High School. In Play Unified, several hundred students from both schools enjoy social, academic and athletic activities in the evening at the ECLC school.

He has been a Scout for 10 years, starting as a Cub Scout at age 6. "My favorite thing about scouting is the personal development and growth that comes from camping and hiking," said Koury, who is a sophomore at Chatham High School.

While student enjoy the LEGO bricks, Koury is busy finalizing his Eagle requirements in anticipation of a Court of Honor sometime next year.

LEGO is a trademark of the LEGO Group.

Eagle Scout project Boy Scout Jackson Koury built a LEGO Therapy cart for ECLC's Chatham school as his Eagle Scout project.