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Program Encourages Kids to Build, Play the Old-Fashioned Way

Kids today seem to be born with a fluent understanding of iPads, but can they use a hammer?

In an age when kids engage with touch screen technology before they’re even walking, one Brooklyn, New York, afterschool and summer program is attempting to buck the trend.

“Our motto is ‘old school tools for new-school learning,’” said Deb Winsor, woodworker and founder of ConstructionKids. “We ask that parents don't send their children with electronic devices. The kids don't seem to miss them. The minute they walk in, they're busy. They're engaged.”

“I’m not having any problems,” said 8-year-old Maya Graves, who is legally blind.

NBC's Rehema Ellis with 8-year-old Maya Graves

Children ages 2-12 participate in classes year-round by making, breaking, and fixing everyday objects. NBC’s Rehema Ellis visited the workshop during skateboard week. With adult supervision and instruction, kids built their very own skateboards, from painting the wooden board to attaching their multi colored wheels with power tools.

ConstructionKids has taught almost 15,000 children that with some wood, a hammer and nails, anything is possible.

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“I would like kids to feel like they’re going into their garage and poking around with Grandpa,” said Winsor. “Tearing stuff apart and putting it back together.”