Camp Handbook | Bricks 4 Kidz Knoxville

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Chris & Maria Howard, the owners of Bricks 4 Kidz Knoxville, and the parents of 4 children (ages 10-16 as of this writing) envision that Bricks 4 Kidz is a partner with families to grow and mentor tomorrow's rocket scientists, skyscraper architects, and robotics engineers. We do it with a lot of LEGO Bricks, a lot of kids, and a lot of fun!

Bricks 4 Kidz Knoxville is a locally owned and family-operated small business that uses LEGO elements in most of its activities. We take a fun approach to learning through after-school classes, workshops, day camps, birthday parties, robotics classes, and much more. 


  • The information below is what would be contained in a printed handbook, but available for your convenience online.
  • We revise our handbook from time to time. The current version is:
  • Version 2.0 September 2018.
  • The information below supersedes all previous published policies and FAQs. The 2.0 revision embodies our shift from lists of FAQs to an established parent/camper handbook. 
  • Subsequent minor changes will be noted here separately, so that you need not re-read the entire handbook each time we make a minor change.


  • We are at the shops at Franklin Square on Kingston Pike between Lane Music and Domino's.
    9648 Kingston Pike Suite 5
    Knoxville, TN 37922
  • Note: Franklin Square has 3 entry points along Kingston Pike — from West to East: 9724 Kingston Pike is offices just after Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 9700 Kingston Pike is the main section of shops that includes Smart Toys & Books, The Chop House, and the Credit Union; 9648 Kingston Pike is where we are — between Lane Music and Domino's. Go any further east and you pass Chick-fil-A.


  • Most people are aware that we offer summer camps every year.
  • In addition to summer camps, we offer the following single-day and full-week camps:
    • Fall Break -- usually a full week in October -- follows the Knox County Schools Calendar
    • Election Day -- the Tuesday after the first Monday in November -- a KCS School Holiday
    • Thanksgiving Break -- we usually have camp on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and sometimes the Friday after
    • Winter Break -- following KCS school calendar. We do not hold camp Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, the Day after Christmas, or New Year's Day, but normally all other week days falling during Winter Break
    • Martin Luther King Jr Day -- schools are closed for MLK Jr Day, observed the 3rd Monday of January
    • President's Day -- schools are closed for Presidents Day, observed the 3rd Monday of February
    • Spring Break -- we follow the KCS school calendar for spring break --- normally a full week of camp in March
    • Easter Break -- falls in March or April; normally Good Friday is a school holiday and sometimes the following Monday 


  • If we do not answer right away, we apologize -- we have a lot of kids on site, and sometimes all of our personnel are involved in the activities -- we will call you back ASAP if you leave a message or text.
  • When you call or text, please identify yourself (e.g. "This is Joe's mom....", etc.) 
  • Call or text (865) 250-8560.


  • In addition to our educational services, we sell new and pre-owned LEGO parts, sets, mini-figures, accessories, and LEGO-related products, as well as custom-designed sets. Items range in price from $1-$100+.
  • All of our LEGO pieces have been cleaned before being offered for sale.
  • You are welcome to check out what is available online at and even place orders to be picked up when you come in.


  • All college and adult staff have been finger-print and social security background checked by the TBI and the FBI. We do not hire anyone who has been convicted of a crime that would make them potentially unsafe to work with children.
  • Furthermore, most staff are also background-checked separately by the Knox County School system, as well as other local private schools, as required by the various schools we offer programs in.
  • We do occasionally hire high school students or take high school volunteers who have not had a background check, but who are under direct supervision of a member of our vetted staff.
  • All staff are trained directly by Chris and Maria Howard to ensure the high level of quality that you have come to expect of Bricks 4 Kidz.
  • For every on-site activity we maintain appropriate staff-to-student ratios with a minimum of 2 staff on hand at all times.



  • We do not accept children under the age of 5 in any camps, kidz night out, or other programs except where designated as a "pre-school" program.
  • Most 4 year-olds, and many 5 year-olds do not have the necessary maturity to handle the structure, transitions, reading, and other aspects normally included in a Bricks 4 Kidz program.
  • We respect that many parents consider their children to be "advanced" and we have already taken this into consideration into our approach to the age recommendations.
  • Please do not enroll a child that is too old for the age recommendation without first speaking to us.
  • If you enroll a child who does not fit in the recommended age or grade levels, we reserve the right to un-enroll the child. We will notify you if we do this.


  • Registration is handled online on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • We normally require a deposit for events over $100 if the event is more than a month out.
  • Balances due are expected to be paid a couple weeks before camp. Each camp has a different time-frame, so the expectation will be posted in the camp description.


  • Refunds are not given for any reason. This includes cancellations, changes of plan, sickness, suspensions, expulsions, and moves.
  • We can transfer credit from one camp to another, provided you give a minimum 7-day notice. If we have a waiting list, and can fill the seat, we may consider a credit exception.
  • Credit transfers are not given for suspensions or expulsions.
  • If you file a charge-back with your credit card or bank for any program that we did not refund, we will file a case with our Merchant Service provider to vigorously fight the charge-back, since our policies are clear on the website and not unreasonable. Your account will also be inactivated and you will not be allowed any future enrollments with Bricks 4 Kidz.
  • Bounced Checks - Please do not submit a check that you do not have the funds to cover. We charge the bank fee + $10 for re-processing in addition to the event fee. For a second offense, your account will be inactivated.



  • Before leaving your child with us, we require a current waiver/medical release/photo release. Most of this is included in the site registration process, so if it's been a while since you've checked, please review to make sure everything is current and accurately.
  • Additionally, for 2020, we have a 2020 Summer Camp waiver concerning
  • Please note that the PDF form does NOT automatically send us a copy of the information if you fill it out on your computer. You will need to print or email a saved & completed copy back to us. We also have copies of the waiver available onsite.


  • We occasionally use pictures from events on social media or marketing to promote our activities. We do not divulge private information about children on social media. If you have circled "no" on the waiver, we will not include pictures of your child in social media or other marketing.
  • We use a private photo-sharing app called that allows us to privately share pictures with a specific group of people (i.e. families of children in our camps -- this is a great way for you to see what your kids have been building and doing during camp.) If you would prefer that your child not even be included in this list, please let us know.
  • These photos are shared only with the families of students registered within this specific camp. They are NOT public. Please respect families' privacy, and don't post links to these photos on social media. We will share the link with you after the first day or two of camp, once we've got some photos up there.


  • While we do not require a separate signed agreement to our published Handbook, parents and campers are expected to understand and abide by the policies.


  • Do not send your child in alone. We require an adult to sign each child in at the desk and note who will be picking up.
  • We need to make sure you have a current waiver on file.
  • We do not give children out to people not listed in the registration. If you need to add someone to your list, please note that at drop-off, or call in so we can add them.
  • If someone tries to pick up who is not on our list, we will call you first.


  • Early Drop-off is available at 8:00 am. 
  • This carries an additional $10 charge per day or $45 for the full week.
  • We usually open registration for early drop-off about a week or two before camp.
  • Anyone dropped off before Morning Camp Check-In (8:50am) will be charged the Early Drop-off Fee.


  • Please arrive between 8:50-9:10am.
  • Anyone dropped off before Morning Camp Check-In (8:50am) will be charged the Early Drop-off Fee.
  • If your child is going to be late or absent, please call or text to let us know as soon as you can.


  • Please arrive between 11:50-12:10pm. 
  • Someone you have authorized must sign out your child.
  • We do not send children out to you; you must come in to pick them up.
  • Children not picked up by 12:10 will be assessed the morning late stay fee.


  • If your child is staying with us for both the morning and afternoon camp, we provide a supervised lunch period (discussed below).
  • However, we do also allow you to drop off at noon for afternoon camp, or leave your child until 1:00 from the morning camp for a $10 charge. In either case, we request that you provide a lunch for them.
  • Anyone picked up after 12:10 will be charged for Noon Hour Extended Care (a $10 charge)


  • Please arrive between 12:50-1:10pm. 
  • Anyone dropped off before Afternoon Camp Check-In (12:50pm) will be charged the Early Drop-off Fee.
  • Do not send your child in alone. We require an adult to sign their child in at the desk and note who will be picking up.
  • We need to make sure you have a current waiver on file.


  • Please arrive between 3:50-4:10pm
  • Someone you have authorized must sign out your child.
  • We do not send children out to you; you must come in to pick them up.
  • Children not picked up by 4:10 will be charged the afternoon late stay fee.


  • Late Stay Pick-up is available until 5:00pm. 
  • Anyone picked up after 4:10 will be charged Late Stay Fee ($10 per hour)
  • Campers picked up later than 5:05pm will be charged $25 per quarter hour to cover the cost of employee overtime.


  • We respectfully request that you adhere to the drop-off/pick-up timeframes
  • We have a planned itinerary for the camp period, and drop-offs or pick-ups outside the allotted windows can throw things off for your child, as well as disrupt the experience for other children.
  • If you know you are going to be late, or need to come early, please let us know as soon as possible by calling or texting (865) 250-8560.


  • Please do not allow your children to bring toys, even if they are theme-related.
  • This includes stuffed animals, blankets, and especially LEGO pieces and min-figures!!!


  • Our camp is designed as a drop-off experience and we do not anticipate any adults staying for the duration. Occasionally a first-time camper has a grown-up stay for a short portion of camp. We also occasionally have had an adult stay for a child with special needs. We do want you and your child to be comfortable with the experience, and normally we have very little trouble getting the child to engage in the activities. If your child has special needs that require special supervision, or you feel you really need to be there for part of the time, we respectfully request that you let us know in advance.


  • While we expect to keep your child busy and engaged, if you need to call during a camp session to check on how your child is doing — please feel free to do that. Note that we sometimes miss calls in the middle of camp, since … we are in the middle of camp. We will return your call as soon as possible.


  • Children should not bring electronics from home unless they are needed for health monitoring. If there are other reasonable exceptions you feel your child needs, please call or email in advance.
  • We use tablets and computers for various activities, however, we provide all the electronic equipment children need for the activities we do.
  • We often take pictures of things each child builds during camp to share with you later.
  • If a child needs to call their parent during camp, we allow them to do that with the Bricks 4 Kidz business phone number. We encourage you to save our number in your phone -- 865-250-8560.



  • Due to the high number of children with severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, and the close space we have, we request that you not send nuts, tree nuts or peanut-butter.
  • If you send a snack or lunch that includes peanuts or tree-nut, we will ask you to replace it.
  • If necessary, we can provide a lunch for the child and charge you the Convenience Lunch Fee.


  • Bricks 4 Kidz provides a snack daily during morning and afternoon camp. 
  • Snacks we often use (but not limited to) are Goldfish Crackers (Cheddar), Ritz Crackers (Regular), Pretzels (assorted brands & varieties), Animal Crackers, Graham Crackers, Club Crackers, Vanilla Wafers.
  • We also serve water with snack.
  • If your child has a specific food allergy that you might be concerned about, you are welcome to check with us at the beginning of the camp session to find out what snack we are planning on for that day.
  • You are welcome to send something different or more substantial for your child, if you would like.
  • Please be sure to note any food allergies on the waiver form.
  • We do not allow children to trade or give away snacks from home with other children.
  • If your child chooses not to eat snack at their designated snack time, they will not be given another opportunity that camp session.


  • We offer supervision during the lunch hour for those staying for both the morning and afternoon camps.
  • Children staying for both the morning & afternoon camp must bring a nut-free lunch, be picked up between camps, or can take advantage of our Convenience Lunch offerings.
  • If a child does not have a lunch with them by 11am and you have not notified us that you will be picking them up for lunch, we will order them a lunch and charge you the Convenience Lunch Fee ($10.00).
  • For Convenience Lunches we normally pick up from either Chick-fil-A or Domino's.
  • If you are picking up your child for lunch, we request that you pick them up during regular pick up time (11:50-12:10) and return them during afternoon camp drop off time (12:50-1:10). We request that you respect these time-frames as not to be disruptive to either the morning or afternoon camp, and so as not to keep your child unnecessarily hungry.
  • Since we have a limited amount of space at Bricks 4 Kidz, parents are not able to eat lunch at Bricks 4 Kidz with their child. The Domino's next to us does have limited seating and Chick-fil-A is a very short drive away.
  • We do not allow children to trade or give away lunches from home with other children.
  • We make the assumption that your child can handle the packaging and food they will need to handle. Please send plates, napkins, forks, spoons, etc., as appropriate for the meal you have sent.
  • While we do have a refrigerator on site, we request that you make an effort to send a lunch that does not need to be refrigerated (like school).
  • We do have 1 microwave on site. We request that meals sent only need minimal cooking time, (no frozen meals!)


  • Our bathroom at Bricks 4 Kidz is gender-neutral, one-person-at-a-time, and handicap accessible. 
  • Children are expected to be potty-trained; and have the self-awareness to go when they need to go and not wait until the last second. If you know your child needs a reminder, we can make note of that, and make an effort to help them remember -- we are happy to work with you on that, but ultimately, it is the child's responsibility to go when they need to go and not mess themselves.
  • Children are expected to not make a mess on the toilet. They are expected to "get it all where it needs to go." With Elementary School-aged children, we do not expect to have to keep a list of "who has gone" and "who has not", and while we also do not normally check the bathroom after every child has used it, if we discover that someone has messy bathroom behavior, we will check after each child until we identify who the child is. We are sensitive as not to embarrass a child about it, but will remind the child what is expected in the bathroom ... we make sure to pee directly in the toilet, we do not make a mess, etc.  We will also make a note for you. If the child continues to leave messes on the toilet, he or she will need to be suspended until the parent can ensure that the child has been properly potty trained. We consider this a "non-disciplinary suspension" and will not inactivate your account, but do request that you take some time to work more with your child on this issue.
  • If a child has an accident that soils their clothing, a parent or guardian will be asked to come and clean their child up and change their clothes. If it happens twice in a week, they will be asked not to return for the week. The school systems do not accept children into Kindergarten if they are not adequately potty-trained, and we do not, either. We consider this a "non-disciplinary expulsion" and will not inactivate your account, but do request that you take some time to work more with your child on this issue.



  • We often tell the children that our "Number One Rule" is to "Have Fun." It certainly is true that learning can (and should be) an enjoyable experience.
  • To this end, we always cover our "3 Expectations" for children while at Bricks 4 Kidz. Most behavior issues that we encounter in children can be redirected with a simple, gentle reminder of one of these 3 Expectations:
    • Be Safe.
    • Be Respectful.
    • Be Responsible.
  • Most times if we have a problem with a child, it only requires a gentle reminder to get back on track.
  • If a gentle reminder doesn't work, the next step is usually to clarify whether the child understands the expectation, and give the child another chance.
  • If it is clear that a child understands the expectations, yet continues not to follow them, we will make every reasonable effort to redirect the child to meet the expectations. Unfortunately, this sometimes means a child may need a time-out to "calm down" or "think about it." On a very rare occasion we may have to temporarily suspend, or even expel a child from our programs. This is never taken lightly, and would normally be because a child has put the physical, emotional, or mental well-being of other children in jeopardy. 
  • We do not tolerate abuse whether physical, emotional, or mental. 


  • Our policy is to avoid touching as much as possible. This goes for staff-to-student, student-to-staff, as well as student-to-student.
  • We ask siblings not to touch each other (hugs, hand-holding, kissing, etc. ... other children in the program are not always aware of who in the camp is a sibling and this can be confusing.)
  • Hugs and other forms of physical affection are normally perfectly acceptable among family and close friends, but every family has different "norms", and we want to help the children in our programs understand boundaries and personal space.
  • If a child physically attacks another child, or endangers other children by their actions, we will intervene. On rare occasions this has meant holding the child's hands, arms, body, or legs, as deemed appropriate by the instructor to prevent endangerment to others while we work on calming down the violent child and sorting out the issue.


  • We do not tolerate hitting, kicking, slapping, pinching, or any other form of violent contact.
  • This includes between siblings.
  • Any child who hits another child, will be suspended for the remainder of that camp day and the following day.
  • Any child physically attacking any other child twice in a week (including a sibling) will be expelled.


  • While many states hold certain leaders over children as abuse reporters (teachers, clergy, etc.), the state of Tennessee holds *everyone* as a mandatory reporter of signs of abuse. We do not actively look for signs of abuse, but are aware of the law, and will report if we encounter them.


  • Children are expected to listen to and follow instructions. If a child refuses to be teachable, makes a habit of interruptions in teaching or instructional time, etc. (i.e. will not accept Gentle Reminders), they will be put in time out. If it continues, they will be suspended for the day.


  • While competition has its benefits and its place, at Bricks 4 Kidz, we focus more on activities that encourage collaboration and cooperation. Everyone can learn to be a "Master Builder" and everyone can learn to be a "mentor."


  • While it is not uncommon for children to have a disagreement, we make every effort to ensure that disagreements are not taken personally -- we can graciously disagree. It is perfectly acceptable for one child's favorite color to be green, and another child's to be red, but not for them to argue over which color "is better."


  • Any activity one child does to "have fun" or derive pleasure in a way that hurts anyone else in any way is bullying.
  • We do not tolerate bullying -- physical, mental, or emotional. Bullying results in an immediate time-out.


  • Name-calling is not tolerated.
  • A child who name-calls will be reminded to "Please Be Kind and Respectful" and the offense will be documented and a note go home.
  • A second offense within a week will result in a time-out.
  • A third offense within a week will result in a documented phone call to the parent or guardian with a reminder of the previous and current offense and that if the child does it again, they will be suspended. (see SUSPENSION below)
  • A fourth offense within a week will result in suspension.


  • Potty Mouth is not tolerated.
  • Potty Mouth is an immediate time-out.
  • A subsequent potty mouth incident in the same camp season will receive a suspension.
  • 3 Potty Mouth Incidents in a camp season will result in expulsion.


  • Swearing is not tolerated.
  • Any child using any words commonly considered "swear words" will be suspended.
  • Any child swearing more than once in a season of camp will be expelled.


  • Theft is not tolerated.
  • Most of the LEGOs and projects that the children work with will be taken apart and re-used for subsequent camps -- children do not take home what they build. That said, for any camp, a child will normally get to make a  "mini-figure" to take home, as well as possibly some crafts and other things. Occasionally, a LEGO piece or two might accidentally go home in their pocket ... we expect these to be returned ... that's an understandable mistake. However,  children who intentionally take things that do not belong to them, will be suspended.
  • Any child committing theft more than once in a season of camp will be expelled.


  • Damaging property or breaking things is not tolerated.
  • Any child who intentionally, maliciously breaks something will be suspended and the family charged for damages.
  • Any child who intentionally, maliciously breaks something more than once in a season of camp will be expelled and the family charged for damages.


We have 5 levels of discipline:

  • A Gentle Reminder
  • Take-A-Break
  • Time-Out
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

A GENTLE REMINDER (Verbal Warning)

  • The vast majority of behavior issues with children in our programs are addressed and resolved with a gentle reminder.
    • "John, sticking your finger in the gears is not safe. Let's be safe, okay?"
    • "Jill, please do not throw any LEGO pieces, that is not safe."
    • "Billy, we don't take LEGO pieces from other people -- that is not respectful or kind. Would you please give that back to Bobby?"
    • "Reagan, the rest of us are being responsible and picking up. We need you to please help, too. Okay? Thank you.”
    • "Bob, we don't need to name-call, let's be nice to our friends. Thank you."
  • Sometimes it takes a couple of gentle reminders. So long as a child is responsive within a reasonable amount of time, and so long as their inattentiveness is not causing other issues, we try to be as reasonably patient as we can while keeping things moving along.
  • However, a minor issue can become a bigger issue if the child is continually doing the same unaccepted behavior, which can result in needing to Take-A-Break or have a time out.
  • Gentle Reminders are normally handled by the immediate counselor.
  • Gentle Reminders are not considered serious offenses, and are not documented.


  • Take-a-break is used to get the child's attention if Gentle Reminders are not doing the trick.
  • We ask the child to sit away from their group briefly -- make sure we have their attention and that they understand what behavior they are being called out for, and what response is expected. 
  • Sometimes the child needs to be simply taken out of a situation for them to see the broader ramification of their behavior. The goal is to give them a moment to "reset" and get back into camp mode.
  • The child will be told, "{Name}, I'm not sure if you realize this, but {unacceptable behavior} is not something we do here at Bricks 4 Kidz. I need you to Take-A-Break for a minute over here away from your group. I will be right back with you." The counselor will give some "cool down and think about it time before going back to the child. "{Name} -- so, {unacceptable behavior} -- think we can go back to {replaced acceptable behavior?}. If yes, child will go back. If no, child will be given a couple more minutes.
  • Take-A-Break is normally handled by the immediate counselor.
  • Take-A-Break is not considered a serious offense, but will be documented so that a director is aware.


  • We make use of a "time out" in cases where a gentle, verbal reminder and/or Take-A-Break has gone unheeded by the child, or in case of more serious incidents.
  • The intention of a time-out is to remove a child from a conflict they have created, allow extra time for the child to calm down, to allow time for the instructor to ensure that others affected are able to go back to what they were doing, for the child to identify the unacceptable behavior, to identify what the expected behavior was, to demonstrate to the other children in the group that the behavior was unacceptable, and to allow a few moments of reflection before returning to their activity. Sometimes this will mean that the child is not able to finish the activity they were working on before the conflict. 
  • The child will be told, "{Name}, {unacceptable behavior} is not acceptable. I need you to go sit at {designated location} for time-out. It is now {time}. I will be with you in just a moment so we can talk about this and make sure we can get back on track."
  • We do not have a designated "time out chair" but will choose a location that takes the child away from the other child, group, or activity that their conflict was with.
  • The instructor administering the time-out will normally be the one to speak to the child about it. Occasionally, depending on what activity or group they were handling, it may be another instructor or manager. 
  • Any time-out administered will normally be documented -- the day, the time, the child, the offense, the administrating instructor, the redirect given, and other staff witnesses.
  • It is important for the child to understand why they were sent to time-out, and what they could have done differently in the first place.
  • Time-out will normally last the number of minutes the child's age is.  (e.g. 5 years old = 5 minutes; 8 years old = 8 minutes)
  • We try to base the length of the time-out based on when the child was sent, and not when the instructor is able to talk to them, however the instructor will make a judgment call based on how long it takes them to leave the activity or group they are overseeing, whether the child understands the issue and what they could have done differently, and whether the child indicates they are ready to change their behavior and go back to their activities.
  • Time Out is normally handled by the immediate counselor, but will also bring in a director to document the offense.
  • Time-Outs are documented and a note will be sent home with the guardian picking up regarding the time-out.


  • Suspension can happen if a child has not heeded previous warnings, and does not appear to be interested in changing unacceptable behavior patterns. Suspension causes a child to be withdrawn from the current day's activities, and lose the opportunity to return to the following day's activities.
  • If a child does return for a later day after the suspension period, and needs more than a Gentle Reminder (e.g. if a Gentle Reminder has to Be Documented due to repeated offenses, or if the child gets a "Time Out"), the child will be expelled.
  • We do not allow In-Camp Suspension. If a child is suspended, a parent or guardian must immediately come to remove the child from the premises.
  • If a child is suspended it is for the remainder of the day plus one following day.
  • A parent or guardian will be asked to pick up the child. 
  • While waiting, a child will remain in a designated time-out spot until picked up (bathroom breaks are an exception).
  • Suspensions are initiated by a director.
  • There are no refunds or credits given for days missed due to suspension.


  • Expulsion is extremely rare and unfortunate, but sometimes necessary.
  • Children who continue to repeat unacceptable behaviors after already being suspended for them will be expelled.
  • Children who endanger the safety, health, or well-being of others will be expelled.
  • Expulsion is a very rare occurrence, and will only happen in cases of extreme egregious behavior or repeated, documented issues with no change. Expulsion could be for a single act if it in any way endangers the safety of other children, or for smaller things if the child has continued a repeated unacceptable behavior pattern with warnings that have been documented and escalated.
  • Expulsion results in a child not being eligible to return to Bricks 4 Kidz for the remainder of the current season. (e.g. the summer or the school-year)
  • A child who is expelled, must be picked up immediately. 
  • There are no refunds or credits given for days missed due to expulsion.
  • The account will be inactivated and a special request needs to be made by the parent in order to return, with the promise that the child's behavior has significantly improved in the intervening time.
  • Expulsion is for a minimum of 3 months.
  • Any child wanting to return after 3 months, MUST have a parent-signed apology sheet, with a promise from the parent and the child that the previous behavior will not occur, and that if it does, it will be an immediate expulsion.
  • Expulsions are initiated by a director.
  • Refunds are not given for expulsions.

What if I have questions not covered here?

Please call or contact us!
(865) 250-8560

5/31/20 - Updated Waiver info for 2020