Eagle Scout service project brings “tactile reading” to children Watertown’s Perkins School…
They say, what goes around comes around.
And for Life Scout Jack B. of Troop 12, Plymouth Congregational Church, Framingham, coming back around led him to Watertown.
As a toddler, Jack participated in an infant-toddler program at Perkins School for the Blind.
Perkins, founded in 1829, was the first school for the blind in the US. Today the school “is the worldwide leader in education services for children and young adults who have multiple disabilities and visual impairments.”
But, according to Dara, Jack’s mom, “Perkins was kind of like a lifeline.”
According to The Boston Globe’s Grace Gilson, who profiled Jack on February 18, the Scout was “trying to think of things that were important for me, and my mom remembered the story box, and I did some research, and we realized how important they were for literacy development.”
What’s a “story box,” you ask? Well, it was one way that young Jack engaged with reading.
[A] “story box,” [is] an interactive literary tool for children with visual impairments that includes physical objects as part of the storytelling experience.
And for Jack, diagnosed with a visual impairment as an infant, initiatives like the story box were critical. Thankfully, the Scout’s vision improved in time; however, the family never let Perkins drop from sight.
So as part of Jack’s Eagle service project, he and his troop fundraised for and produced 40 story boxes. Each box includes objects important to stories like “Goodnight Moon,” “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” A QR code points to audio of one of Troop 12’s Scouts reading the story aloud.
As a result, Perkins has new resources, and Jack owns a sense of accomplishment.
“I was really happy to finally give back to the full circle idea,” Jack told The Boston Globe.