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When a Merit Badge Leads to Improved Literacy

Scouting can turn skills and simple hobbies into passions that can have far-reaching effects for entire cities. Something as straight forward as earning a merit badge can spark a community-transforming passion in a young man.

Ryan Traynor's passion for improving literacy began when he volunteered at his local library. (Photo: ABC News)
Ryan Traynor’s passion for improving literacy began when he volunteered at his local library. (Photo: ABC News)

Ryan Traynor began volunteering to read to kids at a local library to earn a merit badge in his Boy Scout troop. Since then, he used his Eagle Scout service project to employ a comprehensive strategy to help improve literacy rates in his Northern California community. Watch his project summary video here.

The 16-year-old Scout orchestrated a book drive that yielded 25,000 books, ensuring local children had access to reading materials. He also collaborated with other teens to introduce literacy projects, develop science and math skills, and establish financial literacy for the community’s kids.

His dad said, “I think he’s figured out that you get out more than you put in as a volunteer.”

Now, Ryan is an Eagle Scout, and he was on Good Morning America this week. See the feature on the exemplary Eagle by watching GMA’s feature here.

Gina Circelli

Gina

This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.