Scout creates Braille guide to VLM Discovery Centers

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Virginia Living Museum Education Director, Chris Lewis and Eagle Scout candidate, Wyatt Booth look at Braille guide to the museum's Discovery Centers.

Scout creates Braille guide to VLM Discovery Centers

Nov 16, 2010

Readers of Braille now have a guide to the many items in the Virginia Living Museum’s Discovery Centers thanks to the work of Eagle Scout candidate Wyatt Nelson Booth of Newport News.

Booth said he was inspired by an article in Boys Life about 2010 being the 100th anniversary of scouting and the 200th anniversary of Braille.

“I thought it would be cool if readers of Braille could not just touch the items, like the animal skins, but also read the questions,” said Booth.

The museum’s four Discovery Centers have a total of 66 cubbies with touchable museum specimens ranging from a sea turtle bone and box turtle shell to a Mammoth tooth and skunk skin. Each cubby has a question and answer related to the item.

Booth spent a year working with a blind person who reads Braille and Braille Services in San Antonio, Texas, to develop a Braille guide to all 66 questions and answers. He also raised about $2,500 for the project.

The final step was assisting museum Exhibits Coordinator Dan Coleman to attach Braille numbers to each cubby as a key to the Braille guide.

Two books are available at the museum admission desk for loan to readers of Braille.

“We’re always interested in making the Virginia Living Museum more accessible to visitors,” said Education Director Chris Lewis, who worked with Booth on the project.

Booth, 13, is a member of Troop 411 in Newport News and an eighth grade student at Trinity Lutheran School.

He said he hopes other museums and nature centers will be inspired to create similar guides.

The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $17 for adults and $13 for children (ages 3-12). Ages 2 and under are free.

The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I64, exit 258A.

Call 757-595-1900 or visit


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