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Told uses reading to help attain Eagle Scout status

The winning “Battle of the Books” team, “Better Than Google” is pictured here with soon-to-be Grangeville High School Eagle Scout Michael Told.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
The winning “Battle of the Books” team, “Better Than Google” is pictured here with soon-to-be Grangeville High School Eagle Scout Michael Told.

— Eagle Scout projects generally require about 15 hours of community service time. However, that amount for Michael Told could be quadrupled and not even touch the time he has devoted to his project.

“I’ve spent a lot of time here at GEMS [Grangeville Elementary Middle School],” the Grangeville High School junior smiled.

Told organized the “Battle of the Books” for fourth and fifth graders this year. He spent an hour a day as a teacher’s assistant at the school and in the library, as well as time at home.

“The kids kept me really busy making buttons,” he laughed.

Students were given a reading list of 26 books. For every book each student read, he or she would get a button that represented that book to pin to their Battle of the Books lanyard and I.D..

“Everyone has been really engaged and it’s been a lot of fun,” Told said.

All the students began competing in “Battle of the Books” in their classrooms May 3. By 1 p.m., there were four teams of six students each left standing – or reading, as the case was.


Michael Told talks to students during the “Battle of the Books” event at Grangeville Elementary Middle School May 3.

The teams went through 10 rounds and answered detailed questions from a variety of books including Runaway Ralph, Shiloh, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Bridge to Terabithia, Number the Stars and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Students could collaborate and discuss their answers before one representative from the team would speak.

In the end, the last team standing was “Better Than Google” made up of students Addie Crowl, Landon Gibson, Makayli Suhr, Halle Told, Jayda Burch, Derek Pottala and Caleb Wilson.

Told said he wanted to influence the loves of GEMS students through literature.

“Battle of the Books is a great program to help kids learn to love to read,” he emphasized.

He explained he has been involved in Boy Scouts of America since he was 8 years old.

“I’ve learned some awesome leadership skills,” he said. “It has also taught me to more fully give myself to my community.”

Told is also taking the local first responder EMS course. He is the son of Dr. Matthew and Katie Told of Grangeville.

As soon as all the paperwork goes through, Told should be awarded his Eagle Scout designation.


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