Newspaper article The Florida Times Union
Teachers Take Resources to Missionaries in Budapest
Mandarin Oaks Elementary School teacher Mary Michael Smith, armed with drinking straws and petroleum jelly, boarded a plane to Hungary yesterday.
The fifth-grade teacher will use those items to demonstrate how cholesterol clogs human arteries at a science retreat in Budapest through March 7.
Two other educators from Mandarin and volunteers from St. Johns County are also in the middle European country to show science experiments to 125 children in Budapest. Some of the youngsters are home-schooled by their parents, who are missionaries stationed in Asia and Europe. Others attend schools where English is not spoken.
"It is very rare for them to have an opportunity to learn within a peer group that speaks their language. They are always so eager to be together," Nancy Cardy, a retreat coordinator, said via e-mail from Budapest.
The students don't normally get much science instruction or exposure to hands-on science experiments, she said.
It was Cardy who requested help from First Coast volunteers. She works with a foreign ministry in Budapest, called Share Educational Services, which is a regional resource center providing assistance to missionaries and others living overseas who are home-schooling their children or have them in the native schools.
The ministry is supported by Switzerland Community Church, 2179 Florida 13, where Cardy was preschool director before heeding a call to mission work nearly three years ago.
Cardy had envisioned having teachers visit Budapest and demonstrate science experiments, which many home-schooling parents don't get involved in. …