* Students are sending soccer balls and toiletries to kids
in the Central American country, along with helpful tips from
the school's Spanish speakers.
By PAMELA WILLIS
Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011
8:55 AM EST
Soccer balls, bars of soap -- even the tiny ones from hotels
-- toothbrushes and toothpaste are urgently needed as
Bluffsview Elementary School students collect items to
promote health education and safe playgrounds for
schoolchildren in Honduras.
Bluffsview teacher Ally McCarthy, who teaches English
Language Learners at the school, said students are involved
in collecting items for a medical mission trip to Honduras,
led by OSU College of Nursing Professor Emeritus Kathy
McCarthy said Stone and her team of 37 nurses, physicians,
pharmacists and support staff will travel to Choluteca,
Honduras, in March.
"The team will work with more than 1,800 patients,
performing tasks such as health screenings and well-baby
care," McCarthy said. "They will also provide health
teaching, which is one way Bluffsview will be helping with
this important project."
McCarthy said children in Choluteca often do not learn
basics such as brushing teeth or washing hands.
She said the team of nurses will lead health fairs and train
teachers in health education.
Bluffsview students are collecting bars of soap,
toothbrushes and toothpaste, which can be the travel size,
along with small playground equipment such as soccer balls.
"The students in Choluteca love soccer, but play it with
stones and rocks since they don't have soccer balls,"
McCarthy said. "That is not safe for their feet, so soccer
balls are greatly needed."
McCarthy said Bluffsview has a focus on community service
"We have a club here called Cubs to Community that has been
involved in various service learning projects all year," she
said. "When I heard about the Honduras opportunity, I
realized how connected it could be to my ELL students."
Spanish is spoken in Honduras, so McCarthy's students whose
first language is Spanish have been helping to make cards
that depict proper techniques on washing hands and brushing
teeth, which the team of nurses and physicians will take to
"It has been extremely rewarding to see my students take on
leadership roles, such as making morning announcements,
helping with publicity around the school and serving as
project liaisons for their classrooms," McCarthy said.
She said the project is a perfect example of the exponential
growth that can result from serving others.
"The project has really taken on a life of its own and I am
excited to see where it will lead," she said. "The
possibilities are endless when serving others. For example,
this spring, the girls on my lacrosse team at Thomas
Worthington High School will partner with an organization
that helps spread lacrosse to impoverished communities
around the world.
"That connection came from this program in Honduras and will
give my players the same type of valuable opportunity to
make a difference in the lives of others around the world,"
McCarthy said her ELL students also will put together a
photo album for the children in Choluteca, with photos that
include Spanish descriptions of what their school days in
Bluffsview are like.
"Children at the school in Choluteca are very curious about
the American school day," she said. "Our students are
equally interested in learning more about life in Honduras,
and ideally there would be increased communication between
the two cultures. For our students, it could be as simple as
becoming pen pals. As an educator, I would like to
collaborate with teachers at the Choluteca school to help
develop some of their programs and learn more about their
She said people who would like to drop off items for the
mission trip can bring them to Bluffsview Elementary School
during the month of February.