May Make a Difference: Jay and Ellen Bardole

Expanding the minds of our children is no easy task especially when teachers don't always have the resources to do unique projects.

Posted: Oct. 17, 2017 10:51 AM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Expanding the minds of our children is no easy task especially when teachers don't always have the resources to do unique projects.

As News 10's Hunter Petroviak found that's where a Vincennes couple has stepped in to help enhance the educational experience for some fourth graders.

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It's not exactly how Jay and Ellen Bardole had planned their time with fourth graders at Vigo Elementary school in Vincennes.

They're here nearly every week providing meaningful science experiments as well as fun!

Teacher Amy Stoelting says her class is lucky to have them.

"They volunteer, they bring everything in on their own, so we just come down and meet them every Friday and they have a lesson that is tied to our state standards already all ready to go," explained Stoelting.

The Bardoles used to teach at Vincennes University. Despite moving on, they weren't really ready to be done.

“I guess three years ago we started. Jay had retired, I had retired earlier and we decided that we wanted to do something to help the young people with science,” Ellen explained. “And the principal here, Miss Kelly, was very kind to us and worked with us and helped get everything lined up."

They spend anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a week coming up with their lesson plans. Sometimes there's even a worksheet involved.

Teacher Julie Blubaum says the Bardoles' efforts are clear when it comes to helping the kids learn.

"They are retaining it a lot more because you can see they're doing it hands on. Instead of just reading about it in a book or seeing a video they're actually doing it. They're remembering it," Blubaum said.

The Bardoles have no intention of quitting any time soon which is good news for both the teachers and the kids who value what they do.

“Even for us as teachers, it is difficult for us to have the extra time to set up those extra enriching lessons and have all those resources. To have them is just a huge resource for us and the kids, like I said, just love it," 4th Grade teacher, Kelly Gardner.

So with their tie-dye lab coats, the Bardoles will continue to visit Vigo Elementary School - helping enhance the education of local kids.

"In a lot of respects it's not a lot different than teaching sophomores organic chemistry. The excitement of students learning is i guess the reason we became teachers and stayed that way."

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