We breathe life into the Palagia Elementary School in the Municipality of Alexandroupolis

“Μazí gia to Paidí” (Together for Children) has created and delivered to the educational community of Palagia Elementary School in the Municipality of Alexandroupolis, modern educational and sports facilities following the serious damage it suffered from the fires of August 2023.

At the inauguration ceremony held on Thursday, April 4th, the Deputy Minister of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports, Zetta Makri, the Regional Governor of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Takis Topsidis, the Mayor of Alexandroupolis, Yiannis Zambukis, the Deputy Regional Director of Education of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Marigoula Kosmidou, as well as supporters, volunteers, and members of the Administrative Board of “Μazí gia to Paidí” were present.

Through this intervention, the 78 students of the school, under the guidance of their educators, have access to modern sciences and new technologies, as well as exposure to different cognitive subjects, in order to develop life skills and knowledge, creating the appropriate conditions for equal opportunities in education.

Additionally, a closed gymnasium was created and fully equipped, while the schoolyard was reconstructed with a basketball-volleyball court and a playground, offering a safe environment for sports, play, and socialization.

“Together for Children” responded positively from the outset to the request of the Directorate of Primary Education of Evros for the reopening of the school, designing modern educational and sports facilities, while the Municipality undertook the restoration of the damages suffered by the building after the fire.

Creation of Modern Classrooms

Specifically, as part of the intervention, “Together for Children” proceeded with:

• Creation of an Investigative Learning Room | Students will have the opportunity to explore knowledge using modern means in a room equipped with an interactive board, laptops, educational robotics kits targeting all ages, 300 books, and knowledge games, 120 educational aids for experimentation and experiential learning covering all subjects of the primary school curriculum (such as language, history, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, anatomy, biology). Additionally, the room was made more functional with suitable furniture.

• Emphasis was also given to the “Environmental Study” with the creation of a Green Corner, which includes more than 150 educational aids and books focusing on nature, geology, and environmental protection (recycling, ecology, renewable energy sources). Students can experiment and apply experientially the knowledge they acquire using the planters and the indoor tabletop greenhouse.

• Upgrade of the computer lab with modern electronic equipment | The world of computing is available for children to discover with the help of an interactive board and 12 desktop computers in a room equipped with new ergonomic work desks.

• Creation of a Lending Library | Children have access to a lending library enriched with 500 new book titles and tabletop games. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to enjoy reading and participate in literacy activities in the specially designed corner.

• Creation of two Break Corners | Special emphasis was given to the design of special spaces for relaxation and leisure time for children within the school premises. There, younger children can engage in Lego construction games, while older students can play ping pong, chess, and other board games.

Creation of Sports & Play Areas

“Μazí gia to Paidí” proceeded with:

• Creation of a closed gymnasium | The initial space of the school gymnasium was covered with suitable flooring and equipped with a climbing wall, punching bags, a balance beam, mats, gymnastics equipment, group games, balls, and gymnastic rings.

• Reconstruction of the playground | Special safe flooring was laid on the playground in the schoolyard, basketball and volleyball lines were created, scoreboard-hoops were replaced, protective mats were placed for the basketball hoops, and the necessary nets were installed.

• Creation of a Playground | A playground with climbing and balancing games for safe and creative play.

The vision of “Together for Children” is to create a modern open school that will be a center of learning, creativity, development, and optimism for both the school community and the Palagia society, which experienced the consequences of the fires that struck the area.

Ms. Alexandra Martinou, President of “Μazí gia to Paidí”, stated: “The images of the devastating fires of August 2023 are still fresh in our memory. At “Together for Children”, without a second thought, we decided to ’embrace’ the children, their families, and the educators of Palagia. We combined our forces and in close cooperation with the school community, our team identified the needs. Throughout this period, we worked to breathe life back into the Palagia Elementary School, contributing to its reopening with modern educational and sports facilities. Today we celebrate the result of all this effort: the rebirth after a disaster. With great joy, we deliver an open school, a center of learning, creativity, development, and optimism for the Palagia community. I would like to warmly thank our sponsors, the named and anonymous donors who stood by our side from the beginning, and thanks to their kind support, we created the school every child and educator dreams of!”

Deputy Minister of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports, Zetta M. Makri, responsible for Primary, Secondary Education, and Special Education, stated: ‘Together for the Child in the border region of Evros. Warm thanks to the President of “Together for Children,” Mrs. Alexandra Martinou, for the continuous care of the organization on Education issues and for securing equal opportunities for female and male students in border areas. The significant action of “Together for Children” leaves an indelible mark on the areas it serves and creates an important legacy in facilities for the next generations of students and the local community. This time, “Together for the Child” invited me to inaugurate the reopening of the Palagia Evros Primary School and to share the joy and satisfaction that comes from the tradition of modern educational and sports facilities. The devastating fires in the area had caused immense damage, rendering the school unsuitable and leading to its suspension of operation. The initiative of “Together for the Child” made the construction of new educational and sports facilities a reality and ensured the reopening of the Palagia Primary School. Warm thanks and sincere congratulations to everyone!’

As Mrs. Dimitra Vourdoglou, Director of the school, stated: ‘Together for Children’ has been with us from the very beginning. We worked together all these months to explore and record the needs of our school’s students. We collaborated to design and organize interventions. Not a single space of our school was left un-equipped and creatively utilized. As Elytis says, we worked together with faith to create springtime for our children. Today, we deliver to our students a school with modern educational and sports facilities, an exemplary school. A school that allows our children to claim their future equally. Heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Alexandra Martinou, the members of the Board of “Together for Children” and our sponsors.’

Warm Thanks

The implementation of the project was realized with the kind support of: Trafigura Foundation & Trafigura Maritime Ventures Ltd, Mrs. Kyveli Alexiou, Skroutz, Astra Shipmanagement Inc, and anonymous donors through the crowdfunding platform www.supportmazi.gr.