Seeds bloom in children’s souls and spread roots in the future!
An original greenhouse, where knowledge, collaborations and children’s skills grow, was created in the primary school of Rizia in the prefecture of Evros.
A village that, thanks to the energy of its inhabitants, claims and conquers development prospects. The seeds of the greenhouse, which was envisioned by the teacher Roula Lefkeli and realized with the help of the Union “Together for the Child”, were planted and taken care of by the sixth grade students, while the educational program was embraced by the local community as a whole.
Teaching students, shaping life attitudes
“The joy of creativity and the feeling that you have put your little stone, so that the student you have today in your hands can see in the coming years evolving and trying and facing any kind of difficulty and adapting to the circumstances”, was the trigger for Ms. Lefkeli to proceed with the organization of the specific educational program.
“We see that everything around us is evolving rapidly, so the educational process can not live up to these tight standards, it must also evolve, to be in line with the requirements of modern reality. Therefore, we, for our part, must evolve, be educated and give more supplies to our students “, he explains in the interview he gave to APE-MPE.
“When I thought of starting the program, I had in mind that it should be adapted to the experiences and experiences of our students. Starting from a greenhouse we will be able to proceed in the near future to the remodeling of the entire yard space, so that it is attractive and at the same time productive.
We dream of creating an outdoor classroom, flower beds, all in connection with our greenhouse that will determine the actions of the school yard and which is the hidden curriculum. He promotes the tactics of the school and when the student has an active role, then he clearly respects him “, adds Ms. Lefkeli.
The seeds that bloom in children’s souls and spread roots in the future
“The program has to do with the creation, with the development of the environmental consciousness of the students, with the cultivation of their skills and consequently with the formation of a way of life. It is not just the acquisition of knowledge, it is something deeper, it is the development of skills. All our students come in a good mood. They are waiting for the time to deal with the program. They have learned to work together.
They do not care who the teammate will be, they care about the collaboration and the result. They are taught to be responsible. When the schools were open, they knew every day during the break or at some point at the end of the day what everyone would do. That is, when will one group undertake to dig, the other to water, the other to watch in case the plants get sick. The responsibility was solely on them. Through the program, they have learned to respond to a video conference, whoever is in front of them knows how to position themselves, how to formulate their questions and point of view.
They got to know some professions better and some expressed their interest in the profession of agronomist and greenhouse entrepreneur. This program has given a motivation to our students and they have now connected school knowledge with everyday life. This year only the sixth grade students participate, because we follow the coronavirus protocol, which stated that there should be a specific group and not all students should be involved.
However, we, from time to time, put our students to become mentors to the younger students. That is, when the smaller classes were asked to teach the subject of the study on plants, then the sixth grade students took on the role of doing so. Of course, the goal is for all students to be involved from time to time “.
The association “Together for the Child”, the bridge that connected the dream with reality
“The truth is that any innovative practice needs a process, and it clearly needed a supportive framework. We had it as a vision in our school, but the opportunity was given when the association Together for the Child, which implements the Education in the Outlying Areas program, approached us. Indeed, the support of the Union, which was interested in It was what would help the educational process to evolve and move forward, it is moving and I think they have understood that themselves.
They have received from our students, but also from the local community, that for us it was a very big step. He helped us. Helped parents, students, teachers, changed the mood of all of us. The fact that the children return satisfied, excited, talk to the parents with whom they came in contact, what they learned and then pass it on to us. We keep our cooperation and move on. “With the association” Together for the Child “, we have organized other things for the time, the role he played is very important, which opened new paths for us in education”.
The operation of the greenhouse
“The inauguration took place in late September-early October 2020. On a weekly basis we dedicate at least two hours to this program and through the greenhouse our students had the opportunity to learn the subject of physics, geography, mathematics, but also language, because through the actions of the program they were called to search for material, to compile it, to present it, to apply in practice knowledge of the natural sciences, knowledge of mathematics, but also to combine knowledge of geography.
Even in distance education, that is, when the schools were closed, we continued the program, and this to show the students that in the end no plan remains fixed in front of the sight of an enemy. To think that in any difficulty we must be ready, to have a second action plan to continue. Understand that this program is to help students in the way they need to think, to prepare for social reality. “Essentially we want to create students, citizens of tomorrow.”
The network of collaborations and new stimuli
Ms. Lefkeli emphasizes that the main feature of the program is the extroversion, which has already borne fruit and specifically a remarkable network of collaborations with organizations from all over Greece. “We came in contact with the Department of Rural Development of DUTH. in Orestiada. From there we have an external collaborator, a postdoctoral researcher, Mr. Samaras, who comes in contact with us through distance learning and strengthens the students’ cognitive background regarding the biological treatment of greenhouse soil weeds.
Through the Ministry of Education-approved organization “The tipping Point in Education”, in which there are mentors, volunteers from all over the country, but also from all over the world, each in his field, we came in contact with a company that strengthened the cognitive background of the students putting them in the process of composting, a topic for which we are in contact with the Environmental Education Center of Paranesti.
Through the company “Myrovolos Organics” in Chios, the children, who also cultivate aromatic plants, saw their importance, their promotion, the market, the way they are cultivated, the organic cultivation of these plants. This year we are focusing, we have focused on the traditional varieties of seeds and that is why we are collaborating with the “Sporites” of Evros and Rodopi, from whom we have received traditional varieties of seeds, our students are divided into groups and each group has its own agenda and monitors and records plant growth notes.
This year’s goal is to reach the Festival of traditional seeds in our school yard, for students to take these plants, to cultivate them and in September to have a part of this seed in our school, so that we can slowly create our own storehouse of traditional seeds, our own bank of traditional varieties “.
Together for the Child started operating in Greece in 1996. It is an association of non-profit associations and foundations, working for the well-being of more than 30,000 children annually. The main goal is to offer help to children and young people facing poverty, disability, abuse, illness. In 2016 she was honored with the Silver Medal of the Academy of Athens for her social contribution, while in 2019 she received a BRAVO award for activating thousands of citizens in the action “Equal opportunities for children: Actions for Health and Education in remote areas of Greece ».