The school for the community: Networking activities at the Local Academy of the 3rd Gymnasium of Egaleo

The press relase by the school:
On April 7, 2022, the 3rd Gymnasium of Egaleo organized a Local Academy to introduce through its actions the “Schools for All” program to the educational community. The Local Academy was attended by the principal, teachers and students of the 5th Gymansium of Egaleo, who came to our school to interact with us in the framework of the educational action entitled “We change the rules – An inclusive basketball game”. Together, they were attended by the Director of Secondary Education of Athens’ 3rd sector, Thymios Alexandris, who praised our initiative, and the Coordinator of Refugee Education, Natasha Diamanti, with whom we have been working all this time, as well as the President, the Vice President and members of the PTO of our school, who always accompany and support our actions and the President of the PTO of the 5th High School.

The educational action was planned and coordinated by the regional trainer, Ana stasia Karagianni, our trainer from the European Centre Wergeland, and Dimitra Tzimi, teacher of our school. More than 50 students from the two schools participated in this event, who had the opportunity to :

 -To gain a greater awareness of democratic values and practice ways to put them into practice in their daily life at school   

-To get to know each other and work together in small groups   

-To discover common interests and highlight them in a group project presenting their group identity    To modify the rules of a sports game to make it more inclusive and fairer for the participants, and then to play together, applying these rules on the pitch.

The teenagers who participated in the activity enjoyed the process, interacted with children they met for the first time, some made friends, while others got the power to express their views for the first time in front of a large audience on issues such as equality and solidarity. It is important to mention that the groups created in the context of the individual activities were mixed in terms of gender, but also in terms of language proficiency level, as they included students from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. Working together, the groups found ways to overcome any differences and barriers and to create equal opportunities so that all members were able to express their opinions and put their own stamp on the process.

In relation to their experience, some participants reported:
“The children from the 3rd Gymnasium were very welcoming! Today I learned how important cooperation is, how fun it is to meet new people and that in whatever you do, it’s not so much the result that counts, but the effort. The whole experience was fantastic.”

“I learned that I can work with everyone. Today I had the opportunity to share my ideas with my friends and I was able to speak my thoughts without shame. I really enjoyed both the activities and the game we played. I want to continue the trips, become even better friends and do more activities like this again on topics like the ones we discussed today.”

“I think cooperation is everything in a friendship. At least that’s what I saw today working with my group. I really enjoyed the activities and most of all, the painting we did with my new friends. I want to meet them again and learn more about them.”

Undoubtedly, we would say that the Local Academy provided a great opportunity for networking between the two schools, but also for highlighting the importance of collaboration, sharing and the conscious commitment of all members of the school community to fostering a democratic culture in the school.