Following many initiatives taken by educational staff all over Greece to address the issue of refugees, Greek’s Ministry of Education recognized and awarded the nation’s best educational efforts.
The government body chose the Lauder School of the Jewish Community of Athens, among a select group of other schools, to receive a special award for its educational efforts.
The Lauder school was commended for its social activism, humanitarian concerns and pursuit of social justice. Highlights of the Lauder Schools’s Refugee program include:
- 1st Grade students attended a program, “The Right to Be A Child,” at the Children’s Art Museum. The aim was to learn about a child’s basic human rights, and at the same time, to learn about children who are deprived of these rights. The program ended with a painting competition. The selected paintings were made into badges that were sold at the bazaar.
- 2nd Grade conducted the program, “The Story of a Refugee,” which included United Nations Refugee Agency educational material. Students learned to recognize the difference between human being’s needs, in relation to their desires. Students came in contact with notions like diversity, exclusion and rejection. They were confronted with their emotions and asked to suggest solutions. The program ended with reading relevant literature at the school and baking biscuits (in shape of human figures) to sell at the bazaar.
- 3rd Grade students watched videos, read stories, discussed articles and heard songs which dealt with the subject. Pupils worked in teams to create five different illustrated tales. Children’s works were printed under the title: “A Tale to Be Heard, 4 + 1 Refugee Stories to Make You Think,” and were sold at the bazaar.
4th Grade students dealt with the issue of refugee by creating full size models of themselves. Each model hid a true testimony of a refugee. Children dealt with aspects of a reality that they cannot fully contemplate, but have the ability to feel. At the bazaar, their classroom hosted an art exhibition titled “Shadows of People”. An entrance ticket was charged while all the works were sold.
- 5th Grade participated in the Action Aid program “Xenios or Xenos?” where they were presented with the essential parameters of the refugee issue. They then formed poster creation groups. Their work was printed and sold at the bazaar.
- Grade 6 created a documentary on the issue. After reading various real life stories, children chose the story of Doaa al-Zamel, who survived a shipwreck off the coast of Crete. Inspired by her story, the students wrote a script and made a short film. At the bazaar, their classroom was transformed into a movie theater. Tickets and copies of the documentary were sold.
With the revenue earned, the school bought and donated 55 tents, each one accommodating four people.