On Thursday 15 September 36 students from Alphington Grammar, the Principal Dr Vivianne Nikou, the Teacher in Charge of the Project Mrs Toula Terezaki and three other teachers visited Voula, Athens as part of their tour of Greece. More specifically they visited local archeological sites and the 1st Junior High School of Voula with which they are sister schools through electronic twinning.
Christina Despoteris brought these two schools together a few years ago, initiating this arrangement.
Christina said: "The e-Twinning Project "Building Bridges across Continents" aims to make the students aware of their cultural identity, familiarize themselves with a different culture, conduct research on the Greek "Omogenia", create new relationships with peers and share thoughts, concern and feelings, express themselves - improve their language skills and understand the necessity of learning languages. It also encourages the use of new technologies by learning basic concepts and rules of online communication and create original works of various forms such as videos, reports and presentations through activities that promote teamwork and co-operation."
The students from Melbourne and Voula met all day on Thursday 15 September.
They began with a visit to the local archeological site of the Temple of Apollo Zostiras in Vouliagmeni.
Christina continued: "They then proceeded to the 1st Junior High School in Voula where they were met by Dr Maria Kaskadami, Principal, Mrs Ioanna Gardiki, Vice Principal and Teacher in Charge of IT and Mrs Angeliki Methodiou, English Teacher as well as Mrs Anastasia Tsaousis, President of the Parents' Association. The students were treated to a wonderful array of Greek sweets and savouries so kindly provided by the Parents' Association."
They then watched a couple of videos, one promoting the local area and the other produced by one of the students who participated in this project.
The activities which followed included an indoor soccer match, an indoor Aussie rules football match, Greek dancing and lots of fun and laughter.
Gifts were exchanged and the two Principals signed an agreement formalizing the twinning of the two schools. Each school took away a copy which they can now display proudly in their school.
"The culmination of the day's activities was a very special reception/lunch at the Vive Mar in Voula hosted by the Municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni. The Mayor Mr Grigoris Kostantellos was overseas but found the time to connect and speak to the visiting students via Skype. I outlined the students' activities to the Mayor, who praised the project and the connection of the two schools and indicated that he and the municipality would be willing to support further associations such as these." Christina added.
Christina continued: "As Alphington Grammar is under the auspices of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Mr Bill Papasteriadis, President of the Community had given me a plaque, to present to the Municipality for its contribution to the project. As the Mayor was away, I presented the plaque to Mr Dionysios Georgoulopoulos, Deputy Mayor Administration and Finance."
"I had also invited the Australian Ambassador to Greece to attend. Unfortunately he was not able to attend but Ms Sarah Goodall, Deputy Head of Mission was present and spoke. Others present included Mr Nikolaos Vasis, the President of Educational Committee of the Municipality, Ms Dora Trianti, Head of Public Relations for the Mayor, Ms Nina Nimiforaki, President of the School Committee and Ms Katerina Mexiadi in charge of Cultural Activities for Secondary Education."
A wonderful day was had by all.
Christina concluded: "Congratulations and thank you to Alphington Grammar School Melbourne, the 1st Junior High School of Voula, the Parents' Association, the Municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni, Mr Grigoris Konstadellos, Mr Bill Papasteriadis, Ms Sarah Goodall and the other special quests for making this day such a success.
For more information please see:http://blogs.sch.gr/voulamelbourne/