Schools open to the neighbourhood and society at large

The City of Athens continues the Open Schools initiative by running activities within the school premises, throughout the week - after-school hours and during weekends, for all Athenians. School buildings become centres of action for the community and invite students, teachers, parents and residents to participate in educational, cultural, sports and entertainment activities.

The Open Schools program is an initiative by the City of Athens, which is implemented with the support of the Athens Partnership thanks to the exclusive donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It was piloted in 2015 and was quickly embraced by the local communities.

To date, the program has received more than 250 activity proposals. The list of offered activities is enriched fortnightly.

What does Open Schools mean

School premises remain open, with security, from the final ring of the school bell until 9.30pm during weekdays and from 10am-8pm during weekends.

The program has ensured security and cleaning services, as it aims to remain independent from the morning function of the school.

The Open Schools program was piloted in 2015. Since 2016, thanks to the exclusive donation of Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the coordination of Athens Partnership, 25 schools in various neighbourhoods within the City of Athens remain open Monday to Friday and on weekends. The ultimate aim is that school buildings become meeting points for everyone: students, parents and residents of the neighbourhood and the wider community.

Aims of the program

  • To provide a comfortable, pleasant and well-designed communal space which students and adults can use to meet, study or work.
  • The possibility for adults to have the opportunity to meet, organise and take part in activities [eg language learning, seminars, meetings] and with the children [eg festivals, workshops].
  • To enrich of the list of educational and recreational activities offered for children in the familiar environment of a school building.
  • The function of school rooms and courtyards as places for children to meet, carry out activities or simply have a safe, familiar place to hangout.
  • Capacity building in neighbourhoods and promotion of cooperation for personal and collective benefit. 

Repairs of school buildings

The program carried out repairs and work both on the interior and the courtyards of the 25 Open Schools. The aim was to improve the facilities and enable them to host people from the entire neighbourhood. Note that prior to any construction work, the team carried out local research and held discussions with the school deans to include them in the process of deciding what work needed to be carried out. One of the main objectives was to reduce reliance on the main school buildings by bringing other spaces within the unit up to standard and creating a comfortable environment.