On Tuesday, 15th January 2019, the Project Connect team held its first formal presentation of the “Adopt-A-Ship” educational program for Teachers, Department of Education officials, Ship Owners and other shipping industry representatives at the Piraeus Marine Club.
Project Connect’s project coordinator, Effie Kotika organized and began the presentation while Adopt A Ship Hellas coordinator and Educator, Dora Pappas-Aliferis explained the unlimited possibilities that a teacher can achieve from the Adopt a Ship concept. Irene Notias, co-founder and director of Project Connect said she was so happy to see the larger than expected turnout of teachers interested to run this multi-faceted program while the head of the Elementary Public School system, Leonidaas Nikas and the Programs director, George Vlachos confirmed that it is highly regarded and teachers want it immediately.
The program will shortly commence, with five schools in Piraeus, the heart of ports, and five ships set to launch it in Greece. The Adopt-a-Ship program received its authorization from the Hellenic Ministry of Education and the endorsement of the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping last year to be run by Project Connect. This program offers children of elementary schools opportunity to learn about seafaring and the relevance of Shipping in their lives, by a holistic approach because it covers geography, history, vocations, among other topics which assist a child’s development, says Irene Notias.
Project Connect will be supporting these schools during the next few months to ensure they enjoy the learning journey with the children. The program will be installed in both private and public elementary schools on the mainland and the islands within the next 2 school years.
Many supporters from the Greek shipping community embraced this program. Shipowners like Messrs. J. Xylas, Ariston Navigation, G. Gourdomichalis, Phoenix Shipping & Trading, B. Simantonis, Medferry Shipping, G. Alexandratos, Apollonia Lines and P. Pappas, Starbulk are each offering a vessel “for adoption”.
Nikos Marmatsouris, Senior Group Marketing Manager of GAC Shipping Agencies, George Gourdomichalis and John Xylas shared first-hand experiences with the Teachers about the dynamics of the vessel and the shipping industry. Present was the Crew Manager of Ariston Shipping, Capt. Panagiotis Katsivardelos who will be supervising it for Ariston.
Persons who deserve mention for their contribution to the realization of this project are Petros Kokalis, Makis Angeletakis, Ms Despina Tourtoglou, Alexander Glykas and Penny Liokaftou, Dynamarine, Nikos Efthimiadis and John Efthimiadis of Lotus Shipping Company, the Shortsea Shipowners Association and the Propeller Club are sponsors of the required students materials.
Honorary Chairman of Project Connect, and CYMEPA Chairman, George Tsavliris, who inspired the idea for Greece, gave a beautiful message about the project’s success in Cyprus and its synergies and introduced Adamantia Spanaka, Professor-Advisor at the Hellenic Open University, who after recognizing the significance of the program, proposed specific sections of the curriculum, where Adopt-A-Ship actions could be implemented.
The NPO invites the entire shipping community to join in and help plant the seed of opportunity in Greece’s elementary schools.
Irene Daifas, Piraeus’s appointed Municipal Councillor for Culture, and President of the Piraeus Marine Club and the BoD proudly hosted the event and received much gratitude from the Project Connect organizers and the School district heads and Teachers.
Project Connect wishes the schools and children who will be participating in this program to enjoy it and looks forward to hearing about their “life at sea“.