School bells rang this week for the first time in the village of Vrisa on the island of Lesvos, since a devastating earthquake leveled more than a thousand buildings on June 12th.
Miraculously, school had just been dismissed on the fateful day of the earthquake and no children were harmed, while the building was completely destroyed by the quake.
Fifty-three students started their school year a bit later than others in Greece, while the final construction details were being handled at their brand new structure, comprised of pre-fabricated buildings that will serve as a temporary school, while a new permanent building is rebuilt where the old school stood.
Each of the students entering the classroom this year were given all of the supplies they needed to start the school year including a book bag, notebooks, pencils, pens and other materials— donated by a grant from the New York City-based Greek America Foundation, which launched a campaign to support the devastated village.
In addition to the school packets, the foundation has also committed tens of thousands of dollars to provide monthly food stipends for dozens of families who lost their homes and are living in temporary housing while they rebuild their lives.
The organization will also fund the school’s Christmas party this year.
The Greek America Foundation launched a campaign days after the devastating quake which leveled the village and officials from the organization visited less than a month after the quake to assess the damage and meet with local officials to determine how best they could assist.