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22.12.2019

Does it happen that children want to go to school faster in the morning? Is it possible that they stay late after classes not because of their academic failure but because they are interested? Can you imagine that in a village a few kilometers away from the warfare?

The school in Druzhba of Toretsk City Council is amazing outside. The facade is decorated with vivid mural paintings, and a bench near the entrance is equipped with solar panels and USB ports for recharging gadgets. A bicycle parking painted with graffiti is in the back yard.

Parents, waiting for their children, are watching TV on soft sofas. Meanwhile, Olexii Holovatyi, a director of the Secondary General School No. 7, despite the fact that he did not expect guests, gladly agrees to hold an excursion for us.

180 students attend the school in Druzhba. 22 children began to learn this year for the first time. The space for them was created by the standards of the New Ukrainian School – new furniture, modern equipment.

It is cozy in the second year. The primary school side wing is decorated in the ecological style. The institution with a natural major, so they instill children to love nature from childhood. Vitalik, a schoolboy shows us cardboard boxes for separate garbage sorting. The second year is engaged in research activities, the children plant the garden and looking after it. The school has its own greenhouse; it is located in the internal courtyard, though they do not use it in winter.

In the school’s “open” library students can use bookshelves freely, even take home.

– We have already taught children that there are not only gadgets. Such a reading room allows to popularize a book more, to acquaint with modern writers. When there is a blackout in the village (and this happens very often), children keeping themselves busy with reading, a director says.

A few more strokes to the portrait of a rural school. Arche Nova, a German company helped to make overhaul of the WC facilities and built a well that provides water to the school twenty-four-hour. The school hall is rebuilt, where not only school events, but also local ones are held. Every teacher has a computer on the desktop. The volunteers of public organization “E+” helped with this. Thanks to them, 100 students of the school visited Zakarpattia this summer.

In total, teachers and students have involved more than 50 projects of various levels in the development of the school. It is also a space for psychological safety valve, where children play board games, watch scientific videos, draw on kinetic sand. It is also a virtual lab that allows high school students to study physics, chemistry and biology in depth.

As Olexii Holovatyi says, 3D technologies make natural sciences more interesting and understandable. It is not surprising, but can all schools in Ukraine boast that they can show students the image of any human organ in section?

The pride of the school is «Cool School» radio. Every morning, the students do physical exercises, and DJs offer some activity. Like in every radio station, a running order is here – for daily broadcasting and holiday dates. If one of the students has a birthday party, he or she may get congratulations from friends and classmates every break.

According to Hanna Starykova, a head of the school self-government, radio has appeared with the help of donors and it became popular very quickly:

– There are already regular radio hosts who prepare and broadcast air – these are ninth-graders Valeriia Dubrovska and Mariia Kiosieva. The girls talk about holidays that exist in different countries and other interesting facts. Now we are preparing a broadcast for the New Year.

The fact that the school is in its fifties, a canteen and a gym remind. Time stopped in the workshops. Teachers say that there is still something to work on. For implementing further ideas, they are ready to create a public organization in order to raise funds, for example, to realize the idea of ​​a technology lab, authors of which are Kramatorsk inventors.

The school has long become a cultural center of the community; residents are interested in expanding its functionality. Last year, under the UNICEF School-Kindergarten program, a kindergarten appeared in Druzhba village, which has not been here for 20 years. 25 kids visit it, whose parents would have previously been forced to drive to a neighboring village or to Toretsk kindergartens. This created additional concern not only for the families but also for the school. Because children, as a rule, remained for further education there, where they had gone to receive pre-school education.

Recently, in the framework of entrepreneurial activity, high school students defended a project on construction the yard with a children’s playground. Caritas Kramatorsk supported the project, so children will have a place to play.

Valeriia YASKO/Gromada Skhid No. 8, 2019