Holy Martyrs ARS Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool Turns 30
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Holy Martyrs ARS Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool. For 30 years, this establishment has nurtured a community of curious minds, thriving bodies and considerate hearts. For 30 years, one of our main goals has been the establishment of a connection between our preschoolers and our beautiful Armenian heritage. Why have an Armenian preschool if that transfer is non-existent?
To commemorate our anniversary in a very special way, we decided to do a fundraiser that would directly involve our preschoolers and parents. This toy and clothing drive we organized was not simply your usual charity event. All of our teachers made this part of their general lesson plan, where empathy was going to be taught. Through our reliance on empathy to generate funding, we have conditioned our children and donor parents to feel certain ways. Through empathy-oriented practices, we are gently training our preschoolers to believe that the most important thing is how they feel when they give, and that the worthiest causes to support are those that they can understand and relate to as two, three or four-year olds.
Why did we choose to help a Preschool / Kindergarten located in the village of Dsegh, Lori (Province in Armenia)? Dsegh is the birthplace of Hovhannes Tumanyan, also known as the national poet of Armenia. For as long as our preschool exists, Hovhannes Tumanyan’s literacy works such as “The Dog and the Cat”, “The Kid Goat”, “Tailless Fox”, “The Cicada and the Ant”, have been part of our curriculum. It was not too long ago, in 2019, that we decided to dedicate our entire year-end program to Tumanyan and Komitas. Tumanyan has given so much to our children for three decades. It was finally our turn to give back!
Not even two months ago, it was with great sadness that we found out about the miserable state of a preschool located in Dsegh. The photos of nothingness suddenly became a challenge for us and we decided to fill their space with enough toys to keep those children engaged for the coming years. Educational toys help develop problem solving skills, teach about conflict resolution and how cause and effect work. It also teaches children about sharing, helps develop their fine and gross motor skills and nurtures their creativity and imagination. Toys make children happy and we wanted to pack happiness in huge boxes and send joy and hope to Dsegh. It was a hard year for Armenia last year. Thus, our fundraiser had many purposes.
The outcome of our Toy Drive which also included a Clothing Drive was spectacular. More than half of our preschoolers brought toys and new cloths which were packed in huge cardboard shipping boxes. We also raised $3,000 which will be used for shipment. The surplus from that amount will be spent on the Dsegh Preschool. Your participation was more than we ever expected and it is thanks to all of you that we made this happen.
Dear parents, we are so grateful for your generosity. On behalf of our entire administration and staff, we want to tell you how we are touched by your donations. We promise to keep you updated and show you photos of how the boxes reached Armenia and how your donated items were distributed to where they were destined to go. Happy Thanksgiving. We are blessed to have you part of our preschool family.