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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DOP Supporting Families at the Penelopean Day Care Center in Athens

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By Elena Saviolakis

WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, kicked of the New Year by launching a national project series which will include weekly webinars on each of their national projects through February. The sixth webinar of the series was about the Penelopean Day Care Center in Athens, Greece, and live streamed on Thursday, February 18, with Daughters of Penelope Karyatides No. 271 Past Chapter President & 1st Counselor of the Penelopean Day Care Center Board Veronica Tsalta.

The Penelopean Day Care Center was founded on April 4, 1958, with funds raised by the Daughters of Penelope Karyatides Chapter No. 271 in Athens, Greece, the graduates of the Women’s American College of Constantinople, and Daughters of Penelope Chapters in the United States. From 1958-1975, its mission was to shelter girls age 12 or older at moral risk. In 1975, the center became and remains to this day, a nursing and day care center for children eight months to preschool aged children of underprivileged families with low or no income. It has a maximum capacity of 140 children.

Photo of the Penelopean Day Care Center building in Nea Ionia, Athens.
Photo: Elena Saviolakis

“The children at the Penelopean stay from 7 AM to 4 PM and receive, apart from feeding and rest, education that includes games and sports, drawing and craftsmanship activities, musical and theatrical performances, discussions for speech development, social and environmental behavior, gardening, and simple physics experiments. The personnel of the Penelopean consists of 20 employees: nursery educators, childcare and baby assistants, theatrical activities educator, cooks, and janitorial personnel. The major source of funding is provided by a European Union welfare program and the Greek government. The Penelopean also relies on private donations to cover its operational costs and building maintenance. We are truly blessed and thankful to the Daughters of Penelope Chapters and Sisters around the world who help support the Penelopean Day Care Center, especially during this COVID era. Funds received from the Daughters of Penelope have helped maintain, update, and add to vital areas of the center in addition to the playground,” said Tsalta.

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Guest panelists in addition to Karyatides Past Chapter President Tsalta included Daughters of Penelope Grand President Celia Kachmarski, Daughters of Penelope Grand Secretary Georgette Boulegeris, Daughters of Penelope Grand Governor Kathy Matrakas, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis.


Photo of the playground the Daughters of Penelope help build and maintain.

Photo: Elena Saviolakis

Grand President Kachmarski added, “the Penelopean Day Care Center has been a long time national project of the Daughters of Penelope and we are proud to continue supporting it. We also appreciate and commend the Daughters of Penelope Karyatides Chapter for all their hard work and support to ensure it is properly maintained and operated so as to support these children and families in need.”       

The seventh and final webinar of the national project series will be Thursday, February 25, about Meals on Wheels America with President & CEO Ellie Hollander and Chief Development Officer Kristine Templin.

Children at the Penelopean Day Care Center learned to understand COVID through drawing and arts and crafts.

Photo: Elena Saviolakis

 

Photo of the Penelopean Day Care Center building in Nea Ionia, Athens.

Photo: Elena Saviolakis

 

Photo of the playground the Daughters of Penelope help build and maintain.

Photo: Elena Saviolakis

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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