The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation provides support on an annual basis to the Efstathia J. Costopoulos Foundation for the “Yiayia’s Garden” kindergarten and nursery school which has been operating in Kalamata since 1994. “Yiayia’s Garden” provides free tuition to approximately sixty children aged 3 to 5, mostly from families of limited means and/or with mental and social problems.
In early 2022, after two years of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Yiayia’s Garden” took the nursery school’s children on two important excursions, to Ancient Olympia and the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre. Initially, the children read in class about art and mythology and became acquainted with the art of sculpture over the centuries and, through that, with Ancient Greece. In March they travelled to Olympia to visit the exquisite museum, see the imposing artworks of Antiquity and experience the notions of realism and measure. Two months later, the pupils travelled again in order to attend the educational programme on the imposing work “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre, coming into a first contact with contemporary art and seeing a huge-scale sculpture. The Centre, with its architecture and its dimensions, was also an unprecedented experience for the school’s young pupils, many of whom had not had the chance to visit Athens before.
A special honour was the visit by the President of the Republic, Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in the context of her presence in the celebrations for the bicentenary of Kalamata’s liberation on 23 March 2022. The President was shown around the school’s facilities, met the children and was apprised by the chairman of the Foundation, Mr Spyros Filaretos, of the aims and actions of the model kindergarten and nursery school.