This initiative started in 1996 and was incorporated in the string of events taking place in April. It was then the school adopted the slogan which runs as follows:
Put one of two flowers on the Tsitsernakabert Memorial and
Donate the sum of the other to pay your National Duty….
“Children use their savings to raise the funds, rather than depend on their parents’ support. All through the month of April students economize on their lunch or pocket money to donate it to the reconstruction of their homeland. The whole month of April is declared a month of history lessons. With the help of these events we help students to learn about their homeland, to love it and learn to support it”, says the principal of the school Mariam Hovhannisyan.
Every year in April a small box is placed in each classroom and students put in as much as they can. The boxes are opened at the end of the month only; the school list of National Duty is disclosed too. A representative from each class specifies his class and signs next to the amount of money the class has raised.
Every year on April 23 the school holds a major school event dedicated to all events in the Armenian history that took place in April. Following this event, students take the raised funds to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Executive Board in office. A year later, on the April 3 gathering, a representative of the Fund updates the students on how the money was spent, or which section of the highway was built with their donation?
In 1996, the first year of the initiative the students collected 45,250 AMD. April is now the month the students look forward to and this year the students of the school in Yerevan raised 210, 000 AMD. The 10th “A” grade gathered the least, 4000 AMD and the 2nd “A” kids raised as much as 24,000 AMD. Students know that their money will be directed towards construction of roads in Armenia and Artsakh and will support children of the Karabakh war veterans.
What would you like your money to be spent on? The answers to this question are sincere and with a note of concern.
‘I wish our money helps to reconstruct schools for children in rural communities so that all students have well-equipped schools to go to” says an 8th grade student Carolina Martikyan.
‘For me it is also very important to help make Armenia a greener country” says Dzovak Voskanyan.
The amount the students gather, as important as it is for the development of Armenia is not the chief gain of this initiative. What is primary is the lesson the students learn, the love with which they forfeit the little amounts they have for the homeland.
‘It pleases me to see my child learn to help his friend, his school, his homeland, assist to a good initiative” says one of the parents.
‘It is important that even 7 year olds feel that they are the rightful citizens of their country. It is important that they grasp the true meaning of patriotism... I don’t want to see Hayk fight with Dikran I want to see them support one another... I wish to see them protect their country shoulder to shoulder”, says Mariam Hovhanisyan, the school principal.
They say good deeds are contagious.
The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund thanks again the Yerevan N56 School after Stepan Zoryan and all those who roll the stone of benevolence and set an example for others.