The "Open Schools" program aspires to transform the municipality–owned public schools into sustainable centers for learning, culture and social services for the benefit of the local communities. The program was piloted in 2015 and is now stepping into its next phase of expansion to 25 additional municipal public schools in Athens. Through this initiative the schools will stay open after the official operating hours, hosting creative workshops for students and adults, revitalizing the area and bringing communities together to address real needs, increase engagement and interaction between schools and neighborhoods. At the moment 41 events by 27 different teams have been approved, while it is expected that approximately 2,000 students and 6,000 residents will benefit from the program.
The program is exclusively funded by the SNF through the €10 million grant that has been allocated to the Municipality of Athens in the context of the Grants Against the Greek Crisis initiative in aim to cover the immediate needs of citizens in the urban context of the wider Athens region.
In addition, a great number of the Open Schools also participates in the "Design for Better Learning Program" and which aims at transforming school facilities through holistic interventions, which include maintenance and renovation of classrooms, common areas and courtyards, in order to improve teaching and learning environment. The program is implemented in collaboration with the University of Crete and is also funded by the SNF.