Jelena Djokovic Opened a Reconstructed Preschool Playground Where She Made the Most Beautiful Childhood Memories
With the reconstruction of the playground in the “Dumbo” preschool, we continue with the series of our projects which aim to provide quality and safe early development for children in Serbia.
Sack jumping, rope pulling, racing with a spoon and a ping-pong ball are just some of the games that children who attend the “Dumbo” preschool in Belgrade enjoyed today. Our team and global CEO Jelena Djokovic joined them to celebrate the opening of a new playground within this preschool. Recognizing the importance of creating a safe and stimulating environment for outdoor play, we have invested more than EUR 22.000 in its reconstruction and equipping, so that children would have more space for their daily adventures. The old devices have been replaced with a new slide, swings, carousel and other toys, while a new concrete base has been also installed, as well as a rubber and grass surface that will provide additional safety. In addition to the representatives of the Foundation and the preschool institution, the opening of this playground was attended by the City Secretary for Education and Child Protection Slavko Gak, as well as the President of the Municipality of Stari Grad, Radoslav Marjanović.
Jelena Djokovic expressed great gratitude for the opportunity to help the Dumbo preschool, that she also attend as a child.
“I still remember those precious preschool moments that enriched my childhood and inspired me to build myself into the person I am today. This playground has always seemed huge to me and has represented my door to the world of play, socializing and imagination. I am very happy that today we have the opportunity to open that big door to the little ones who are full of sincere expectations and hope. Nowadays, they just want to play and enjoy themselves with their friends, as we did in the past. However, at the same time, they create memories that will be an indispensable, and very important part of life. Preschools in the urban areas have many challenges because they have less space for outdoor play, but we are trying to change that, as well as to help teachers provide children with quality time for the development of motor skills, physical strength, imagination, social skills and, of course, memories. “
It is often said that a child’s play is a lens through which the children perceive the world around them. Some of the many advantages of children’s play include reducing fear, stress and anxiety, more joy and self-esteem, increased attention and non-verbal skills and positive emotions that strengthen the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular system. That is why the reconstruction and equipping of playgrounds throughout Serbia is an important part of our work.
“Play is crucial for early education, and that is why this way we want to further help children in Serbia to develop their full potential. So far, we have reconstructed playgrounds in Novi Sad, Gornji Milanovac, Srbobran, Stara Pazova, Krusevac, Zitoradja, Novi Becej, Uzice, and now here in Belgrade. ” said Maja Kremic, our national director.
Now teachers can organize various outdoor activities for 170 children who attend the Dambo preschool, which is extremely important for the development of children living in the city. This is their main connection with nature and open space, and that is why it is important that such spaces be arranged in such a way as to influence the development of children’s emotional intelligence, cognitive and social skills.
“We are witnessing a large investment wave in schools and preschools in Belgrade in the past few years. More educational institutions in the capital have never been renovated, and any help from socially responsible companies and associations is always welcome. The common goal of all of us is the well-being of children, and since they spend a lot of time outside in their kindergartens with educators, well-equipped playgrounds and kindergarten yards are of special importance. Many thanks to the Novak Djokovic Foundation for this donation, it went to the right place. ” said the city secretary for education and child protection, Slavko Gak.
For several years now, we have been cooperating with the preschool institution “Children’s Days” in Belgrade on various projects. Among other things, in one of their preschools, the children, together with the educators, grow fruits, vegetables and herbs within our “ABC of Better Me” program.
“The contribution that the Foundation has been making for years, and the impressive results we are proud of, give me faith in true care for the youngest. It is a real pleasure to watch children enjoy and grow carefree. We are also proud that our cooperation is expanding through other projects that the Foundation is implementing, such as the ABC of Better Me and Support, not Perfection, “said the director of the preschool institution “Children’s Days” Sanja Lazovic.
Our team reconstructed the playground in accordance with all the necessary standards and equipped it with the most modern toys that stimulate children’s imagination. However, something else was missing to make it shine even brighter. Students from the Faculty of Applied Arts, with the guidance of their professor Jane Orsolic, immediately recognized how they can improve the space even more. By painting a colorful mural on the wall surrounding the playground, they turned the Dumbo preschool into a real little underwater kingdom.
“Students who participated in the design and execution of this mural directly shape some children’s new aesthetic models for the future. It is important for us not to serve hyperrealistic images to the preschool age that will not motivate them to take some creative action themselves, but to encourage them with simple and receptive forms to try drawing, chopping, creating, listening to themselves, and not some externally imposed ideals,” explains Jana Orsolic, graphic designer, typographer and associate professor at the Faculty of Applied Arts.
The visuals of the ocean and the animals that live there will not only encourage children to design some new games but will also serve as an opportunity for a new educational experience. All generations who will attend Dumbo preschool will surely remember the hide and seek, the races and other games from their favorite playground.