First Bell/Day of Knowledge Arrives in Ukraine

Sunday September 29, 2019

Day of Knowledge, also known as First Bell, is the day that all Ukrainian students return to school after the end of their summer break. Below, three current volunteers share pictures and stories about their day.


The First Bell, or перший дзвоник, is the day in Ukraine where all students start the new academic year. On September 1, the first graders are welcomed into the school, and the eleventh graders are congratulated on starting their final year. This year, I worked with my school’s group of eleventh graders on a choreographed dance to end the First Bell ceremony. We also got matching t-shirts, and ended the dance with colorful balls of smoke being thrown in the air. Having the chance to work directly with my eleventh formers, each working equally and collaborating to make the dance a success, was such a good way to start the year. – Caroline L., Lvivska Oblast


September 2, 2019: First Bell at a rehab center in Lvivska Oblast. Everyone gathered outside for a welcome ceremony, followed by fun activities and ice cream.  – Christie T., Lvivska Oblast


First Bell 2019 was very special to me, as it is my last in Ukraine. Seeing the 11th formers walk proudly with the 1st formers, I couldn’t help but imagine 11th formers as tiny tweens that I met on my first day at site. To me, being a volunteer at a school is cherished; of course, you’re guiding their growth in skills, but to see them literally grow and achieve throughout the years is priceless. – Madeline S., Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

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