The Andrea Bocelli Foundation for Hospital Schools: the foundation stone for the ABF Educational Center at Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence has been laid.

Florence, March 14, 2023 – This morning at Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence, the foundation stone was laid for the first ABF Educational Center, a pilot project with which ABF is committed to building a new structure that will be completely dedicated to hospital schooling. The ceremony was attended by our founder Andrea Bocelli, Vice-Chair Veronica Berti, Meyer Children’s Hospital Director Alberto Zanobini, City of Florence Welfare Councilor Sara Funaro, along with ABF Ambassadress Maria Manetti Shrem, after whom the pavilion will be named and who was the first person to believe in this initiative by generously choosing to dedicate considerable funds raised so that the project could come to life. Friends of the project, such as the Stefano Ricci family, Simona Zito, the General Manager and Managing Director of Chopard Italia, and Diana Palomba, the President of Feminin Pluriel Italia, were also present. Special thanks go to Paola and the Rovellini family, Alessandro Dusi, Generali, the Napa Valley Festival, and Dolce&Gabbana. Heartfelt thanks also go to the President of the Meyer Foundation, Professor Gianpaolo Donzelli, and the Secretary General, Alessandro Benedetti, for their warm welcome.

The building, which has been designed by the Alvisi Kirimoto studio together with ABF’s multidisciplinary team, will be built in the area adjacent to the playroom and will feature functional and aesthetically beautiful spaces, where the children will be guaranteed the right to an equitable, quality education, through educational activities, but also musical, digital, and artistic workshops. A themed garden, donated by Chopard, will be the outdoor extension of the pavilion: here the young patients will be able to learn and experience through colors, scents, and sensory pathways.

The Educational Center is the third step in the implementation of the ABF H-Lab project, which incorporates and implements the intervention models that were trialed in the ABF School Network within Italian pediatric hospitals, The project is already active in 8 hospitals within the Italian Pediatric Hospitals Association (AOPI) network: Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence, Giannina Gaslini Children’s Hospital in Genoa, the Salesi Hospital in Ancona, Burlo Garofolo Pediatric Institute in Trieste, Santobono-Pausilipon Pediatric Hospital in Naples, Gaetano Martino University Hospital of Messina, the University Hospital of Padua, and “Ospedale Giovanni XXIII” Children’s Hospital in Bari.

To date, over 17,000 students benefited from ABF projects in 2022, under the ABF H-Lab umbrella, such as the ABF Teachbus, a real digital library that houses devices set to the curriculum of the age of the young student (notebooks and tablets) and is able – first and foremost – to ensure that all the children involved an maintain relationships with their peers, teachers and atelieristas: digital atelieristas that act as librarians 4.0 specialized in the use of new technologies for education who, in partnership with the ABF working group, promote new and transversal perspectives on the use of technological tools for children, supporting teachers and families in the best ways to use these devices.