The Hellenic Education Center (HEC) of the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church of Fall Church, VA is committed to excellence in education. “We are focused on improving academic achievement for all students and committed to ensuring that all students graduate from the Hellenic Education Center with a deep commitment to their religion, Hellenic heritage and the Greek language. We strive to provide excellent teachers in every classroom, set high expectations for every student, meet the needs of our diverse learners, and prepare our students to excel” is the description found on its website, stkhec.org.
Earlier this year, HEC was contacted by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston to give a presentation on new methodologies for the Greek school programs there. “It was a big success with 55 teachers attending from the greater area of Massachusetts,” HEC Director Eleni Alexopoulou told TNH.
The goal of the seminar, a Teachers Professional Development Day (held on February 27), was “to present various best practices, identify challenges that Greek community schools face today, find realistic solutions, and most importantly create partnerships among the Greek Schools in the United States,” HEC wrote.
The teachers found the suggested curriculum revisions “realistic and refreshing.” They included: 1) an overview of past practices in teaching Greek and the drastic need for change; 2) description of the “heritage language learner”; 3) seeing the teaching of Greek language and heritage learning as an investment in students; and 4) an examination of tools, techniques, and methods used in the classroom.
HEC concluded: “We are confident that in the future we will have more opportunities to share with our fellow colleagues our experiences in order to create a strong network of Greek language teachers in the United States that will empower the teachers to provide high quality education for our Greek American students.