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Last month, Malista.com received an e-mail from a dedicated Greek School teacher, Eleni Manolis, from West Palm Beach Florida. What immediately caught our attention was Ms. Manolis' complete dedication to her children, her community and her family. Her request of Malista was to showcase the work of one her Greek School pupils, Belen Lowrey.
She explains, "Belen Lowrey is half American and half Colombian. She began learning about the Greek language and culture when she was only seven years old and she is now eighteen. She has never visited Greece but hopes to this summer."
Ms. Manolis continues, "We have successfully tried to keep our children close to our faith, and the Greek Heritage. We even have students, like Belen and her sister Olivia, now a Baptized Greek Orthodox, as a part of our Church. We are all very proud to be part of this thriving multicultural community."
Malista is including Ms. Lowrey's most recent paper for all of you to read and to appreciate. Her love of the Greek Language is evident and reflects the dedication of one teacher to her pupil. We remain in awe of the results, the crossing of cultural boundaries for the sake of learning.
Den eimai apo thn Ellada alla ta perasmena tessera cronia ecw maqei na melw Ellhnika, na coreuw ellhnikouV corouV kai na agaphsw thn istoreia thV arcaiaV ElladaV.
PwV arcise olo auto;
Prin apo deka cronia, mia Ellhnikh filh thV mhteraV mou, h Iwanna, arcise na mou maqenei to ellhniko alfabhto kai mikreV leceiV kai protaseiV. EpishV mou diabase istorieV apo thn arcaia Ellada. Meta, h oikogeneia mou metakomise. Akoma mou arese na maqainw thn Ellhnikh glwssa ala den mporousa na thn maqw monh mou.
Telika,otan hmoun 14, h Iwanna mou eipe an hqela na mhlw Ellhnika pio kala, mporousa na thlefwnhsw to Elliniko scoleio thV OrqodoxhV ellhnikhV ekklhsiaV thV AgiaV AikaterinhV. Phga, mou arese, kai emaqa para pola. Arcisa maqhmata sto lupeio me ta pio mikra paidia. Oloi me bohqhsan, eidika ta mikra paidia. Mou eipan, an cereiazese bohqeia mporeiV na maV rwthseiV. Kaqe fora pou elega kati swsto ta paidia me ceirokrwtousan.
Ta teleutaia cponia kaqe daskaloV mou ecei dwsei kati diforetiko. H Kuria Peggi mou edwse th bash, h Kuria Rafaella mou edwse grammatikh, H Kuria Elenh mou edwse kouragio kai o KurioV AqwV me edwse thn agaph thV muqologiaV kai thV istoriaV.
Ms. Manolis proudly describes her community, "St.Catherine's is located in West Palm Beach Florida, and is led by Fr. Andrew Maginas, our priest. St. Catherine's is a Greek/American community and we are very proud of our youth. They are in Sunday school, Greek school, GOYA, and participate in a very wonderful dance group, The Heart of Greece."
"We have many organizations that are very involved with our church, the AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, where I am Secretary, the Cretan Voice, and the Cretan Association of West Palm Beach, where I hold the position of Treasurer."
The first weekend of March St. Catherine's will be hosting a 3-day Greek festival, with food, dancing and lots of fun. In addition, Greek School students will participate in the parade at Tarpon Springs, Florida, on March 25th.
Ms. Manolis is a Montessori teacher, and loves teaching; she is the mother of five.
Ms. Manolis' closing comments, "We thank you and the Malista group for your time!!! My students were all so excited to learn of your interest in all of us!"
This is the point exactly; it's about recognizing the efforts of our youth, and our Greek American Communities. If we do not take the time to acknowledge excellence, commitment and dedication, it could be overlooked. We often do not have the forum to showcase Greek American activities. Malista wants to fill that void. Send us your stories, photos and dreams.