Building upon the Foundation’s commitment in support of Greek Language, Culture and Education, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation has pledged a significant amount of funding directly towards Primary Greek Language School Programs across Canada:
Textbooks for our students
Even in the digital age, textbooks remain an essential learning tool for young students. In the past, these resources were provided from the Greek Government but this funding has since ceased. In response, the HHF has provided funding for Greek School Books to students in the following communities, from pre-school to high school:
- $30,000 = The Toronto District School Board – 1,530 students
- $30,000 = The Greek Community of Metropolitan Toronto “Paideia Program” – 865 students
- $12,500 = The Hellenic Canadian Community of York Region – 325 students
- $10,000 = The Metamorphosis Greek Orthodox School – 300 students
- $8,500 = Hellenic Community of Ottawa –190 students
- $7,500 = Hellenic Society of Calgary – 170 students
- $5,000 = Hellenic Community of Halifax – 110 students
- $3,000 = Edmonton Hellenic Community – 85 students
- $3,000 = St. George’s Language Schools in Edmonton – 90 students
- $2,500 = Hellenic Community of Winnipeg – 70 students
Effective Teacher Training
Extensive community outreach revealed that there is no standardized curriculum in place for the teaching of Greek language in Canada. The HHF determined that one way to address this is through pedagogical training of Greek-language instructors. In collaboration with the Faculty of Education at York University, the HHF has developed a 36-hour Effective Teacher Training Course, available in-class and online for Greek teachers living across Canada or outside of the Greater Toronto Area
Through HHF funding, this course is offered free of charge to all Greek-language teachers. All successful candidates receive a certificate from York University upon completion.
The HHF funded program, geared to teachers of elementary children, emphasizes the following skills:
- Create learning environments where students are active participants as individuals and in collaborative groups;
- Display effective and efficient classroom management promoting appropriate student behavior;
- Design lesson plans that allow students to participate in empowering activities; understanding that learning is a process and mistakes are a part of learning;
- Identify and employ a wide variety of instructional, assessment and evaluation strategies;
- Create an environment where student work is valued, appreciated and used as a learning tool;
Due to the overwhelming demand of the introductory ‘Part 1” course, the HHF has also begun to offer a “Part 2” module which offers more advanced techniques and teaching tools as well as the use of online material.
Here are some teacher comments about this course:
“This module was a great opportunity to upgrade – for myself as a teacher but also as a person and as a mom. It was complete, clear, meaningful and interesting from beginning to end. The only thing I recommend is that all teachers have to take this course.”
“(The instructor) was an exceptional teacher, prepared and organized. She put a lot of thought and care into providing information and teaching effective techniques which met our needs and the needs of our students. In 40 hours we acquired knowledge which will last a lifetime.”
“This module helped me a lot and I learned so many new things and techniques which I can apply to the classroom.”
“Course was resourceful, fun, productive, professional, active and enjoyable.”
“This course should be a prerequisite for all instructors teaching Greek as a second or foreign language.”
Greek School teachers interested in taking future course offerings are encouraged to contact the Hellenic Heritage Foundation offices for more detail.
National Greek-Education Online Portal
The HHF is funding the development of a national Greek-Education online portal in collaboration with the University of Toronto | Munk School of Global Affairs, which will provide educational resources and material to anyone wanting to study the Greek language across Canada. Once developed, the online portal will be an incredible resource for teachers, students and parents alike. The portal will serve as a directory of Greek-education programs across Canada and will provide access to teaching resources including a listing of Greek-language tutors within specific communities.
A central feature of the portal is an interactive map, which will allow users to search for Greek-language programs and organizations across Canada according to various criteria.
The portal will be effectively designed to provide current contact and curriculum information for Greek-language programs operating in Canada; listing and categorization of learning materials, lesson plans and assessment tools on various Greek-language and culture units; classification and comments of Greek-language textbooks; links to online resources, publications and curriculum guidelines.
The portal will serve to be an essential tool to Greek-language learners across Canada.
Expected date of completion: Fall/Winter 2020.