The American Farm School of Thessaloniki

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U.S. friends and supporters of the American Farm School of Thessaloniki gathered recently to enjoy An Evening with Olympia Dukakis May 3rd at the Union League Club of New York to benefit the Scholarship fund of the American Farm School and Perrotis College.

Ms. Dukakis’ first cousin Arthur Dukakis was a longstanding and devoted Trustee of the School, and other Dukakis family members count themselves loyal supporters of the School as well. Arthur’s widow, Patti, was on hand to for event as were major donors such as Mrs. Aliki Perroti, the benefactress of Perrotis College, and, from Greece, President of the American Farm School and Perrotis College, Dr. Panos Kanellis and Vice President Joann Ryding.

Dr. Kanellis updated the New York audience on the background of the American Farm School and the vision of his presidency after serving in office for fifteen months.

Founded in 1904, the American Farm School serves the rural populations of Greece and southeastern Europe through educational programs that are based on a Learn by Doing approach and that instill in students the understanding of how to manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably.

Today, the American Farm School is bringing agriculture and life sciences education into the 21st century with a blend of energy, new technologies, and strategic partnerships while remaining true to its 107 years of tradition. The School aims to become the premier center in southeastern Europe for contemporary education and research in agriculture, food systems, environmental studies, and other life sciences.

President Kanellis’ strategic initiatives focus in part on offering advanced academic training and research opportunities to students who will go on to help solve some of the most pressing issues of food production, food safety, and the environment. This means developing future-oriented curricula; ensuring up to date science and technology infrastructure on campus, and introducing students to the excitement of research in the cutting-edge fields of agriculture and life sciences.

Another major focus is the introduction, in September 2011, of primary education, centered around environmental education and experiential learning. The reasoning is that in order to educate new generations of healthy, creative young people in Greece who will develop harmonious relationships with the earth and one another they must be reached at the very earliest years of life. A Pre-K and Kindergarten will operate starting in 2011, followed by an elementary school shortly after.


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