Press release; Greek language

StaEllinika partners with Greek Archdiocese of America on ambitious pilot project

May 21, 2020

The General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, are pleased to announce the launch of a pilot for the StaEllinika Greek language learning platform in select US schools across California, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, under the supervision of Dr. Anastasios Koularmanis, Director of the Department of Education of the Archdiocese of America.

The pilot application - which would not have been possible without the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation - will provide additional teaching resources and support to teachers who work exclusively in an online environment. The curriculum, developed through this collaboration, will be fully compatible with the new school conditions, as set out in the latest COVID-19 public health protocols, preparing our communities for a possible resurgence of the pandemic during the fall of 2020.

Speaking about the initiative, the Reverend Elpidoforos, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, stated:

“technology solutions like this will contribute to the effort we are making as the Archdiocese of America in the rebirth of the Greek language and the spread of the Greek language to new generations. I am sure that our little friends will love this innovative application, with which they will be able to have contact with our beautiful language in a pleasant way.”

At the same time, the Director of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, Dr. Dimitris Krallis, spoke about the project noting that:

Thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and two years of intensive work by a truly talented and motivated team will soon find their natural audience, the youth of the diaspora. It has been an honour to collaborate by way of a completely distributed work environment - adapted in advance to the new emergency conditions we experience at the moment - with talented Greeks from all around Greece and across the world. In a way, a dispersed - you could say diasporic - team came together and put its heart, mind, and soul into a project that seeks to bring together communities in the diaspora through the Greek language.

StaEllinika is a collaboration between an interdisciplinary team of developers, animators, and educators coordinated by the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, on the one hand, and officials of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by the General Secretary Mr. Ioannis Chrysoulakis, on the other. The online platform and suite of apps was developed by the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies’ SNF New Media Lab as part of the Rebooting the Greek Language project, a two-year initiative supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to bring new technologies and advances in pedagogy to bear on the preservation of the Greek language in the diaspora. This new online learning environment facilitates remote language acquisition for learners that range from preschool children to young adults.

Recently, StaEllinika was adopted as the official tool of the Greek Secretariat for Greeks Abroad for teaching and learning the Modern Greek language, mythology and elements of Greek culture throughout the Greek diaspora. A beta version was released at the end of April, free of charge thanks to the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and has reached an impressive 7,000 registered students from 106 countries in just four weeks. The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs has ensured that the platform is in full alignment with the approved curriculum of the Greek state.

For more information about the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and its programs, please visit our Media page.

You can visit the StaEllinika website for more information. The SNF New Media Lab has for years been at the forefront of educational technologies, and you can learn about their current and past projects on the Lab page, elsewhere on our website.