Eastern Prelacy: ANEC Celebrates Year of the Armenian School With Fe

Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Contact: Iris Papazian

JUNE 8, 2006


NEW YORK, NY – At the conclusion of the Festival of Armenian Schools
that took place in New Jersey in March, Archbishop Oshagan addressed
the students with this question: "Dear children, do you know where
Armenia is?" The Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy quickly answered his
question by telling the students, "Today, Armenia is here, because for
the past three hours you all spoke, sang, danced, acted and recited
in Armenian. I am very touched and very proud," he told them.

The Festival of Schools was presented by the Armenian National
Education Committee (ANEC), which is co-sponsored by the Eastern
Prelacy and the Armenian Relief Society (Eastern Region), in
celebration of the Year of the Armenian School proclaimed by His
Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

"In celebration of the Year of the Armenian School, we decided it
would be appropriate to have a Armenian School Festival bringing
together students from various Armenian schools," said Mrs. Nayiri
Balanian, chairperson of ANEC. The Festival was dedicated to the
1600th anniversary of the invention of the Armenian alphabet and the
90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Seven schools and The Yeraz Dance Ensemble participated in the
Mid-Atlantic Festival, which took place at Dwight-Englewood School,
a private school in Englewood, New Jersey. Participating in the
Festival were the Hamasdegh School, Washington DC; Haigazian School,
Philadelphia, PA; Siamanto Academy, New York; Holy Martyrs Elementary
School, Bayside, NY; St.

Sarkis School, Douglaston, NY; the Armenian School of Brooklyn, NY;
and the Nareg School, Ridgefield, NJ.

An impressive parade of students entered the auditorium, following
the bearers of the Stars and Stripes and Tricolor flags. They filled
the large stage and offered inspiring interpretations of the American
and Armenian national anthems, as well as Ov Metrzaskantch Too Lezou,
Yerevan Yerepouni, and Chan Haiastan, under the talented direction
of Maestro Vagharshag Ohanian.

During the main portion of the program each school presented its own
well prepared program of songs, recitations, plays and dances.

Mrs. Hermine Menakian, a Armenian teacher in New Jersey for many
years, was so impressed and proud that she congratulated all of the
students, their teachers and the Festival committee, which included
Knar Apkarian, Silva Kouyoumdjian, Prof. Asbed Vassilian, and Nayiri

Mrs. Zarmine Boghosian, a well-known teacher, principal, writer and
intellectual, attended with her mother and later wrote: "I returned
home from the Festival with a satisfied heart. My mother was so happy,
she forgot her heart problems. Well done!"

Mrs. Balanian expressed her deep thanks to Archbishop Oshagan and to V.

Rev. Fr. Shahe Panossian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church,
Ridgefield, New Jersey, for their support and presence. She also
expressed thanks to the Yeraz Ensemble and their dance instructors,
and to the Festival’s guest conductor, Vagharshag Ohanian.

Mrs. Balanian acknowledged the deep gratitude that must go to the
teachers, 44 of whom participated in the Festival. They were honored by
ANEC with special certificates and 1600th anniversary commemorative
pins which will be presented to them during public ceremonies in
their respective communities.

Mrs. Balanian concluded with this observation: "When I was a
teacher, I would give my 8th grade graduating students an "Armenian
Passport." Each student had the duty of being an Ambassador of
Armenia, so that they would go and present their fatherland to
others with pride. Today, I issue each of you an "Armenian Passport"
and give you the duty to be Ambassadors of Armenian Schools. Go and
tell everyone that Armenian Schools are the backbone of our nation,
and encourage parents to send their children to Armenian day schools
or one-day schools."

For more than 45 years the Armenian National Education Committee
has risen to the challenge of helping transmit the Armenian legacy,
upholding it as a vibrant, evolving gift bestowed on the hearts and
minds of emerging generations. ANEC provides educational leadership and
guidance to Armenian schools under its jurisdiction, ensuring that high
standards are maintained and that changing needs are addressed. Beyond
offering logistical support at the administrative level, ANEC also
directs a number of programs that bolster the long-term viability
of Armenian education in America, including educators’ seminars
and forums, curricula direction and support for schools, cultural
presentations for the community, and specialized programs for young
adults like the Siamanto Academy, which offers college-level courses
in Armenian studies.

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