Dr. Anastasios Koularmanis, Director of the Department of Greek Education, will be releasing a series of articles that center on Greek Education, with a particular emphasis on spotlighting several Day-Schools.
In 1963, a remarkable educational institution opened its doors to the Greek-American community in Brooklyn. Argyrios Fantis Parochial School, affectionately known as A. Fantis, has since become a beacon of Greek culture, Orthodox faith, and academic excellence for its students. Founded with a strong sense of community and a commitment to preserving Greek heritage, this esteemed school continues to thrive today.
The origins of A. Fantis Parochial School can be traced back to the early 1900s, when a tight-knit group of Greek immigrants in Brooklyn sought to establish a vibrant Greek Orthodox Community. Their vision materialized in 1916 with the completion of the Saint Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights. As the Greek immigrant population continued to grow, the community recognized the need for a dedicated academic institution. Through the unwavering support of its parishioners and generous contributions from the Greek-American entrepreneur Argyrios Fantis, the dream of a Greek-American school became a reality.
In 1963, A. Fantis Parochial School opened its doors to more than three hundred and fifty eager students at its location on 195 State Street. The school’s comprehensive educational program spans from Nursery/Pre-school to 8th grade, catering to a diverse and co-educational student body.
A. Fantis Parochial School prides itself on providing an education that is not only academically rigorous but also deeply rooted in Greek culture and the Orthodox faith. By fostering an environment that celebrates and embraces the similarities among students, the school creates strong familial bonds and friendships. Serving as a gateway to success, A. Fantis empowers its students to navigate the opportunities of living in America while imparting the value of preserving and embracing their Greek heritage as an integral part of their identity. Although the school has experienced a decline in enrollment in recent years, it remains steadfast in its mission and continues to adapt to changing demographics.
Since 2005, A. Fantis Parochial School has embraced an inclusive approach by welcoming children baptized in all Christian traditions. This enriching environment benefits both Greek and non-Greek students, as non-Greeks gain exposure to Greek culture and language, while Greek students are introduced to different cultures, facilitating a smoother transition from middle school to high school. Today, the school proudly boasts a diverse student body, with students fluent in languages such as Spanish, Italian, French, and Finnish.
While the Greek-American population in New York City has seen a decline, A. Fantis Parochial School remains steadfast in its commitment to providing a nurturing educational environment. Despite the closure of Greek-American schools in Brooklyn, A. Fantis continues to thrive. The school’s ability to adapt, welcome non-Greek students, and maintain its emphasis on Greek culture, religion, and extracurricular activities has been instrumental in its ongoing success.
As A. Fantis Parochial School continues to shape the minds and hearts of its students, it remains a testament to the enduring spirit of the Greek-American community in Brooklyn. Through its dedication to academic excellence, preservation of Greek heritage, and promotion of cultural diversity, A. Fantis stands as a cornerstone of education and community for generations to come.
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America