The Greek Community of Lowell, Massachusetts

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Education

The last two lines of a short poem in Greek, recited by generations of first graders in parochial school, are:

"Grammata, spouthagmata,
Tou Theou ta pragmata"
(translated to English:
"Learning, education,
Are things of God.")
Bartlett School Graduation, 1937 - (Courtesy of the Lowell National Historical Park)

While many Greek immigrants to Lowell had limited schooling, they emphasized the crucial importance of education for their children. Acre children attended school at the Green, Worthen Street, Cross Street, Morrill, or the Holy Trinity school. Youths then went to Bartlett School and Lowell High School. Many of the children of the Greek immigrants excelled as salutatorians and valedictorians and many went on to higher education. They succeeded in business, law, education, and other professions. Thus, they found the "golden streets" their immigrant parents encouraged them to walk upon.

A brief list of outstanding achievers includes: Mary Tournas, salutatorian of Bartlett Junior High School (1939); Lowell High School valedictorians Paul Demogenes (1934), Vasilios Patsourakos (1937), Cleomenes Generales (1939), and Charles Ziavras (1940); and, Penelope Zermas, Lowell High School salutatorian (1938). Boston University chose to honor their graduate Constantine Dukakis by naming him the 1937 Class Day orator.

Greek Independence Day performance at the Greek Parochial School - March 25, 1939

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Revised: 14 Mar 2003 12:24:53 -0500 .