WATERTOWN — St. James Erebuni School in Watertown announces that it is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a formal gala affair on May 12 at 6.30 p.m. The event will take place at the Charles Mosesian Cultural Center at St. James Armenian Church and will honor the school founders, alumni, teachers, parents and community representatives. Festivities include a cocktail hour with Armenian appetizers, followed by a dinner reception and entertainment by singer Zaruhi Babayan from Armenia. The gala celebration is open to all members of the Armenian community.
For 30 years, the Erebuni Armenian School has created an environment for children of Armenian heritage to learn the language, history and culture. The school’s commitment to educating the whole child has led to new enrichment programs, arts programs, chess and music. Very soon, Lego-Robotics will be added in the list. The school’s mission is to preserve the heritage of the Armenian people, language, culture, traditions and religion. The school’s Principal, Arminé Manukyan, says: “the Armenian Diaspora is growing and becoming more diverse, and it is imperative that our children carry on their heritage as our physical ties to the homeland become more distant. The Erebuni School immerses the students in the culture and the language, and their parents’ involvement, many of whom from Armenia, has always been a critical part of the education.”
Founded by the Armenian Society of Boston (Iranahye Miutyun) in 1988, when all the schools at that time were Western Armenian, the Erebuni School met a growing need for a school that would focus on the Eastern Armenian language. For many years, all the teachers and the school administrators were volunteers. The school now has a professional staff, and its student population has grown close to 200. In 2015, Erebuni joined forces with St. James Armenian Church and it became St. James Erebuni School. This brought both Eastern and Western dialects together into one Armenian school.
The school philosophy embraces both project-based and textbook learning in the language classroom to enhance the learning of all students. Growing parent engagement includes the parent-teacher organization(PTO) and class liaison. Each class has a parent who is dedicated to helping teachers and classroom parents with in-class activities and school events.
Manukyan adds, “Our talented and caring group of teachers want nothing but the best for our students and families. They make our school such a great place for our students and their families. I believe that learning should be fun, in fact it’s incredibly important. It all starts with the most important person in the classroom, the teacher. The learning they plan, the environment they create, the friendships they help foster, it’s all incredible. We are so thankful for our teachers. Each one of them bring unique sets of skills which, in whole, benefits our school.
“Our school is not only standing but flourishing, which is a truly a testament to teachers’ and parents’ hard work and commitment. And this gala is our token to honor them. This is one day when teachers take center stage and are recognized for their countless years of dedication and hard work to make sure every Armenian child reaches his or her full potential, making the Armenian school a caring and warm environment that remind the students of their own family.”