12 MAY 2007 / ACS - Inauguration of the Optimal Match (OM) Learning Center ”Stavros Niarchos Foundation”

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports the educational thriving of children with learning difficulties, by having provided for the equipment and renovations for the creation of the Optimal Match (OM) Learning Center at the American Community Schools of Athens. Today, one year later, the inauguration of the OM Learning Center, named after its grant-maker, takes place on the ACS’ campus, at 09.00 a.m.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s commitment was to provide all necessary equipment as to create a suitable environment for the current twenty two students, to progress and excel so that through this grant, the number hosted, will increase up to forty. This is accomplished through: the complete renovation of the Center’s premises with full furnishing (of two classrooms and one multipurpose hall) and the provision of sound proof walls to avoid external noises and encourage class concentration,   and the technological equipment (both general such as computers, printers, audiovisual equipment, and special such as diagnostic & educative tests, audio books, voice activated software and various other programs), provided. 

 

This project is of course, unique and a forerunner for the Greek standards. Additionally, through this donation the Center will provide a multiplier effect as well, since knowledge gained will be disseminated to other private and public schools through seminars for teachers and psychologists. 

 

Founded sixty years ago, the American Community Schools’ environment is now a multicultural one, composed of Americans whose parents live and work here, Greeks who want to embrace the American educational philosophy, as well as Greek-Americans.  

 

Special emphasis is given – through the OM Learning Center - to the children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, detected early on, at their second or third grade. Thus, each child’s individuality and probable difficulties are examined, and by focusing on one to one basis, and providing counselling and support, the Center allows for each child to be fully developed, and educated, by overcoming his/her obstacles. 

 

In Greece, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation provides support to endeavours that address social welfare and health issues for underserved populations, with a particular emphasis on programs for children and the elderly. The Foundation also provides support for selected arts, culture and educational programs that promote, maintain, and preserve Greek heritage and that demonstrably contribute to the cultural life of Greece. In all its grantmaking, the Foundation seeks to provide contributions outside the realm of public support where Foundation funds have the potential to add value in a significant way. Within each program category, the Foundation supports initiatives that can demonstrate a tangible impact on recipients, as well as in areas of long-standing interest to the donor. Foundation grants include as appropriate, funds for operating and program support, as well as funds for selected capital projects and endowments. A limited number of grants may also be made to individuals. Since its inception in 1996, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has provided total grant commitments of US$ 289,700,000 to 1,288 not-for-profit organizations. 

 

 The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is administered by a Board of Directors comprising Sir Dennis Weatherstone-Chairman, Philip Niarchos, Spyros Niarchos, Andreas Dracopoulos, Donald Harrison and Dr. Kurt Arnold. In Greece, there is an Advisory Committee whose aim is to assess current needs and propose funding for appropriate not-for-profit organizations. The Greek Advisory Committee whose Chairman Emeritus is Constantine Dracopoulos comprises of George Agouridis-Chairman, Professor Εftychios Voridis, Yerassimos Yannopoulos, Costas Iordanidis, Αdonis Kyrou, Αnna ouskouri-Reiche, and Εleni Triantafyllides. Epaminondas N. Farmakis is the Chief Operating Officer and the Secretary to the Greek Advisory Committee.