American Farm School
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The American Farm School is an independent, nonprofit educational institution located in Thessaloniki, Greece. The School was founded in 1904 by American missionary John Henry House to serve the rural population of Greece and the Balkans. The current major educational divisions include the Secondary School, Perrotis College, the Primary School Program, the department of Adult Education & Research and the Greek Summer program. The School's mission is "to educate men and women, especially those from Greece and the Balkans, to become professionally accomplished in the latest aspects of agriculture and the life sciences."
John Henry House with his wife, Susan Adeline Beers House, founded the American Farm School in 1904, on 50 acres (200,000 m2) of barren land near Thessaloniki. The couple had been missionaries in the Balkan region for 30 years. The first students were boys orphaned in one of the many uprisings marking the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe.
House's mission was to "educate the whole individual: the head, the hands, the heart." The curriculum included practical training in field and garden crops, vineyards and orchards, livestock and silkworm production, and in industrial skills such as carpentry, masonry and blacksmithing.
Schools and programs
The Secondary School offers girls and boys rural regions of Greece an accredited general high school education with practical focus on agricultural subjects. The students live in campus dormitories and follow an extracurricular program that reinforces strong traditions in Greek culture.
Perrotis College founded in 1996 through a major gift of Aliki Perroti in memory of her husband, develops leaders for the global agriculture and food industry. The English-language curriculum leads to the awarding of the BSc degree, which is validated by the Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC), a branch of the University of Wales (UK, in International Business, Environmental Systems Management and Food Science and Technology.
The Primary Education program focuses on environmental education through experiential learning. The curriculum gives young learners everyday contact with the natural world and with farming, and encourages hands-on experimentation and discovery.
The department of Adult Education & Research offers short courses, seminars, workshops and conferences on sustainable rural development.
The Greek Summer program, started in 1970, is an intercultural exchange program for U.S. and international teenagers. The program is oriented toward community service, as students live with host families in a small Greek village and undertake a project to meet the village's evolving needs. Participants also explore ancient sights of Greece and climb Mount Olympus.
- Time Magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2007
- Stewards of the Land, Marder, Brenda L. (2004). Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia ISBN 0-86554-844-7
- Farm School - TIME
- American Farm School
- [http://afs.edu.gr /American Farm School Official Site]
- Time Magazine article on John Henry House, 1935
- [http://www.www.afs.edu.gr/greeksummer Greek Summer Official Site]