Hungarian Americans of Cleveland

Cleveland Press Articles

Hungarian school is heritage for children

By Eleanor Prech
The Cleveland Press, JUN 7, 1978

For the many children enrolled in language schools sponsored by nationality groups throughout the city, June means the end of a school year when they have learned "something extra."

Throughout the year they have been attending evening or Saturday classes to learn the language, the history, the literature, the folk songs and written culture of the country where their parents or grandparents were born.

Such a place has been the Cleveland Hungarian School at Franklin Elementary School, 13465 Franklin Blvd., Lakewood, on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Next Tuesday, 156 youngsters from 4 to 18 will be putting aside Hungarian books until after Labor Day, when they again will begin attending classes on an elementary and high school level.

This has been a special year the Cleveland Hungarian School, for it has just marked an anniversary.

"For 20 years the school has nurtured the Hungarian heritage and passed it on to its pupils and the community," says Gabor Papp, founder.

A graduate of the University of Debrecen in Hungary, Papp was a scoutmaster here in the early 1950s when he determined that the teaching of the Hungarian language could only be successful in a schoolroom environment.

He founded the West Side Hungarian School on April 28, 1958, with 36 pupils attending classes in a private home.

The school then continued at St. Michael Greek Catholic Hungarian Church. By 1960 there were so many pupils that it transferred to the West Side Hungarian Lutheran Church. Ten years later it transferred again to the West Side Hungarian Reformed Church.

From there it went to Clara Westropp Junior High and now it is at Franklin Elementary School. But the following goals have remained the same: