Live the Light of Greece Summer Program

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One of the goals of Hellenic Lifestyle is to expose new initiatives that encourage others to share in a Greek way of life or in our heritage.  When we heard about what the American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens) is organizing for this summer we jumped at the opportunity to find out more and in hopes of sharing with our readers this wonderful opportunity, should you find yourself in Athens this summer!

We sat down with Ms. Annie Constantinides, ACS Athens Director of Athletics, Summer Camp and Recreational Programs, to ask her  about the program.

HOW DID THIS IDEA COME ABOUT?

We wanted to develop an innovative summer program that would cater to young participants with an emphasis on the Greek heritage.  We live in a historic city that has so much to offer in many ways; and with this in mind we wanted to offer an authentic program that will provide an unforgettable experience to those involved.  We also noticed that visitors usually come to Athens for a few days to a week before continuing on with their Greek vacation to an island or  somewhere else in Greece

Of course we also felt that our ACS alumni could benefit from this as well.  We often get visits toward the end of our school year and at the beginning of the summer from past alumni and their families. One of the fun parts of their Athens trip besides showing their children where they went to school is to also take them site seeing.   

After a few meetings we developed a program that not only gives our alumni a chance to be a part of the school and this Greek heritage exposure but to any child both local and international that would like to take part in this fun and educational program.  We want to share a more culturally sound experience with the children and with their parents should they choose to partake as well.   This is a wonderful experience for the children to take a Greek class on campus, go to a pottery studio and visit the Parthenon accompanied by professional teachers and guides.

WHAT CAN ACS OFFER BY SUPPORTING SUCH A PROGRAM?

The school provides an added value in terms of a quality program.  We have a long history in the educational field and are celebrating our 70th year! This is in a way a celebration of our continued presence in providing top quality education and programs to not only our students but to our community, be it local or international.  We are proud of what we have offered in the past and in what we will offer in the future.

WHAT IS THE MAIN EMPHASIS OF THIS PROGRAM?  

We are organizing a summer activities program that offers education in Greek heritage and the chance to share our cultural with those here and abroad.  Our goal is to educate through hands on activities and fun experiences so that when they leave they will have learned something about Greece and its history in an entertaining way.  It will also give parents an opportunity to have a personalized tour of some of Greece’s most famous sites without having to worry about their children becoming restless.

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO ATTRACT TO THIS PROGRAM?

We would love to have any child or family, from those abroad to those that are here, that want to take part in activities that will give the child or adult the opportunity for a more specialized Hellenic experience.  We are offering an educational experience unlike any other traditional summer activity program.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE?

The children will arrive at 9 am each morning and have one hour of Greek language class.  Depending on the day they might go to a pottery workshop, have lunch and then return for a theatrical play session or it could be the day that includes going to the Parthenon and Acropolis museum for a treasure hunt and lunch in the Plaka area.   

The parents have a separate program should they decide to participate with choices in specialized site tours.  

HOW LONG WILL THE PROGRAM LAST?

Live the Light of Greece Summer Program will run from June 22 – 26, 2015. 

DO YOU THINK THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO SHARE THE GREEK CULTURE?  WHY?

I believe that everyone refers to ancient Greece in some aspect of their lives at one time or another.   I think that by bringing the past into the present in this way we can make it a wonderful experience and use that information to connect to other areas in our life, for example at school or in our work.  On the other hand if you are in Greece I believe in the importance in learning what these ancient ruins meant for our civilization and how they connect to us today.   

YOU MENTIONED BEFORE WHAT THE CHILDREN WOULD BE DOING BUT WHY DID YOU CHOSE THESE, WHAT IS IMPORTANT ABOUT THEM?

We chose activities that would connect together and give the children an opportunity to take something home with them to use, not just material objects but educational as well.  Learning a few words of Greek, taking part in a simple Greek play and making a Greek artifact will teach them about Greek heritage and offer them something to share when they begin to study, or make a project on Greece in school.  These are all three very important parts of  Greek culture. 

Classroom

Potter workshop Greek

Children ACS theater

THE CHILDREN HAVE A UNIQUE PROGRAM PLANNED FOR THEM BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ADULTS, WHAT CAN THEY GAIN?

We thought that if the kids are here for a week why not provide a quality experience for the adults as well.  Out of the 5 days we have organized options of three different possible day excursions.  We assume an adult coming to Athens would like to see the Parthenon and Acropolis museum for example. Therefore we have arranged for a private transfer and an ACS alumnus, who will be finishing her PHD shortly in archeology, to offer guided tours.  Instead of them now going on their own they will get that extra personal touch of a guided tour while knowing that their children will also be learning in a creative environment in their own program.  The other two options are for a day visit to Delphi and/or a day visit to Epidaurus, again with private transfer and a guide.

Epidaurus site

 

Delphi site

 

AT THE END OF THIS PROGRAM WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR THE CHILDREN TO GET OUT OF THIS?

Above all we want this to be a fun experience, quality program and to be able to share some of our Greek heritage wherever they live!  At some point in school they will be discussing Greek history and wouldn’t it be great to share their artifact, some photos and their experience with the class or some friends?  I want them to make their own memories out of this program!

Thank you Annie for all of the information!  How can people find out more?   

You can visit this link or click on the brochure below (http://www.acs.gr/daily-blog/2015/1/21/live-the-light-of-greece-program-june-22-26-2015.html) to read more!  You can also email me at constantinidesa@acs.gr

ACS summer brochure cover

http://www.acs.gr/daily-blog/2015/1/21/live-the-light-of-greece-program-june-22-26-2015.html

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