Hellenic Classical Charter School Sends Students to Greece for Educational Research Trip
On February 16, 2017, HCCS sent a team of five 6th grade students, three teachers and five parents to Greece for its annual National History Day Fair (NHDF) research trip. The purpose of this trip was to provide students with real world experience, an opportunity to use primary and secondary resources for their research and obtain direct evidence associated with their project. This year’s NHDF theme is “Taking a Stand in History”. HCCS’s students decided to create a performance on the stand Greece took against the Axis Forces during WWII. They have been diligently working on their research and have created a performance entitled, “The Creeping Spider” that will compete at the NYC History Day Fair this Sunday, March 5, 2017, at The Museum of The City of New York.
In April of 1941, the German Nazi War flag was raised on the Acropolis as a symbol of the Nazi occupation of Greece. Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas, two college students in Athens, climbed the hill of the Acropolis on May 30, 1941 and tore down the Nazi flag as a sign of rebellion against the occupation. This was one of the first acts of resistance during WWII and had a ripple effect in Europe inspiring others to join them against the Axis Forces.
During their five day stay in Athens, HCCS students had an exclusive interview with the now 94 year old Manolis Glezos. His detailed first-hand account of the events of 1941 not only inspired the students but provided them with rare, educational insight that greatly elevated their project. To further enhance their research, the HCCS NHDF team visited The New Acropolis Museum and interviewed the president Dr. Dimitrios Pandermalis, had a guided tour of The Athenian Agora with Dr. John Camp, and attended a research workshop with archivist Dr. Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan of The Gennadius Library of The American School of Classical Studies. Along the way, the students also visited the famous Presidential Guard of Greece and coincidentally met Jim Gianopulos, Fox News Chairman & CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Special thanks to Joy Petrakos, HCCS Director of Operations, for organizing the trip, Petros Fourniotis, HCCS Dean of Theatre and Dance, and faculty members, Maria Bonakis and Kevin Linehan for chaperoning the students and guiding them through their research.
School Board Chairperson Charles Capetanakis, Esq., stated “This is another historic day in HCCS’s history as our students met a legend who, as a young boy, showed Greece and the world that it could stand up to the Nazis and tyranny.”
“Our young researchers were able to delve deeply into their topic. Seeing and experiencing historical sites up close makes history come alive”, said the principal of HCCS, Christina Tettonis.
Joy Petrakos said “This trip was made possible due to a $75,000 donation from The Agnes Varis Charitable Trust as well as numerous school based fundraising efforts. We thank everyone for their hard work fundraising for this worthwhile excursion and for future trips. Our students will remember this experience for the rest of their lives. For a detailed list of donors, please contact the school”.
HCCS opened its doors on September 6, 2005 and was established to provide a classics based education in the study of humanities and literature for students in Kindergarten through 8th grades. HCCS recently celebrated its second charter renewal and continues to exceed the district, city and state averages on the New York State Examinations.