Focusing on the importance of teaching the Greek Language

On Monday, March 4, 2024, Plato Academy Clearwater welcomed a group of distinguished guests who exchanged ideas regarding the teaching of the Greek Language, and the challenges this effort is facing nowadays.


The group of our esteemed guests included:

  • State Senator Mr. Leonidas Raptakis
  • Mrs. Eugenia Manolidou, Head of Studies at Elliniki Agogi School of Ancient Greek
  • Mr. Dimitris Logothetis, Chairman of the Leadership 100 Conference & Chairman of the Hellenic American Academy
  • Professor Aristotle Michopoulos, Professor of Classics and Greek Studies at Hellenic College
  • Dr. Donna Raptakis,
  • Mrs. Penelope Salmons – Angelidou,
  • Rev. Protopresbyter Gregory Stamkopoulos – Assistant Director of Greek Education and IT Database Administrator, Department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Rev. Fr. Theofanis Katsiklis, St. Nicholas Cathedral
  • Rev. Fr. Sampson Kasapakis, St. Stephanos Church

    They were welcomed by
  • Mr. Louis Elias Kokkinakos – Chairman of Plato Academy Schools Board 
  • Mrs. Amy Hayes, Chief of Schools,
  • Ms. Danielle Cicetti, Academic Director,
  • Ms. Dawn Parker, Director of Staff Training,
  • Mr. Konstantinos Aretis, Greek Department Director,
  • Mrs. Sara Sutera, Principal,
  • Mr. Michael Alexandrou, Director of Plato Education Foundation

Mrs. Manolidou, had the opportunity to teach two lessons on campus and share her knowledge of Greek language and history to students of 8th and 4th grades.

Conversations with students focused on the history of Greek words that we use in English, the flexibility in expressions that Greek vocabulary provides as well as reference to the influence of Greek civilization in today’s world (architecture, democracy, critical thought).

The students were thrilled about the lessons, realizing just how much English is infused with ancient Greek roots. A presentation that really left an impression was Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, showing how ideas about truth and knowledge were already taking shape back in Plato’s time, and how they still resonate in today’s societies.

Later, students who were gearing up for the annual opening ceremony of the Olympic Games shared part of the program they’d been working on. The annual reenactment of the Lighting of the Olympic Flame ceremony took place later that week. Students showcased traditional Greek dances and they were accompanied by the school’s fourth graders Greek choir.

The Greek language is a vessel carrying the Greek ideals through the centuries. It’s no wonder it’s still widely used today, especially in science. As Antisthenes said, “The investigation of the meaning of words is the beginning of education” highlighting the link between language and our understanding of the world. Greek language is rich in root words, giving rise to hundreds of additional words that can form interconnected families. Mastery of Greek allows for accurate expression.

Preserving and sharing this linguistic and cultural treasure is essential. It fosters a respect for Greek heritage while cultivating philhellenism beyond the borders of Greece.

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