Canberra’s Greek School has grown from 26 students to over 100 during the past year, with the help of a new bilingual syllabus which is now available online as well.
President of the Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra (GOCCC), John Loukadellis, said the change has fostered a stronger enthusiasm for the Greek language in students and brought them closer to their faith.
“We went from the all-Greek ‘Margarita’ system to the Papalouizou ‘Bi-lingual’ syllabus, with a digital platform for the kids to continue and enjoy learning their Greek outside of Greek School hours,” Mr Loukadellis tells The Greek Herald.
“The fact that parents of non-Greek background could also help their children with furthering their Greek language skills was one of my proudest changes…”
In the last few months, the Greek School has moved locations from the GOCCC’s ‘run-down hall’ to five newly renovated classrooms at The Hellenic Club.
Whilst there on Tuesdays and Fridays, students are treated to ‘kids dinner packs’ by the Club’s restaurant, Fillos Taverna.
“Parents appreciated the move but still had the challenge of feeding their kids and bathing them when they got home. So with the support of our sponsors, Fillos Taverna at the Hellenic Club, we decided to do ‘kids dinner packs’ to feed our children during their 15 minute break,” Mr Loukadellis says.
“Now Fillos Taverna are making between 90-100 dinners a week to ensure we keep ticking this box and pleasing the parents and ensuring our kids keep coming back.”
With Semester 2 at the Greek School free for all students this year, Mr Loukadellis adds that their main aim continues to be about ensuring kids have fun even amid a global pandemic.
“We decided that free Greek education, continuing to feed our children and providing the highest level of Greek learning will ensure our kids have fun, enjoy coming to Greek school and keep the language spoken by their forefathers,” Mr Loukadellis says.
“One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the opportunity to learn our Greek language. This opens the door to understanding our faith and getting more involved in cultural and traditional events.”