Wilmington, DE – Independence day celebrations continued throughout the week around the Delaware Valley. At the Odyssey school those traditions and customs were reverberated as well as expanded on. With a broad brush stroke on all things Greek, students got to explore Independence day as well as Hellenism through the arts.
A series of projects were featured on Tuesday evening during an open house. Students got to taste, build and immerse themselves in all things Greek. One student project involved the making of classical shields from Sparta while another touched on the folk attire of regional dresses from Greece.
Parents traveled up and down the Greek decorated hallways of each floor, where teachers dressed in regional garments and share their history with parents and students a like. The Cycladic Islands were featured on one of the other floors. Students constructed paper houses and drew giant windmills on the walls of the school. Tina Iliadis, one of the Greek school teachers said, that “we picked these islands, because they are islands the public is familiar with, which makes for a good starting point for better understanding Greece”.
The charter school is recognized as the areas only Greek full time school. It teaches Greek language and adds Greek language into a secondary block of learning, such as math. That double dosage maybe the key ingredient to it’s success and reputation. It’s something unique in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. In fact the Odyssey school is the only full time school that incorporates so much Greek into it’s daily studies. Now in it’s ninth year, it continues to grow annually, adding a grade per year. In a few years it will be a full k-12 program, the only one of its kind in Delaware.
Founded by George Rigos, George Chambers and a group of local Ahepans the reputation of the Odyssey school continues to grow, and getting in to the Odyssey school get’s more and more difficult. Each year a lottery is conducted and a group of approximately 100 are placed on a waiting list for entrance.
Accolades at the Odyssey school continue to pile up and the public has taken notice. Parent magazine ranked the Odyssey school as one of the ten most innovative schools in the nation. We asked Headmaster Nick Manolakis what makes Odyssey school a top choice for learning. “We are a high achieving school, that’s driven in part by the high demand and ability of our instructional staff. The core content of the mission of our founding fathers, (Ahepa group members, and other members of our community) and general support of our parents. So combining those three ingredients together, we have the mix for a high achieving population”.
What ever the reason, parents and students at the school, appear to be thrilled to be part of this distinct curriculum. As they journeyed through the halls of the Odyssey school photo ops and questions were abound. There was a sense of enthusiasm and pride when Greek teachers discussed student art work and Hellenism.