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Socrates Scholars Experience the Trip of a Lifetime

We are deeply thankful to Mr. & Mrs. Jim Tasios for their generous financial support that made possible again our 7th graders’ incredible two-week educational trip to Greece this summer, an amazing bilingual/multicultural experience with lasting memories, lifelong friendships, and an overall experience above and beyond our school's expectations.

Thanks to the generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Tasios, the rising 8th-grade scholars from Socrates Academy visited the beautiful country of Greece for two weeks from June 30th - July 13th, 2019. They flew to New York City and then to Athens, Greece where they were met at the airport by Mr. Stamoulis, who is Director of Greek Studies at Socrates Academy, and Dr. Tomazos, who is Director of Paideia at the University of Connecticut. The scholars were lucky enough to have the most amazing bus driver in Greece along with the most knowledgeable tour guide in Dr. Tomazos. His knowledge about Greece and his passion for his home country were infectious. The scholars learned so much about Greece's rich history at each site as well as on the bus going to their next destination.

On day 1 in Athens, the scholars visited the Acropolis, Dionysos Ancient Theater, an Archeological Museum, Parliament, and the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. They learned about Classical Greek design and architecture, the establishment of Democracy, everyday life in the Agora of Athens, achievements, contributions, and citizenship in ancient Athens.

On their way to their next destination they saw the beautiful landscapes of Greece, and even visited the Corinth Canal, which was unlike any place they had seen before.

Their next stop was in Argos, where they saw the townspeople dancing in the streets after dinner. The scholars visited Nemea where they visited a museum and ran on the track like they were in the Olympics in the Ancient Stadium. In Mycenae, they visited the Mycenaean Tombs of Atreus and visited Nafplion which was the first capital of modern Greece. Scholars got some free time at Tolo Beach where they swam in the Mediterranean Sea.

In Sparta, scholars visited the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil, the Archaeological Site of Mystras, where they visited a fortress and learned about Byzantium, and Ancient Olympia which is where the very first Olympics were held. The scholars got the honor to walk and run where the Greeks did during the first Olympic Games. They also visited a shop that sold olive oil that they got to taste and bring home to the states.

Next up was the city of Nafpaktos, where the scholars stayed in a hotel where they had a view of the Mediterranean Sea from their hotel rooms. The scholars also got some beach time there where the shore had the most beautiful colored pebbles instead of sand. The group had dinner right on the shore that night and the scenery was breathtaking.

In Messolongi, scholars visited the Park of Heroes to learn about the Greek War of Independence. The group visited the Statue of Freedom which is the biggest statue in Greece standing at 5 meters high. In Dodona, they visited a theater and archeological site with the oldest oracle in Greece and visited Ioannina to visit a port by the lake. Scholars had dinner and some free time in Kalambaka.

On Day 8 and 9 scholars got the privilege to tour the Byzantine Monasteries. Some scholars and chaperones lit a candle in honor or in memory of loved ones which was very emotional for some. The scenery was breathtaking and the scholars were fascinated about how the monastery was built on top of the mountain one stone at a time by a pulley system.

In Thessaloniki, they took a walking tour, visited the Church of Agia Sophia, Ancient Agora, the Church of Agios Demetrios, and a Byzantine Museum. Thessaloniki was a big city with a lot of hustle and bustle which the scholars enjoyed.

Day 11 the scholars went to Katerini and Dion, where they visited an archeological site to learn about Alexander the Great. Scholars also visited Mount Olympus, which is the highest mountain in Greece. Scholars got a free time where they hung out and swam at Katerini Beach.

After Katerini Beach, scholars visited Thermopylae where they visited a Monument and the Hot Springs, and a Museum to learn about Greek and Persian Wars. In Delphi, they learned about the Oracle at the Navel of the Earth.

On day 13, which was, unfortunately, the last full day in Greece, scholars were back in Athens and visited a War Museum and historical sites.

It was an amazing trip where students learned a lot about Greece. The trip was very well organized and everything went very smoothly. The sites, the food, and the most amazing bus driver and tour guide made this a trip of a lifetime that will never be forgotten by the scholars, chaperones, or parents that attended the trip.

Socrates Academy is deeply thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tasios for their generous financial support that, once again, made possible out 7th graders' incredible two-week educational trip to Greece in the summer of 2019, an amazing bilingual/multicultural experience with lasting memories, lifelong friendships, and an overall experience above and beyond our scholars' expectations. We greatly appreciate their commitment and dedication towards the fulfillment of the Socrates Mission.

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