NEW YORK – Ellinopoula.com is the vision of a young Greek-American born and raised in the United States. However, his passion and love for Hellenism led him to create an online platform that aims to teach the Greek children of the Diaspora the Greek language in a pleasant and practical way.
This is the son of Anna Sakkis, who took on the role of "project manager" of Ellinopoula.com. She is now the CEO and spoke to The National Herald about this idea that started in 2016.
"Thanos, my son, had started working on the idea long before 2016. My son learned the language at home while he also went to a Greek school. We worked especially so he would learn proper grammar, since once a week is not enough for any language, especially for Greek. Learning a language to a child is passed on with love to Hellenism," said Sakkis.
The courses are divided into thematic units and levels while a large part of the team, teachers and staff, work from Athens where there is an official branch of the online school.
Through mythology, history, and games, children enjoy learning the language while doing exercises. "There are more than 7,000 exercises and more than 800 videos. Our goal is through the lesson to pass on the culture and history to the children,” added Sakkis.
After registration, the child takes a test to determine their level of proficiency. There are also several schools registered on this platform. "From New York, we have the Saint Demetrios School and A. Fantis, as well as schools from Florida. We are in contact with the teachers who are on the front line. We listen to what they need and we provide it.”
Recently, Ellinopoula.com won the gold award as the best Greek online learning platform for children at the 5th Annual Education Leaders Awards held in Athens. "We worked hard for the award. There is a test and a 1,000-word report where you have to include specific facts. I thought I was applying to Harvard. It was so difficult," said Sakkis.
She is constantly envisioning with her team new ideas for improving the platform and strengthening it with new material. “We are also thinking of adding literature with excerpts from books. We want to make a whole series. We are working on all of it,” while she added that the goal, apart from the children of the diaspora learning the Greek language, is also reaching out to the philhellenes.
“Ninety percent of our students are not Greek. Our best student was not Greek, neither one of her parents are Greek. This gives us hope for the future of the Greek language, because we need the philhellenes,” Sakkis told TNH.
Of the award, Sakkis said, “Our vision began in 2016 when we set out revitalize the Greek language and Hellenism for Diaspora kids through an innovative online learning platform and app. It is a great honor for us to win the Gold Award for Best Online & Distance Learning Platform for Kids Learning Greek. It is an honor we do not take lightly; we are thankful for the Awards Committee placing Ellinopoula.com at the top spot and we are thankful to all parents, schools, teachers, students, and partners who trust and support Ellinopoula.”
Sakkis also added, “In this especially challenging time, we are all going through with the lockdown and institutions shutdown, we are humbled by the response of parents and schools choosing Ellinopoula to support the kids learning Greek all over the world. We are inspired by them and remain committed to supporting them with premium content and support.”
More information is available online: https://www.ellinopoula.com/.