BRONX, NY – The Pelham Bay-based pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade school Greek American Institute recently celebrated its twelfth annual Reader’s Day dedicated to the principles of Hellenism, the Pelham Bay Times reported. The attendees included NYC Councilman Costa Constantinides, authors Gus Constantine, Effie Kammenou, and Nick Katsoris, and writer/producer Yvette Manessis Corporon.
As the Times reported: Katsoris explained the central theme of his book Loukoumi: “to believe in yourself and what you want to do” and he had “students actively reciting the recurring mantra in the story, believe in yourself and dreams come true during his reading.
“Constantine, a Lehman High School Class of 1974 alum and former truck driver, read from his historical non-fiction novel Escaping Cyprus, where 12-year old Haji witnesses the brutal atrocities committed by Turkish soldiers invading his Cypriot village in 1974 and struggles to survive as he and his 27-year old school teacher Rebecca flee their village.
“‘I spoke with the 8th graders today and what I emphasized more than anything else was that the biggest negativity I experienced was when I told people I was writing a book. I told them ‘don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything’ whether it’s academically or professionally,” the Times reported.
Kammenou, who wrote Evanthia’s Gift, discussed with sixth graders the premise of living in a world devoid of emotion,” the Times reported.
“I wanted to get their take on how they would feel if they didn’t have to deal with any pain or suffering especially with what’s going on in the world today and if that was a good trade off; not having any joy and not having any pain or suffering either. I did a little reading, but did more discussion with them which I felt was much better for them because it was more of a give and take.”