The Greek School of Plato in Brooklyn, NY is a place I greatly value. In 2013, my wife and I made a significant donation to the school in order to help them further their efforts and continue serving the community. As a Greek immigrant, I believe the Greek School of Plato is an incredible opportunity for New York children to learn more about the Hellenic way of life, whether it’s their personal heritage or not. The school offers fantastic programs and opportunities for students from all walks of life. I wholly support their mission and enjoy seeing their continued success at providing wonderful experiences to the local community.
Founding of the school
The school was first founded in 1977, when a large group of community members recognized the growing need for an independent Greek school in the Brooklyn area. These Hellenes (of which I was one) wanted a Greek school that could provide afternoon programs to local children. A place for them to learn about Greek culture while also doing something productive with their time in the afternoon.
The solution we arrived at was to pool enough money together to make it possible to rent out a space, for at least a year, in which the school could begin functioning. We were also able to purchase buses to transport students and also gather together a down payment for a more permanent building.
The school’s mission
The Greek School of Plato has a very specific mission that’s unique to this type of school. While an overarching goal is to provide local children and teenagers with the opportunity to participate in constructive after-school events, they also have a carefully crafted mission related to Hellenic culture. The Greek School of Plato aims “to promote Hellenic heritage through afternoon schooling and programming to new generations of Greek-American students in the greater Southwest Brooklyn area.” Basically, the school aims to teach the children and grandchildren of immigrants more about their family’s culture. However, you do not have to be Greek to attend the school!
What the future holds
For the last 40 years, the Greek School of Plato has been a constant presence in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Even through difficult economic times, the school remained open and served the community. Now, in addition to continually educating its students, the school has a new mission. As the school has grown, it’s become necessary to expand to a new community center, though still in Brooklyn.
Enrollment rates continue to grow and the Greek School of Plato has decided to build a community center to provide more space for classes and events. The new building is also going to be open to the local community, not just students of the school. A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held, which over 200 people attended. My son, Spiro Geroulanos, helped organize the ceremony as chairman of the construction committee and also currently serves on the Greek School of Plato board. My donation from a few years ago was made in order to help build this community center and the dream is finally becoming a reality.