February 2, 2018 By Staff Report
A new Long Island City education center is holding its grand opening event tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 3) that will feature everything from face painting to costumed lions to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
The center is owned by Long Island City resident Stavros Sanidas, who has also opened his center on weekends, with plans to operate over summer.
This Saturday’s grand opening event will kick off outside the center at 10:00 a.m. with a costume lion performance. At 10:30 a.m. attendees will be invited inside and offered snacks, refreshments and free face painting. Parents will be able to learn about the educational programming offered by Sanidas Academy during the event.
Sanidas said that his goal is to “help kids pass their state tests with their eyes closed.” However, he added that the teaching methods will also be geared toward stimulating students’ interest in future vocations. He says this begins with the type of instructors he’s employing at Sanidas Academy.
“While our staff will all be certified to teach by the Board of Education, they will also be leading classes in the fields that they currently work in. For example, we’ll have a content editor at a tech company not just teaching kids English Language Arts, but also communicating to them how important mastery of the language is on the job,” Sanidas explained.
“While parents come to me and say ‘I want my kids to get 4’s in school and pass the tests’ – which we’ll make sure they do – we also want our students to know that education is not just about passing those tests,” he added.
Sanidas said he decided to open the academy in part to expose students to these teaching methods that children may not be receiving at public schools.
“My entire family worked in the public education system in Queens, and my mother is still an art teacher,” Sanidas shared.
“I also saw the system through my own eyes when I attended Bronx Science High School, one of the best public high schools in the nation,” he said.
He stated that there are holes in the public school system, with too much focus on teaching to the tests, and not enough individualized attention to provide a route and support system for children when they leave the classroom.
Sanidas intends to fill the holes he sees in the education system with his academy.
The center will offer programs for middle and high school students, including a rigorous 16-week, 4 hours a week SAT prep and SHSAT prep program. These programs will include a customized 400-page curriculum—designed by their instructor—tailored to their needs in math, reading and writing.
“We ask what their strengths and weaknesses are upon registration, and design the curriculum specifically for each student. I know we are the best SAT/SHSAT prep center around,” Sanidas said.
The center will also welcome children as young as 3-5 years of age every Saturday for Mommy & Me-style Mandarin Chinese sessions. There, children will learn about Chinese culture, sing songs in Mandarin, and parents will have an opportunity to network with other adults from the neighborhood. A background or fluency in Mandarin is not required to participate or attend these classes.
Every Sunday, Sanidas Academy will be open for one-on-one specialized sessions with students to help them prepare for any tests early in the school week.
“If a student has a test on Monday, we’ll ask them to bring in all their notes, worksheets and information on the test, and we’ll go through everything they need to know from beginning to end. Once they have all their foundations set, we’ll go through enough repetition and sample testing so they can be confident and subconsciously ready to pass the test,” Stavros explained.
He said the main reason he wants to offer students this individualized attention on weekends is because he doesn’t want them to stress, panic or become anxious about any school work that may lie ahead.
“We’re here to alleviate the painful part of education. We want students to feel like there is always going to be that teacher for them on the weekends, one they can fall back on and will see them through so they can feel safe and prepared for the week ahead.”
Grand opening details: Saturday, February 3rd, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Facebook event page here).