Students at Saints Philip and James School geared up for the new school year by studying the classic language of Latin. Instead of enjoying the last hot and hazy days of summer right before the official start of school, students entered the classroom to participate in a three-hour Latin class.
"As Catholic educators, it is our mission to help each child reach his or her greatest potential both spiritually and academically. Offering Latin introduces our children to the connectivity of the romance languages," said Principal Judy Francisco. "Hopefully this will inspire them to continue the study of foreign languages. Also, as they study the history of the Church, it will be exciting for them to recognize the Latin parts of the Mass."
With only one week left of summer vacation, students opted to attend the class to jump-start the learning process. During the class, students were introduced to Latin spelling, vocabulary, and explored the similarities between English and Latin.
They also practiced numbers and played math games, all while speaking Latin.
"Latin helps students to increase their English vocabulary and develop grammar skills necessary for conversation and creative writing skills. The language mechanics learned through Latin enable students to pick up foreign languages easily, as Latin is the basis for 5 foreign languages - French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish," said their teacher, Donna Butler, the Latin teacher at Gill St. Bernard's School in Gladstone, and former Latin and Spanish teacher at All Saints Regional School (now Saints Philip and James School). Butler returned to her roots to teach the introductory three-hour class.
Besides the traditional Latin grammar and vocabulary lessons, students were also treated to stories of the Roman Empire and ancient Roman civilization.
"The culture of the Romans is exciting and interesting. Much of the architecture in the United States, and even our form of government, derives directly from the Roman Empire", said Butler. "Latin has become increasingly popular due to the increased emphasis on grammar study in the U.S. I applaud Saints Philip and James School for their genuine interest in increasing the academic abilities of their students."
Saints Philip and James School is a Catholic private co-educational school for students grades pre-K through 8. For more information about the school, call (908) 859-1244.