Latin language revived through course on Roman satire

This spring, a group of Tulane students worked to revive a Latin club at a local elementary school as part of their Roman Satire service-learning course.

The club, originally established at the Lafayette Academy Charter School by a previous service-learning Latin class, had a goal “to introduce Latin and Roman history to young students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to be exposed to it,” said Tulane classical studies professor Mallory Monaco Caterine, who instructs the course.

The club is based on the Paideia Institute’s Aequora curriculum, which teaches fourth- through sixth-graders Latin language, Roman mythology and Roman culture. Monaco Caterine was inspired to start an Aequora site as part of a service-learning program by Samantha (Sami) Morris, a 2018 Tulane School of Liberal Arts graduate and Latin major.

“Six Tulane students participated in the project this spring and they were responsible for determining what material they would present each session, which activities they would lead and the preparation of any necessary classroom materials,” said Monaco Caterine.

Tulane students from these service-learning courses have gone on to assist at another Aequora Latin site at the Nyansa Classical Community, an after-school and summer program for children ages 4 to 12. Here, children participate in age-appropriate programming about Roman culture. Monaco Caterine encourages any students or faculty interested in working with an Aequora site, but unable to take an associated service-learning course, to volunteer here.

The program attempts to get the school-age students “excited about learning for its own sake,” said Monaco Caterine. “On top of that, it builds Tulane students’ confidence in their own Latin training, and it gives them the opportunity to run a classroom.”