Number of students studying Latin in New York State increases by 26% over last four years

Friday, March 20, 2009

Novum Eboracum sive Belgium Novum est civitas in Civitatibus Foederatis Americae (Anglice: New York). Caput est Albanum; urbs maxima, Novum Eboracum e qua civitas ducit nomen suum; insulae maximae Insula Longa, Staten Island (scilicet "Insula Civitatum"), Manhata.

Good, an article on the resurgence of Latin education with some new numbers:
At the sound of the word, the 21 students in Todd Hutson's eighth-grade class at Gowana Middle School leap to their feet. They turn and face the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. In Latin.

The language may be dead, but its pulse still beats. From the titles we give our doctors to a lawyer seeking a writ of habeas corpus, Latin is everywhere.

And surgo, which means to stand up or rise, is the root word for surge, which describes what has happened to interest in the tongue in recent years. Statewide, the number of students studying it leaped from 12,140 in 2003-04 to 15,299 last year.

The largest local group of Latin learners is at Shenendehowa, where district officials say 420 are studying the tongue this year.

420 in Shenendehowa, hmm? Let's see where that's located. First you find Saratoga County, which is here within New York State:

After that you go to Clifton Park inside that county:

And then inside that you can find the Shenendehowa Central School District.

Clifton Park has a total population of 36,447, so this year alone 1.15% of the entire population is learning Latin. Sounds like a good opportunity for someone fluent in Latin to start a business in the neighborhood to give students and others opportunities to use the language outside of the classroom (perhaps a local coffee shop where the entire menu is also written in Latin and various other parts of the environment are in the language too). One reason that IALs and Latin are so weak at the moment is that there is no real geographic location (besides the Vatican) where they are actually used in daily life, and it might be a good opportunity for both business and the language to take advantage of this relatively large concentration of people learning the language.

Unless someone already has, of course. Anyone from Clifton Park that can comment on this?

One other good number:

When Sugarman first taught the subject, there were 14 students. Today there are 260 at the high school and another 160 in middle school.


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