Annual Report
CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin
Cleveland, Ohio
April, 1999

The Committee for the Promotion of Latin has generally had a good year, due in large part to the enthusiastic support and efforts of state and regional vice-presidents and to the many other dedicated members who work tirelessly to promote Latin throughout CAMWS territory.

The first four topics represent the CPL goals for 1998-1999:

1.) increased and more geographically diverse CPL grant requests

The members of the CPL committee decided to carry this goal over from 1997-1998 especially because of the generous decision of the CAMWS Executive Committee to raise the CPL budget

to $4000.00 for the fiscal year 1998-1999. Last year there were seventeen awards made to fourteen states and eight regions. This year so far sixteen awards have been made to ten states in seven regions. Ten of these grants are for projects in four contiguous states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan), whose vice-presidents have been remarkably busy. There were no requests for funds from the Gulf, Plains, or Rocky Mountain regions. Funded projects include speakers to promote Latin among junior high students, support for state JCL activities, classical games, posters, and even a permanent Roman mosaic for a high school in Ohio!

Last year’s CPL Committee expressed some desire to become more proactive in regard to these promotional grants. While the CPL chair and various vice-presidents have made some effort in this regard, much more still needs to be done in collaboration with state Classical organizations, parent and student support groups, and even the general public to encourage promotional activities where they would be particularly productive.2. develop the CPL website

CPL now has its own website (http:\\\academic\classics\cpl), based at Monmouth College, and linked to the CAMWS homepage. The website includes application forms for CPL funds, a regularly-updated list of approved CPL projects, sample promotional materials, announcements, and other information. The CPL chair and webmaster is always eager for comments and suggestions regarding this website.

3. celebrate and publicize successful Latin programs and activities

At its 1998 meeting in Charlottesville, the CPL committee decided to direct more efforts to celebrating successes rather than decrying difficulties. One way this goal has been addressed this year is by the printing and distribution of up-beat pieces on the study of Latin. CPL has reprinted a splendid essay entitled "Reflections of a Casual Classicist" (also known as "Eight Reasons to Study Latin") by Bruce Johnson, former Minnesota Commissioner of the Department of Children, Families and Learning. This essay was originally presented at a meeting of the Classical Association of Minnesota in November, 1996. CPL has also reprinted "Latina Resurgens: Classical Language Enrollments in American Schools and Colleges" by Richard A. LaFleur (The Classical Outlook 74 (1997) 135-130). During the current year CPL has distributed free of charge to CAMWS members several hundred copies of these articles, as well as its older flyer "Latin–Try it. You’ll Like It!" It is hoped that these items will become the core of a library of materials which CPL could make available to its membership.

3. encourage better ties between CPL and high school programs, in particular by establishing an award to recognize the best high school activity promoting Latin in CAMWS territory

CPL has addressed this goal with a new award specifically intended to recognize promotional efforts by high school students. A trophy and a certificate will be awarded for the first time at the 1999 meeting in Cleveland to a high school group in CAMWS territory for developing the most outstanding and effective activity for promoting Latin during the summer of 1998 or academic year 1998-1999. While the number of entries was not large this first year, the quality of the projects they described was outstanding and the committee hopes that the numbers will increase in the future as the prize becomes better known throughout CAMWS territory.

4. developing contacts with state foreign language coordinators and keeping them informed about Latin activities in their states

The first step in achieving this important goal was to gather information about such coordinators in every state in CAMWS territory. State vice-presidents were asked to obtain this information and send it on to the CPL chair. Since very few did so, it is clear that the CPL committee will have to make a more concerted effort next year to educate vice-presidents about the importance of establishing such contacts. Tennessee appears to have developed the best collaborative ties at least with the state foreign language association, where six Latinists sit on the Board of Directors–a model for other states.

5. CPL panels at CAMWS meetings

CPL sponsored two panels this year, one on teaching Latin into the 21st century at the CAMWS Southern Section meeting in Waco, Texas, in October 1998, and a second on teaching Latin to diverse student populations at the annual meeting in Cleveland. Participants in the latter program include both high school and college teachers who will deal with a variety of topics including learning disabilities, high-risk students, and teaching Latin to community college students.

CPL is particularly pleased to report that a written version of the 1998 CPL panel on teaching standards, presented at the annual meeting in Charlottesville, will appear in the Forum section of an upcoming issue of Classical Journal. In this article, three high school Latin teachers discuss various issues dealing with teaching standards, including development, philosophy, and implementation in the Latin classroom. All three are remarkable teachers and CPL is proud to celebrate their efforts and to enable them to share their valuable experiences with a broader audience.

6. Troubleshooting

Members of the 1997 Committee for the Promotion of Latin had hoped that troubleshooting could be relegated to a secondary CPL goal. Unfortunately, events in 1998-99 have frustrated this hope, especially as college programs at Carleton University in Ontario, the University of Saskatchewan, and Indiana State University suffered significant set-backs. The reports of several CAMWS regions note increasing difficulty in recruiting qualified teachers to fill Latin positions and concerns about programs at risk. The occasional success story like the reestablishment of Latin at Fayettville High School in Arkansas does not entirely offset the many other programs which disappear annually in CAMWS territory. Clearly, CAMWS in general, and CPL in particular, need to devote much more energy to anticipating such trouble, and especially in developing materials which will enable Latin teachers to meet crises before they become hopeless. The network of CAMWS vice-presidents needs to work more closely in serving as a placement service in the territory. CAMWS must also encourage a dialogue about ways to increase the number of certified high school teachers in the territory. One way that CPL has already begun this effort is by soliciting eloquent testimonials and letters of support for the teaching of Latin from individuals both inside and outside the profession. The committee also plans to develop a set of guidelines to aid teachers in anticipating and avoiding crises wherever possible.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Sienkewicz, Chair

This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

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