The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies sprang, nameless, from a small group of students whose parents had approached Laurie Brown in the summer of 2000 hoping that she might teach their children Latin. Nine strong, they commenced their studies in the autumn of 2000, grew to 12 in the following year, to 19 in the next, and to 37 in 2003.
Formation and Purpose
During the course of the 2003 – 2004 school year, Laurie and her husband, Peter Brown, both with advanced degrees in Greek and Latin philology, began to make more organized provisions for accommodating and structuring the burgeoning interest in Latin studies. In June of 2004 The Classical Foundation of Lancaster was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the study of the language, literature, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, foremost the Latin and Greek languages; to exploring the diverse benefits of Latin and Greek studies and making those benefits available to residents of the greater Lancaster region and beyond; and to demonstrating the significance and importance of such studies in addressing present-day educational needs.
In the autumn of 2004, The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies, the educational institute of The Classical Foundation of Lancaster, began offering a full program of studies in the Ancient Greek and Latin languages and their literatures to public school, private school, parochial school, homeschool, and university students, and to adults. In the meantime, enrollment during the regular school-year continued to increase, rising to 78 during 2004-2005, 95 in 2005-2006, 120 in 2006-2007, and 137 in the 2007-2008 school-year. It presently stands at more than 150.
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall
In addition to its regular autumn-to-spring programs, since the summer of 2004, The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies has also conducted a summer program, offering courses in both Greek and Latin to students of all ages and of diverse educational backgrounds. Enrollment in the summer program has grown from 17 in 2004 to 85 in 2011. The summer session of 2007 saw the addition of a special intensive Latin course for students from outside the greater Lancaster area. Students travelled to Lancaster from as far away as Chicago and resided with host-families during a week of intensive studies at The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies. This intensive course is also open to local students unable to schedule extended studies during the summer or other parts of the year.
In August of 2005, the Internal Revenue Service approved the application of The Classical Foundation of Lancaster (The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies) for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, classifying it as a school and declaring it eligible to receive tax-deductible gifts in support of its educational work.
Curriculum Development and Diploma Program
Building on its foundational Latin and Greek Curriculum, The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies has developed a comprehensive Liberal Arts Curriculum leading to a Diploma in Classical Studies certifying the student’s completion of the high school graduation requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Diploma Program was officially recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in 2009. It is intended to provide a means of nurturing, structuring, and recognizing the accomplishments of our students and establishes a high standard of educational quality.
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