South Bronx students say learning Latin is expanding their knowledge
Students at South Bronx Classical II are stepping outside of their comfort zones by learning Latin and speaking in the ancient language.
The school is the only one in the city that currently teaches kids Latin in elementary grades.
“It made me feel very empowered,” says seventh-grader Chanel Rocha, who has been taking Latin at the school since the third grade.
“At first I've had kids joke that it kind of sounds like you're casting spells” says teacher Christopher Perednia. He says it can be a little intimidating for the students when they first learn the language, but he has seen their confidence grow.
Perednia likens the rhythm of the language to music.
“It's kind of like we do with rap today, so I find it kind of cool,” Perednia tells his students.
The grammar is also helping the kids enhance their English skills.
“If I see a word that has a Latin root in it, even if I don't know the word, I can guess the meaning of the word,” says seventh grader Morris Cheris.
After taking their national Latin exam earlier this week, some students say they want to keep studying the language in college.