Notre Dame Aequora Program Brings Latin to Local Elementary School

Author: Brigid O'Keefe

Notre Dame students with their groups

Using the Padeia Institute's Aequora Program, Notre Dame Classics students partner with local South Bend elementary schools. The Program, headed by Professor Luca Grillo and Professor Tadeusz Mazurek, consists of twenty Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students who once per week teach Latin to fifth-grade students. Pairs of Notre Dame students work with groups of four or five students, insuring that each student receives as much help and attention as possible as he or she begins learning Latin. When asked why he chose to participate in the Aequora Program, Sophomore Will LaMarra said, "The Aequora Program is a great opportunity to share my love of Latin and the Roman world in a way that's fun and piques the kids' curiosity and desire to learn. It's also a great way to get to know other members of the Department and work together on a project that is meaningful to all of us." The elementary school students have responded enthusiastically to the classes, which thus far have included activities such as learning phrases to have short conversations in Latin and picking out new Roman names to use in class. 
The Notre Dame Aequora Program has been awarded a grant by the Center for Social Concerns that will help support our students and their effort to bring the study of Latin to local grammar schools. Specifically, this grant will be used to cover the cost of materials and transportation.

The Aequora Program was created by the Paideia Institute, which seeks to expand accessibility to the study of Latin and to make Classics a more diverse, inclusive, and socially conscious field. The Aequora Program is designed to affect this change by teaching literacy through Latin, particularly in schools of less privileged communities. The Classics Department of Notre Dame is excited to be a part of this program and to be able to support one of our local schools in offering Latin to its students for the first time. 

For more information about the Notre Dame Aequora Program, please contact Professor Luca Grillo ( or Professor Tadeusz Mazurek (

For more information about the Paideia Institute, please visit their website by clicking on this link or visiting the url below.