Minimus, the Primary Latin Project, is thriving in at least two public schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On June 2, 2005, at the Paul L. Dunbar Academics Plus Elementary School, a class of talented nine-year-old Minimus students, performed a one act play in Latin, "Testudo et Lepus" (The Tortoise and the Hare"), written and directed by volunteer Minimus teacher, Mrs.Gloria Endres, with the cooperation of their classroom teacher, Ms. Rhonda El.
The young actors were accompanied by original theme music performed by student violinists and percussionists, under the direction of the composer and strings instructor, Mr.Robert Rowe. Students also choreographed their own dance and assisted in stage management. An appreciative audience of adults and children enjoyed the popular story and applauded their efforts.
Most of these children will continue their Minimus studies as they move to the next grade at Dunbar. Mrs. Endres works with the children one day a week, (except for rehearsal time), and their classroom teachers reinforce their Latin lessons throughout the week. The class play is their culminating activity.
In addition, on June 8, a small group of older Minimus students from Dunbar performed another skit by Mrs. Endres, based on the Aesop fable, The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf, ("Puer Pastoris et Lupus"), at a special report card dinner for honor students and their parents. Other students then reprised the dance and musical selections from "Testudo et Lepus."
The Dunbar School Parents' Association has been funding Minimus for the past two years and is very enthusiastic about this project. Without their support, and the cooperation of the classroom teachers, Mrs. Endres could not organize the program.Dunbar's Minimus students hope to meet Barbara Bell, when she comes to Philadelphia next summer for the American Classical League Convention.