Holy Trinity Builds a Classical Library, as seen in The Island News on Nov. 3rd
A classical school should have a classical library. But what should it look like?
Shortly before it opened in August 2011, the Holy Trinity Classical Christian School accepted the challenge of building a classical library. With the support of a generous anonymous gift, school administrators and faculty began accumulating books, bookcases and busts and statues of prominent figures in world history who would inspire young readers.
There was Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Benjamin Franklin, Plato and Aristotle, for example, all donated by grateful parents and enthusiastic faculty members. They took up positions alongside maps of Greece, donated by a trustee, and bookshelves brimming with hundreds of classical favorites: “Little Women,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Stuart Little,” “Pilgrims Progress,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and books on Greek, Norse and Roman myths.
Today, the school library boasts an enviable collection of nearly 3,000 volumes. In addition to the classics, there are books on virtually every element of science: trees, insects, birds, animals, vertebrates, the planets, physical science, physics and chemistry.
Given the focus on a classical Christian education at Holy Trinity, it’s little wonder that two of the library’s most popular titles would be: “Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaveril” and “Cattus Petasatus,” both by Dr. Seuss. You may be forgiven if you don’t recognize “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Cat in the Hat” in Latin.
“To open a book to an eager child is the keenest joy my heart can know,” said Barbara Hathaway, Holy Trinity’s volunteer professional librarian.
Hathaway said the school employs a rigorous selection process for determining which books to add to the school library. To qualify, a book must reflect the finest classical fiction and nonfiction. It must aid in building reading skills while assisting students in building a Biblical worldview. It must inspire a passion and a respect for the love of learning and reading the great novels, poetry, stories and nonfiction. And, finally, it must support the curriculum.
“Books open students’ minds to the world of knowledge in an environment that cherishes and embraces the written word in book form,” said the Rev. Chad E. Lawrence, the school headmaster.