Excerpts from a Book Review in the:
- News-journal of the
Florida Baptist State Convention, June 11,
- 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207
- St. Petersburg father publishes new
- edition of classic reading text
- Richard E. Klenk, Sr. felt his children's education wouldn't be
complete without teaching them the life principles found in
Scripture. The member of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, St.
Petersburg, began searching for a textbook based on biblical
principles that would supplement his children's education at
- He found what he was looking for in a classic American text-
the New England Primer, one of the first instructional books
used in American education. Used by schools during colonial
times and after the American Revolution, the Primer uses
rhyme and repetition to teach the alphabet, along with Bible verses
and doctrine. For example, the alphabet rhyme begins with the
oft-quoted, 'In Adam's Fall, We sinned all.'
- After using a 1777 version of the Primer for family
devotions, Klenk decided to reproduce and distribute it for use in
Christian and home schools.
- Klenk's updated edition includes New King James Version bible
references and an editor's note outlining the plan of
salvation. Klenk said adding a salvation message was a
natural ending to a text that teaches children Scripture.
- He gave free copies of the updated Primer to his
children's public school teachers during parent-teacher conferences
'to let them know what I was trying to do as a parent for my
- 'The Primer teaches principles children need to know for
life, namely character, morals and values,' Klenk said. 'I
think one of the most important questions it asks is, 'What
is the chief end of man?' The answer it gives is, 'To glorify
God and to enjoy Him forever.' That's what I want my children
to learn above anything else.'
- Glen Schultz, manager of the Christian school and home school
section of the Baptist Sunday School Board, said the strength of
the Primer is familiarizing young children with God's
Word. 'Its original intent was to teach reading so people
could read the Bible,' Schultz explained.
- In colonial times, religion wasn't just in education, it was
the purpose of education, said Evelyn Collier, assistant professor
of education at Florida Baptist Theological College in
Graceville. One of the first laws in Massachusetts was that
every town with at least 50 people had to have a school, with its
purpose being to 'dilute Satan.'
- Her students study the Primer in a Foundations of
Education course to familiarize them with the Christian influence
on early education.
- The Primer is available is available for $4.95 by
contacting Klenk at . ...
- BUY "The New England
Primer" - Online !
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