Philadelphia Latvian Lutheran Church

The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John

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Latvian School

The mission of our school is to provide a community for children and parents to come together and share their Latvian heritage. Some of our students speak fluent Latvian while others are learning the language. Our school differentiates curriculum to meet the needs of all language learners. History and Latvian culture classes take a project based approach. We also have folk dancing and folk song singing classes.

The school, usually held on Saturday, joins the congregation for services and special events several times a year. Christmas and Easter celebrations are two highlights. In December, a Christmas pageant is followed by the traditional “Eglite” with a visit from Santa Claus (Ziemassvetku vecitis). Children share poems, dances and musical instrument performances for Santa. In the spring, it is time for traditional egg coloring using onion skins. As part of our Easter celebration, we have been lucky to host Al and Baiba as they lead the egg races on the now famous egg raceway.

There are also other popular events. The students present a program for the Draudzigais aicinajums celebrated in February and dress up in costumes for Martini in November. They also perform folk dances at the Latvian Society of Free Letts Independence Day celebration in November and at our school year culmination program in May.

To graduate, the eighth graders prepare a project of their choice in lieu of an exam. Many eighth grade graduates participate in a two week guided tour of Latvia sponsored by the American Latvian Association. They join students from other east coast Latvian schools. This trip has been a profound and emotional experience for many of these students. 

New students and visitors are always welcome!  Our day begins 10:00 AM and lasts until1:00 PM. Please check our calendar for dates. See: Calendar & Events   School is held on Saturdays and some Sundays, to accommodate busy family schedules and to participate in the congregation’s special events and services. If you cannot make a regular commitment to Latvian School, but still want to connect with the Latvian community, we welcome you to our special events. if you have any questions or if you would like to join us! Email: