A prayerful heritage
In 1642, the first compulsory school law was passed in Massachusetts and the stated purpose of the schools was to assure that children could read their Bibles. In 1690, Connecticut’s similar law required that children be taught to read so they could read the Holy Scriptures. That same year, the first New England Primer was published. It taught the alphabet using Bible verses for each letter. The Primer contained children's prayers, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. It was in wide use in American schools for the next 200 years.