AP Party at the Consulate. Italian is Getting Cooler
ARTICOLO IN ITALIANO >>>
NEW YORK - "Italian is getting cooler in the schools in which we offer our programs" - explains Bernardo Paradiso, the president of IACE, the Italian American Committee on Education, a non-profit that, with the support of the Italian Consulate, promotes the study of the Italian language and culture.
Confirming this statement is the fact that an important goal was reached one year ahead of
time: the number of American students engaged in taking the Italian AP (Advanced Placement) exam in the coming Spring has surpassed 2.500, the minimum that had to be reached within 2016 to keep the test alive. And 60% out of the 2.993 students who signed up to take the exam come from the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where IACE operates.
This achievement was celebrated last Thursday at the Italian Consulate, by the vice-consul, Roberto Frangione, during IACE's annual assembly. It included an award ceremony, rewarding the professors who brought the most students to take the exam.
The mission of “marketing” Italian that IACE has been carrying out with special initiatives, like the series of cooking lessons "Mangia sano e parla italiano" organized with Eataly and Barilla; the visits to the Ferrari showroom to discuss "made in Italy" technology; the adaptations of the best Italian operas catered to younger audiences; and other special events featuring public figures in support of the Italian language, like the master chef Lidia Bastianich.
"The entrepreneurial direction taken by IACE, under the directive of president Paradiso, is so effective that the ministry of foreign affairs is proposing it as a model of 'best practice' to the other similar entities all over the world", underlined professor Carlo Davoli, director of the consular didactic office.
"We are deeply satisfied - added Paradiso -, because the children who participate in our activities with enthusiasm will become the ambassadors for our culture within their communities, and they will be the ones to lead the exchanges, even the business exchanges, between Italy and the US. In fact, those who love a language, also love the products associated with that language".
Davoli, alongside IACE and the Osservatorio Locale della Lingua Italiana (local observatory of the italian language), whose president is Sal Salibello and whose members include Roberto Dolci, Silvana Mangione, Joe Sciame, and Anthony Tamburri, are the ones who came up with the award for the faculty members most involved in the AP courses. This award gets assigned to the faculty member with the greatest amount of students taking the exam in the form of $1,200. The same sum also goes to another teacher randomly selected amongst all those who brought at least five students to take the exam.
This year's winner was Giuseppina della Pietra from Scotch Plains Fanwood HS in New Jersey, who got 34 of her students to take the exam in Spring 2014. And Giovanna Mangiola from James Caldwell HS, also in New Jersey, was selected.