Italy4Kids: American Kids at the Discovery of Italy
Italy is now accessible to American children and students willing to learn Italian language and culture, thanks to Italy4Kids, an interactive online portal designed by the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. that invites kids, 5-18 years of age, to gather information on our country through videos quizzes, games, photographs and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube.
Launched in concomitance with the beginning of the 11th edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the world, Italy4Kids, available at the address www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it, is a learning tool that lets the younger generations explore all Italian regions, follow an “Italian path” that goes through museums and public places in Washington and discover the connection between Italy and the United States. A small child, 6-7 years of age, will learn to count to ten or how to name colors in Italian. They can also listen to the national anthem and look at the Italian flag, while an older kid will be able to gather information on all the AP programs available for studying Italian.
“New technology and social media allow us to open the doors of the Embassy and of our country to thousands of students who wish to get to know Italy better and who are interested in learning to speak Italian,” the Italian Ambassador in Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, has said while adding that this initiative is aimed at future tourists and admirers of the Made in Italy label.
The portal, written in English, is divided into three sections (pre-k to 8 years, 9-13 years and 14+ years) and uses material provided by the Embassy but also by official Italian sites such as the site of ENIT and of the Presidency of the Republic.
In the last few years there has been a growing interest in the younger generations for everything Italian, both on specific aspects of our history and culture (just think of the increasing number of Italian language classes throughout the country) and on general topics (food, fashion and tourism) that are identified with the Italian life-style.
The 6500 visitors, mostly families and children, who participated at the latest edition of the EU Open House at the Embassy are a sign of such a trend, as are the numerous requests for information on Italy to the entire consular network from American students.