Italian immersion school for children (Pre-K-12) in Boston/Cambridge.
  • Petitioning Dr. Giuseppe Pastorelli

This petition will be delivered to:

Consul General of Italy in Boston
Dr. Giuseppe Pastorelli

Italian immersion school for children (Pre-K-12) in Boston/Cambridge.

    1. Enrica Dente
    2. Petition by

      Enrica Dente

      Arlington, MA

I am the founder of the largest Italian children's playgroup in the Boston area, the Boston Bambino Club (BBC). Again and again, I see a pattern whereby children very quickly abandon the Italian language when they go to preschool or kindergarten and are surrounded by English speaking peers. It happens very quickly, often within two or three months, and the kids can be incredibly stubborn. For instance, at BBC meetings I almost always have to switch to English with children four and over because they refuse to speak Italian or they have lost their skills.

I constantly receive e-mails with stories from Italian parents who are desperately seeking help in teaching Italian to their children. There is also significant interest among Italian-Americans. I regularly turn them down for BBC membership because I can be assured that these eager families would not have the basic skills in Italian that would allow them to contribute to the group.

In a recent lecture that many of the BBC parents attended, Tufts Professor Calvin Gidney said that the children who are successful at becoming bilingual, and who can freely converse in a second language, are the ones who have had the opportunity to learn the second language in a variety of contexts (e.g., social, schoolwork, sports, current events). As a result, they tend to be either (1) children who went to a school with an immersion program in the second language, or (2) those who had the opportunity to live, for extended periods in the country of the second language. Saturday schools are not enough, and unfortunately, living in Italy is a possibility for very few of the Italian and Italian-American families that I know. Thus, we must establish an immersion school that can truly support the needs of the Italian/Italian-American families in the Boston area or we will continue to fail at passing our language and culture on to our children. Successful immersion programs already exist in New York (http://www.lascuoladitalia.org), Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and several cities in California. Additionally, in Chicago they have a summer school.

Consul General of Italy in Boston, Dr. Giuseppe Pastorelli, has asked me to bring evidence to him of the need, and support for, an Italian immersion program. I hope that you will join me in expressing your strong support for establishing Italian immersion schools, both summer and during the academic year, in the Boston area.

If you want to make this happen, please sign the enclosed letter publicly.

Thanks for your help with this!

Cordialissimi Saluti,

Enrica Dente
Boston Bambino Club

Recent signatures

    News

    1. DopoScuola EditGB and Summer School "L'Italiano in Azione"

      Enrica Dente
      Petition Organizer

      To help our families overcome the issues outlined in this petition, I founded Educazione Italiana Greater Boston (EditGB), a group of educators and experts in bilingualism, who are helping us put together a sound curriculum for raising bilingual children. You will find more information on this here: http://bostonbambinoclub.org/EditGBPrograms.html
      In 2013 we ran our first afterschool program, il DopoScuola EditGB, which will restart in the fall. This year we are also offering "L'Italiano in Azione”, our second Italian language immersion summer camp, with full-time and part-time options. Here is a video of what we did last year: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKKtDrlfA3ehlJ74fil-AN5Axo7leQfCO
      Places are limited, so if you are interested I suggest you reserve a spot for your children now by filling in the form below: http://bostonbambinoclub.org/ItalianImmersionSummerCamp.html
      You can also contact me at bostonbambinoclub@gmail.com.
      Grazie,
      Enrica

    2. DopoScuola in Italiano Nella Vostra Citta'! Iscrivetevi al gruppo su Yahoo

      Enrica Dente
      Petition Organizer

      Se desiderate che il DopoScuola in Italiano! arrivi anche nella vostra citta', vi consiglio di iscrivervi al piu' presto al gruppo Yahoo! di famiglie italiane residenti nella vostra citta' (lista qui sotto). Vi terremo aggiornati!
      Enrica Dente

      Group Italian Parents Cambridge: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentscambridge

      Group Italian Parents Boston: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentsboston

      Group Italian Parents Arlington (Winchester, Belmont or Watertown): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentsarlington

      Group Italian Parents Brookline: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentsbrookline

      Group Italian Parents Newton: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentsnewton

      Group Italian Parents Somerville: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentssomerville

      Group Italian Parents Medford (e dintorni): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentsmedford

      Group Italian Parents Lexington: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italianparentslexington

    3. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anton Pratt MARBLEHEAD, MA
      • about 1 month ago

      My father-in-law is from Italy and I love languages. I want my daughter to have the foundation to enjoy languages as much as I do!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kristen Salvi Pratt MARBLEHEAD, MA
      • 2 months ago

      My father was born in Italy and my daughter has limited educational opportunities to learn this language.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joan Dario PITTSFIELD, MA
      • 2 months ago

      My grandchildren attend an Italian/English immersion school in Canberra, Australia using CLIL method of teaching.

      Australia offers various language school immersion opportunities in their public schools. We should not be behind in giving our children the same opportunity.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Enzo Leone BOSTON, MA
      • 3 months ago

      Enzo Leone

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ann Antonellis BOSTON, MA
      • 3 months ago

      I am 2nd generation Italian American My parents were discouraged in speaking their language and as a result they didn't want us to learn the language. It was not until recently that i became DETERMINED to learn the language of my heritage, It would have been easier to learn if it was encouraged as a youngster. I am for any program to help keep the Italian language strong !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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