Keep Italian in Montclair (NJ) Schools
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We must not lose Italian in Montclair High School! Sign this petition to tell Montclair Public Schools to keep Italian language and culture in our schools.
A recent report by a World Languages consultant to the Montclair Schools recommended "decreasing the number of sections in these [Latin, Italian, German] languages at the least or eliminating Latin and/or Italian entirely" over the next 3 years (2017-2020).
We cannot eliminate the language and culture that contributed to the rich heterogeneous community that is the Township of Montclair. Italian, second only to Irish, is Montclair's second largest ancestry group, and in the top 10 languages spoken here (neighborhoodscout.com).
The Italian immigrant community established themselves in the Pine Street Historic District, which "is an excellent example of a cohesive and insular late nineteenth-early twentieth century Italian-American immigrant community's social, cultural and religious life." (livingplaces.com)
Historically, Italian language and culture has permeated the township and since 1935 The Italian Forum promoted the study of Italian culture.
Today, Italian has a vibrant presence and is still alive and well in Montclair. One needs only to take a look at the businesses along Park and Church Streets, Watchung Plaza, Bloomfield Ave., Valley Road to name only a few, to understand the impact of Italian language and culture on business and social activities.
Furthermore, recently a group of residents including faculty members from Montclair State University have launched an initiative to create an after-school Italian program for elementary and middle school students in town with a further goal of offering Italian summer camp in the future.
Indeed, the high school Italian program only needs revitalization to blossom, especially considering that nearby Montclair State University offers a dynamic, growing and nationally-recognized program of Italian studies, as well as offering intensive on-campus Italian courses in the summer for Italian students from all over Northern New Jersey.
Finally, the twinning of the Montclair's newest sister city Aquilonia (in the region of Campania) strengthens the connection of Montclair to Italy. A sister city is defined as "a partnership between two communities in two countries, in which cultural, educational, business and technical exchanges take place."
There are so many reasons to keep Italian at Montclair High School...let's make it happen!
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