I recently visited the first New York City’s first Italian Dual Language program at PS 112 Lefferts Park in Bensonhurst. I met with Principal Louise Verdemare, Joseph Rizzi and Jack Spatola, revered community leaders, and now champions of Italian dual language education. As school principals, both Jack and Louise also understand how to inspire a community and maneuver the school system – a rare combination of leadership skills that can make a huge difference. I also visited Holly Dell’Avanzi pre-K class, and it was very touching to hear these children learn in English and Italian.
The goal of PS112’s program is to raise awareness of Italian culture and encourage diversity, while simultaneously providing instruction in both English and Italian. I am honored to have played a part in this program, along with parents like Martina Ferrari, Stefania Puxeddu, Piera Bonerba, and Marcello Lucchetta (pictured below) whose indomitable energy helped trigger this important change through community organizing, public events, and advocacy. We owe them New York’s first Italian dual-language program, and I am sure more will follow.
New York’s First Italian Dual Language Preschool Coming To Bensonhurst, by Rachel Silberstein, Bklyner, January 30, 2015.