The Sons of Italy urges members to support Italian exam

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WASHINGTON, D.C. Nov. 8, 2013 – The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) is urging
its members to support the Advanced Placement Examination in Italian, using a strategic
plan outlined by Claudio Bisogniero, Italy’s ambassador to the U.S., in his recent
letter to Italian American organizations.

“In 2013, about 2,000 students took the exam, but an additional 500 are needed to
meet the goal for 2016 set by the College Board,” he noted in his letter, which
included a “strategic plan of action” for his embassy, Italian American organizations
and institutes as well as concerned citizens. [See below.]  The College Board administers
these high school advanced placement programs in languages and other subjects

Cost is a factor affecting applications to take the exam, according to Joseph Sciame,
a former Sons of Italy national president and the current chair of the Conference
of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations.  “Students must pay about
$85.00 to take it and some just cannot afford that,” he says.  But Sciame points
out that as the biggest national Italian American organization, the Sons of Italy
is in a unique position to help.

“We have 214 U.S. high schools that offer Italian,” says Amb. Bisogniero.  “If just
two more students in each school take the exam, we can meet our target of 2,500
students.”

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE ITALIAN ADVANCED PLACEMENT EXAM

* Expand Italian Studies. Organizations and institutions should lobby and fund-raise
to introduce or expand Italian classes in their local high schools.
* Support Existing Programs. Clubs and lodges can adopt a school, a class or a teacher,
giving financial aid to buy teaching materials, DVDs and other tools to make learning
more exciting.
* Assist Needy Students. Clubs can help students pay for the AP Italian exam.
* Teacher Study Grants. Give scholarships solely to teachers of Italian at the AP
level so they can perfect their teaching methods and command of Italian.
* Reward AP Students. Give students who take the exam a financial reward just if
they take it, with larger amounts going to those who pass it with high marks.

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