2013-2014 Pirandello Italian Language Center School Year Begins Soon!!
The PILC (Pirandello Italian Language Classes) school year 2014-2015 will kick off Saturday September 13th, with class registrations at Saint John’s School in the North End: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.
This will be the 42nd year Italian Classes are offered at Saint John’s School.
Children between the age of 4 and 16 can register in one of 6 language levels; while adults ( 20 and up) can register in one of two language levels.
Classes are held on Saturday for a total of 30 weeks beginning September 20.
There will be two sessions of 15 classes. The first session ends January 11th, 2014 and the Second Session ends May 10. We follow the Boston Public Schools calendar.
Registration fee for children: $ 175.00
Registration fee for adults: $ 300.00
About the Italian Language Program
Every Saturday morning, over one hundred fifty students from around the Greater Boston area assemble into classrooms at the Saint John School in the North End where professional native-born Italian teachers conduct a serious and well structured course in the Italian language.
Few Italians in Massachusetts are aware that the Italian government has been directly supporting an Italian cultural program, and enriching thousands of students in Italian language, culture and history in Boston for over 30 years. The PILC was founded back in 1973 when the Italian Foreign Ministry approached a Boston high school teacher, Ernesto Valdesolo, to start a cultural program for Italians. Ernesto, “Tino” as he is known, accepted the task, and proceeded to convince the Scalabrinian priests, Father Joseph Fugolo and Father Dominic Rodighiero to join in the endeavor and to allow the Sacred Heart parish in the Italian North End to host the program.
At the onset of the program, financial assistance was promised only if Valdesolo, at the time also a recent immigrant from Vicenza, could put the whole program together. Tino succeeded in establishing the PILC and has been managing it continuously ever since. Tino holds a Doctorate in Science Education and although now is running a successful import/export company in partnership with two of his East Boston High School former students, he finds the time to keep the PILC going. The task of supervising the PILC is “rewarding” he says but requires lots of time in coordinating classes; producing school related cultural events and filling in for last minute late or absent teachers.
Although the direct financial support from Italy has subsided, Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Ministry still supports the program with textbooks and teacher training. It is thanks to committed people like Tito Valdesolo, his assistant Rosario Cascio, also an educator in the Boston School system, and a group of enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, that the program has thrived for 40 years.
Professoressa Anna Maria Camillo, originally from Abruzzi, is the senior teacher among the language instructors and has been teaching at the CPCI for the past 35 years. The rest of the teaching staff consist primarily of well educated professionals, all from Italy, who are residing in the Boston area. Additionally a motivated group of parents stand always ready and willing to help whenever needed.
Originally developed for children of Italian descent, between the ages of 4 and 16, the program is now open to adults as well as other interested children. There are students of families of several different nationalities now attending classes: a Korean family that plans to send their children to Italy to further their music studies, a Colombian, a Brazilian, and may more. In addition to language teaching, the overall focus of the program is to present to the Boston Italian community, a realistic and contemporary image of Italy as a progressive and dynamic country.
Although the program’s capacity is limited, there is usually a way to find an extra place in the classes. The best time to enter the course is at the end of the summer vacation when registration is held (second weeks of September). The PILC currently employs 12 teachers and can accommodate about one hundred fifty students. Classes are distributed on the basis of language proficiency and chronological age.
Courses are offered every Saturday, from 10am to 12 noon, from September to June. Tuition for the 30 week course is $175 for children and $300 for adults. The Aquarium station is the most convenient to the school, and there are hourly parking lots in the area, and of course the on-street parking in the North End, which may or may not be plentiful on a Saturday morning.
Many parents drop off the kids and spend a couple of hours shopping at Haymarket produce market, the bakeries, or relax with a cappuccino at the many cafes on Hanover Street. Many of the families can be seen enjoying a nice Italian lunch after school gets out.
The Sacred Heart Italian Church, immediately adjacent to the school on North Square is very much part of the PILC. It hosts many of the PILC cultural events, some of which include the yearly Christmas Mass and Presentation, as well as the opening and end of the year graduation exercises. Students are expected to learn traditional songs, poetry, and language skits. The program also runs a yearly trip to Italy.
During the past 40 years the interest in learning Italian has grown significantly; the PILC has succeeded in filling a real need and doing it so that it has brought a bit of real “italianita” among the bistros, bars and cafés of Boston’s Little Italy.
Primarily due to its limitations in accommodating students, the PILC has been a well kept secret – one of which more Italians in the Boston area should definitely take notice.
The PILC can be reached at 978-475-9045.