Award ceremony “Draw a T-shirt for the 150th Anniversary of Unity in Italy”

(Jul 17, 2011)

Organized by the Embassy’s School Office, by teachers of Italian and by the Non-Profit Language Associations in the Embassy’s district, the competition is open to all students in K-12 Italian courses in public and private schools in DC area.

On the evening of April 12, 2011, the award ceremony of winners of the contest “Draw a T-shirt for the 150th Anniversary of Unity in Italy” was held at the Auditorium of the Italian Embassy in Washington. Organized bythe Embassy’s School Office, by teachers of Italian and by the Non-Profit Language Associations in the Embassy’s district, the competition is open to all students in K-12 Italian courses in public and private schools in DC area. This was all made possible thanks to the efforts of the organizing committee formed by Chiara Monticelli, Claudia Deferre, Elisa Sileoni, Maggie Pecora, Olga Mancuso in addition to the directors of the two Non-Profit Language Associations, Daria Mizza and Cesarina Horing, and Embassy’s School Office director Lucia Dalla Montà.

Sponsors of the initiative included the AATI-DC Chapter II, the Italian Cultural Society Language Program, the Italian Soccer Federation, the Casa Italiana Language School with Osteria Sette and the Institute of Italian Culture in Washington.

About forty schools participated in the competition.The jury, composed by Anna Franceschetti, Fulvia Musti, Alberto Manai, and Lucia Dalla Montà, had the difficult task of examining 185 designs that were submitted.As required by the regulations, finalists within each of the four age categories were identified, form which the winner was chosen.

First Place was awared to Crystal Hughes, grade 10, Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Prince George’s County; Runner up went to Sophia Wu, Grade 6, Mantua Elementary School, Fairfax County; Third Place went to Andrew Juni Kim, Grade 5 of Mantua Elementary School, Fairfax County; Fourth place went to Ryan J. Sommervilleof Hanson French Immersion, in Prince George County;

Special mention went to Adam Bengharsa, grade 10, Walt Whitman HS, in Montgomery County.

The winners came away with a check (offered by AATI-DC and the Italian Cultural Society), a book (offered by Italian Cultural Society), a soccer ball specially sent by the Italian Football Federation, Youth and School Division (its president is the former world champion Gianni Rivera), and a certificate.A certificate and a soccer ball were also given to the teachers of Italian and principals of the finalists’ schools.

The evening began with the singing of the two national anthems, which was then followed by the award ceremony.

To introduce the evening, First Counsellor Cristiano Maggipinto spoke to the great significance of our nation’s anniversary, outlining briefly salient moments of the history of the Risorgimento.Then, the director of the Embassy’s School Office announced the winners.Subsequently, the First Counsellor presented to all the teachers of Italian who were present a certificate in recognition for their daily efforts in the diffusion of Italian language and culture. This was followed by the awarding of a certificate of recognition to the school adminstrators present for their support of our programs, to the Organizing Committee, to the Jury, to the sponsors.

Particularly moving was the awarding of a certificate of recognition to the Director Emeritus of the Italian Cultural Society, Maria Wilmeth, extraordinary advocate of the commitment to spread the study of Italian in our district and the United States.

The evening was further brightened by the performance of the melodious choir of the Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis, in Anne Arundel County; especially for its performance of famous Italian songs.

Participation was excellent and, at the end, there was a great deal of positive feedback from families, from the choir director and its chaperons, from the teacher and, above all, from the school authorities present who stressed the importance of organizing other similar activities.

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