Visit to Kensington Park Elementary School - Bethesda

(Jul 17, 2011)

In the much sought after Italian program, there is an Italian festival with many expositions inspired by Italian culture

On May 20, 2011, there was a visit to Kensington Park Elementary School in Bethesda, to the 4th annual Italian Festival.

The young, happy, very motivated and prepared Principal of the school, Dr. Barbara Liess, explained the importance her school plays in regards to the arts in the county. The school had 647 students, but the demand is much greater than that. All of the students study Italian for an hour a week with two native Italian speakers, Chiara e Cristiana. Many of the students who come from surrounding areas are attracted by the prospect of studying Italian.

In the much sought after Italian program, there is an Italian festival with many expositions inspired by Italian culture. There are many theatrical presentations, a tarantella dance, soccer tournaments, and an opera performance (which the students choreographed and wrote themselves). So, last May 20th, the large courtyard of the school was covered in Italian flags and divided into various piazzas where groups of children, where able to play games (in following with Italian tradition: blind man’s buff, poison ball, tissue/flag etc.) and activities, including face painting, mosaics, plastic making, guessing the words etc.

At the inner part of the school, two laboratories were set up, one of music and dance (tarantella), and one of a manual Venetian gondola. One could see the happiness of the children and of their families.

The demonstration was inaugurated by the paid teachers of the collaborating agency, the Italian Cultural Society, who were able to involve not only the 650 students of the school, but also the teachers, other faculty members, administrators, and parents.

The festival is one of the most important moments for the school and they invite local journalists and the Italian newspaper.

We must congratulate the teachers, Chiara and Cristiana, and the Italian Cultural Society for their excellent work!

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