The PIB Italian Saturday School for Boston Children (Scuola Italiana del Sabato PIB per Bambini dell’Area di Boston) was launched to fulfill the historically unmet demand of full-immersion Italian classes for children who already speak Italian, in New England.
The first classes took place in March 2014 for a trimester with approximately 15 students; the first full year of classes started in September 2014 for 30 students in collaboration with the Pirandello school in the North End. Since September 2015, to optimize results and ensure full-immersion courses tailored for Italian-speakers, the school is independently managed in Cambridge, MA. Approximately 50 students (3 – 12 years old) attended the 2016-2017 school year, and over 80 students registered to the 2016-2017 classes. In 2017, the school has launched a playspace for 2 year-old children in the spring of 2017.
All courses are given entirely in Italian, as the school follows a full immersion method. For children 6 and older, formal language teaching is integrated with special lessons about Italian geography, architecture, technology, arts and general culture.
The 2016-2017 school year was inaugurated by Stefania Giannini, Italian Minister of Education, University and Research.
Fellowships for families with yearly income no greater than $60K are available, submit your application by clicking here.
The first and only full-immersion Saturday Italian classes in New England. School textbooks for optional homework. Professionally designed programs alternating comprehension, speaking, grammar, writing exercises and games. Mother tongue committed teachers. A Saturday joy for children and parents!
What else: Playdates, season parties, Italian soccer classes. Friendship
Children do not like to feel different from their peers. If they don’t have many Italian-speaking friends, at a certain age they chose not to speak Italian even if both parents do. Even if they speak Italian, it is difficult for them to find enough reasons to learn how to read and write in Italian. Mastering a language is the only real way to assimilate a culture, and keeping the Italian culture promotes closer relations for these children with their Italian-born parents, the rest of their families, and ultimately constitutes a competitive advantage once they grow as they will be able to exploit Italian professional excellence in US and overseas. Therefore, we believe that our ultimate goal is not “just” to help these children maintain/improve their Italian, but primarily generate friendships for life.
Furthermore, scientific research demonstrated clear advantages for bilingual individuals who, for example, develop more brain connections enabling solution to a problem, and are more resistant to diseases such as Alzheimer: Ghazi et al, Brain and Language 2013; Perani et al, PNAS 2017.
Cambridge, MA, 10 minutes walking from the Central station of the red T line
6 Teachers (Paola, Mariangela, Domenico, Nicola, Stefania, Sara), 2 back-up teachers (Lucia, Rosario), 1 Director (Giovanni), 20 volunteers
Children between 2 and 13 years of age who already speak (or understand, if younger than 4) Italian, who want to study and play, in Italian only. Parents (Italian and not) of students chat (in Italian) at the local market or at nearby cafes
Thanks to the hard work of PIB teachers and volunteers, CASIT and Consulate collaborators, PIB generous donors, program sponsors, parents of the students
If interested, get in touch with us via our contact us page to come visiting the school on a Saturday morning. Kids can join along the year so they can get better acquainted with classmates and be more comfortable when the next school year starts. Our teachers and volunteers are always proud to show you the results of their hard work!
Only two schools in North America offer full immersion Italian classes similarly to ours (out of regular weekly school hours):
The Italian School in New Jersey, in Morristown, NJ: www.italianschoolnj.com
The Fermi Italian School in Chicago, IL: www.siefchicago.org
Paola, born in Brescia, graduated in 2005 at the University Of Trieste Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, in Intercultural studies Sciences. She worked as educator for 6 years, and in 2015 moved to Boston with her two children to follow her husband, who is a Harvard researcher. She teaches the class for 3-4 year old children
Mariangela, born in Italy, where she lived for 45 years. She has long time experience in several fields of education and training, included teaching Italian to foreigners. She recently moved to Massachusetts and teaches our Italian class for 4-5 year old children.
Domenico, born in Italy, moved to the US in many years ago. During the week, he teaches Italian at the Catholic middle school in Medford. He has been teaching Italian to American students for many years. He teaches Italian to our class of 6 year old children.
Nicola, born in Italy, where he lived for 40 years. Biologist, instructor in neuroimaging at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Harvard University Medical School), worked in Massachusetts since 2004. He teaches our class for 6 year old children.
Stefania, born in Luco (Ravenna), Italy, lived in Italy for 20 years, then moved to Denmark, then to Boston in 2015. Has extensive experience teaching Italian and theater to children. She teaches our class for 7-8 year old children.
Sara, born in Milford, from Italian parents, is at her 3rd year studying Italian Studies and Spanish Translation at the University of Massachusetts Boston and wants to become a professional Italian teacher. She spends a month each year in Italy visiting family and loves to travel. She teaches the class for 9-13 year old children.
Rosario, born in Acireale, Sicily, Italy where he studied and worked in several positions before to relocate in United States. He holds a PhD in Management from University of Catania and a Master degree in Business Administration from CCSU, USA. He taught in Italy at graduate and undergraduate level and in USA as freelance Italian teacher for two International Language companies. Rosario is a PIB manager and works for Citizens Bank in Boston. He first taught the school’s 3-4 years old class, now helps as back up teacher and with the school programs.
Giovanni, born in Naples, Italy, moved to Philadelphia, PA in early 2005, then to Boston at the end of 2007. He is a clinical oncologist and a scientist. Since 2009 co-founded and coordinates Professionisti Italiani a Boston (PIB). In 2014 founded PIB’s Saturday Italian School for Boston Children (Scuola Italiana del Sabato per Bambini dell’Area di Boston), for which oversees programs, collaborations, teachers, extra-curricular activities, budgets, etc.