Italian Language and Culture Day 2016


A representative from each of the trophy-winning schools, being congratulated by the panel of judges (Phyllis Pizzolato, Professor Andrea Baldi (Rutgers University), Dirigente Scolastico Carlo Davoli (Consulate General of Italy in NY), Phyllis Ignozza, Lawrence Inserra, Jr. and Coccia President Elisa Coccia.

March 16th, 2016
The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission was a proud sponsor of “Italian Language and Culture Day 2016.” The annual event features a language competition, wherein New Jersey middle and high school Italian classes perform entertaining cultural skits – completely in Italian!

This year’s theme was “C’era una volta…” or “Once upon a time…” The event featured several familiar fables, but with exciting new twists. Central Middle School showed us that “La storia vera di Cappuccetto Rosso” or “The true story of Little Red Riding Hood” was all a big misunderstanding. The grandmother just went out for a bit and is actually one of the wolf’s closest friends. In James Caldwell High School’s “La Cenerentola moderna” “Modern Cinderella” it is not the slipper, but the iPhone that gets left behind. Fortunately for the prince, he re-discovers Cinderella after she successfully unlocks the phone with the correct password.

Culture Day 2016 had students, singing, dancing, and happily showing off what they’d learned in Italian class. The annual event is organized by the Italian Teachers Association of New Jersey (ITANJ) and The Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America. Both organizations provide events and opportunities for both Italian students and their teachers.

Holmdell Highschool

Holmdel High School students singing “Il Gato e La Volpe”

One such opportunity for teachers is the 2016 Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12), which is open to members from ITANJ, AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian), and AAIS (American Association of Italian Studies). Recognizing the importance of acknowledging and motivating excellence in the teaching of Italian, the Coccia family and Lawrence Inserra, Jr., have established this significant award with a $5,000 prize. Award and application instructions available in the link below:

C'era un volta

Dirigente Scolastico Carlo Davoli (Consulate General of Italy in NY) with Manager Nicholas Schaefer and Chair Robert DiBiase (New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission)