September 19th, 2015
NJIHC Seeks to Expand Utilization of the Italian Heritage Curriculum in all New Jersey Schools.
Italian American organization shows why Italian achievements deserve space in NJ schools.
The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission (NJIHC) hosted its 12th annual Congress at Mercer County Community College on September 19th, 2015. This year’s event focused on the theme of “Promoting Education, Preserving Our Italian Cultural Heritage.”
Educators, commissioners, and members of both the NJ Department of Education (DOE) and the Italian Consular Corps spoke to the value of the NJIHC’s Universality of Italian Heritage program at this year’s Congress. According to presenter Mark Biedron, president of the NJ State Board of Education, “the curriculum helps break down the barriers and promotes cross-cultural learning.” The event even featured several student video productions, which allowed the audience to see how the curriculum fits in the classroom. Dr. Eileen Poiani, Saint Peter’s University, took it a step further when she used an Italian Heritage lesson plan and a bucketful of pinecones to teach attendees about the “The Influence of Nature on Fibonacci.”
The Commission engages in the development, support, and production of educational programs throughout the state. NJIHC’s Italian Heritage Curriculum contains lessons that integrate Italian and Italian American material into existing curricula K-16. These lesson plans were developed in consultation with the NJ DOE and meet all DOE Common Core and Content Standards.