The Sons of Italy urges members to support italian AP exam

Nov 15, 2013 1615

The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) is urging its members to support the Advanced Placement Examination in Italian, using a strategic plan outlined by Claudio Bisogniero, Italy's ambassador to the U.S., in his recent letter to Italian American organizations.

"In 2013, about 2,000 students took the exam, but an additional 500 are needed to meet the goal for 2016 set by the College Board," he noted in his letter, which included a "strategic plan of action" for his embassy, Italian American organizations and institutes as well as concerned citizens. [See below.] The College Board administers these high school advanced placement programs in languages and other subjects.

Cost is a factor affecting applications to take the exam, according to Joseph Sciame, a former Sons of Italy national president and the current chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations. "Students must pay about $85.00 to take it and some just cannot afford that," he says. But Sciame points out that as the biggest national Italian American organization, the Sons of Italy is in a unique position to help.

"We have 214 U.S. high schools that offer Italian," says Amb. Bisogniero. "If just two more students in each school take the exam, we can meet our target of 2,500 students."

Expand Italian Studies. Organizations and institutions should lobby and fund-raise to introduce or expand Italian classes in their local high schools.

Support Existing Programs. Clubs and lodges can adopt a school, a class or a teacher, giving financial aid to buy teaching materials, DVDs and other tools to make learning more exciting.

Assist Needy Students. Clubs can help students pay for the AP Italian exam.
Teacher Study Grants. Give scholarships solely to teachers of Italian at the AP level so they can perfect their teaching methods and command of Italian.

Reward AP Students. Give students who take the exam a financial reward just if they take it, with larger amounts going to those who pass it with high marks.

Established in 1905, OSIA has hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit

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