Italy Reads 2013 Starts with Bengali Lunch
The current edition of Italy Reads, John Cabot University’s community-based reading and cultural exchange program, got off to a delicious start! On Saturday, May 25th, JCU welcomed fifteen teachers from eight different Italian high schools and one international school to the first of three Teacher Training Workshops.
Gina Marie Spinelli, Coordinator for the Italy Reads Program briefly summarized the activities of Italy Reads 2012 before welcoming Prof. Elizabeth Geoghegan to provide her professional and thoughtful insight into how teachers might best teach this year’s exciting novel, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, in their classes.
A simple Bengali-style menu was specially prepared for the occasion by the excellent staff at JCU’s Tiber Cafe to usher in the spirit of the novel. Teachers expressed enthusiasm about the workshop, the menu and the opportunity to teach the novel with their students in the coming year. Culinary traditions and the role they play in cultural identity is an element of the story. One of our guests who had recently travelled to India accompanying her students on an exchange visit commented that the samosas prepared by JCU chef Vincenzo are as good as any she ate while in Bombay!
Since 2009, when Italy Reads began as the NEA-sponsored Big Read Rome, the number of participating high schools has more than doubled and now includes schools in Rome, Rignano Flaminio, Pomezia, Anzio and Naples. The number of teachers involved has tripled. The number of JCU student volunteers has more than doubled to a most recent count of 46 and the cultural exchange Italy Reads visits to high schools during the 2012-2013 academic year were more than 60.
Learn more about the Italy Reads Program.