The Milwaukee Public Market is helping Milwaukee Public Schools’ Victory K-8 School to break down the language barrier.
The "Bevi Mangia Italiano", which translates to "Drink Eat Italian" in Italian, event was the name of event held at the Milwaukee Public Market. The event featured Italian cuisine and a winemaking seminar by master sommelier Jesse Becker. Proceeds raised during this event went towards the $2,500 grant that Milwaukee Public Market is giving to the Victory School’s Italian Immersion Program.
Victory Principal Janine Cano Graber said, "The Victory School community is grateful for the Milwaukee Public Market’s generous donation to the Italian immersion program,"
Victory K-8 school plans to implement a full immersion program beginning in fall 2016 beginning with the incoming batch of four-year-old Kindergarten students. The immersion program was first launched in September 2006, but for the 2016 deadline, the school will teach classes entirely in Italian so that students become fully immersed in the language and culture of Italy. In recent years, the program has grown to serve over 190 students.
Other MPS programs offer French and Spanish immersion options to Milwaukee students, but the Italian program is the first of its kind to be implemented in Milwaukee and is believed to be one of the first programs in the United States.
Outside of the classroom, students are offered summer courses in which they learn culinary skills.
The program will use the funding to further integrate technology into the class curriculum. Already Victory students use Skype to communicate with students from sister schools in Italy. Additionally, three faculty members employed in the program are from Italy and will be able to bring their knowledge of the language and culture to the program’s students.
"This gift will enhance our Italian language instruction and help strengthen the immersion program," said Graber.