The Fall 2024 semester marked a semester of new partnerships and the continuation of proclaimed annual events. To kick-off the academic year, the Coccia Institute hosted its annual bocce tournament, teaching students how to play and giving them the opportunity to network and engage with members of the Italian American community. MSU students traveled to the East Rutherford bocce court, which has become newly renovated by Elmwood Park Chapter of UNICO National. Representatives from Elmwood Park UNICO, NIAF, the Italian Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Newark, and the Italian American Podcast were present at this event, to which this event was featured on an episode of the Italian American Podcast.
The semester continued with our annual Teaching Italian Symposium, in which this year’s theme was “Activating SDGs in the Italian Classroom.” During this event, the Coccia Institute was thrilled to have Consul General of Italy in NY, Fabrizio Di Michele, alongside the newest Dirigente Scolastica, Prof.ssa Laura Innocenti, present at the event. The Consul General delivered introductory marks and also spoke to MSU students privately on their experience studying Italian at a university-level. This event also marked a new partnership with the Italian Language Foundation, in which Margaret Cuomo, President and Co-Founder of the Italian Language Foundation, also gave introductory remarks and donated 5 teacher memberships to the ILF that were raffled off at the conclusion of the event. The Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12) was presented on this occasion to Enrica Fracchia-Miller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Continuing our partnership with the Italian Language Foundation, the Coccia Institute hosted ILF’s teacher development workshop, Enhancing Lessons With Technology, at Montclair State University. The event was presented by James Goetschius, Italian teacher at Northern Valley Regional High School at
Old Tappan, and was well attended by local, dedicated Italian teachers.