City of Florence awards official recognition of SUF Volunteer Program
City of Florence awards official recognition of SUF Volunteer ProgramAugust 24, 2007Daeya Malboeufdmking04@syr.edu
The mayor of Florence, Leonardo Domenici, has granted Syracuse University in Florence (SUF) the city’s official support, or “Patrocinio del Comune di Firenze,” in recognition of the SUF Volunteer Program. This official move acknowledges the importance of the educational value that this program has for Florence and its youngest citizens.
The SUF Volunteer Program was initiated in 2004. SUF students volunteer to work in public elementary schools in the city of Florence and its region, reading American children’s books to the school children, acting out the story, and engaging the children in a number of educational activities. The program is under the direction of Italian professor Vittoria Tettamanti, who developed the didactic model of storytelling and who each year selects the books and prepares the didactic materials.
Over the course of three years, the volunteer program has grown tremendously, and its success has spread through the thousands of school children and school teachers who have come in contact with the SUF volunteers.
The program is expected to grow in the coming year. As a complement to school visits, the program may branch out to include readings in public libraries. Some schools may even visit the SUF campus; not just for storytelling, but with the additional goal of acquainting the students with an American university located in the city of Florence.
“The Volunteer Program has contributed much to the reputation of SUF within the community, and the recognition of the mayor of Florence has given official and public visibility to this important work done by SUF students,” says SUF Director Barbara Deimling.
The upcoming academic year will feature the book “Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!” (Picture Lions, 2001) by Rosetta Stone (alias Dr. Seuss), which will be read to children from grades 3?5.