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The mission of the Italian Culture Center of Education is to promote the study of the Italian language and its rich culture.


Welcome to our Italian classes!  The Italian Culture Center (ICC) and the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE), in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in New York, is proud to be able to offer you a program of instruction in language and culture for elementary and middle school age children.  Our goal is to promote the Italian language and its culture by creating an environment that will foster a life-long interest in Italian.

The program runs from November – April at the Silas Deane Middle School, 551 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield.  We are grateful to the Wethersfield Board of Education and Silas Deane Middle School Staff who so graciously host our program every year. Classes are held every Tuesday evening from 4:30 -6:30 p.m. The first 1 and ½ hours of class are dedicated to language instruction.  The last ½ hour provides for cultural exposure in such areas as history, art, geography, lifestyle, holidays, games, folk music, traditional songs, poems and dances.  During this time, the children also prepare for special performances and/or activities for both Christmas and a year-end show in the springtime.

Our schedule follows the Wethersfield school system. If the day of scheduled classes is a snow or vacation day for Wethersfield, Italian classes will be cancelled.  


We will try to keep the workload light because we understand the many demands on your children both academically and socially during the school year. But, learning a language requires patience, practice and much repetition. Try to have your child review vocabulary words and expressions many times during the week – even 10 minutes a day can make a big difference!

Regular class attendance is very important in the learning process. If you can’t make a class for whatever reason, please let us know in advance. Contact the teacher and/or call 721-0538 if your child cannot attend a class. Also, please be PUNCTUAL for all classes and/or activities.

The Italian Culture Center is a guest of the Silas Deane Middle School, and as such, has the responsibility of keeping the host classrooms neat, clean, and orderly. Your cooperation is much appreciated and helps us retain our place on the “welcome guest list.”

Parental participation in the cultural portion of the program is vital and encouraged. Your assistance throughout the year for activities and scheduled performances is most welcome and appreciated. Please let us know if you are willing to help in any capacity. Thank you and we look forward to a great year together!



The Italian Friendship Club was formed in October of 1986 by Nina DiMascio to create a place for the Italian families to gather and celebrate the Italian heritage. The Italian Friendship Club’s main purpose is to have an organization by which members could gather for fellowship and celebrate Italian cultural events while promoting the Italian heritage for current and future members. The program was established to have core components that would touch upon important segments of both the Italian language and culture.

The Italian Culture Center of Education in Wethersfield, CT is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by Nina DiMascio whose mission is to promote the study of the Italian language and expose children and adults to its rich culture.  The program was formed to help educate local students and residents in Wethersfield and surrounding towns through attendance in a weekly after-school program for the kindergarten through high school level student. The program was also built to offer both pre-school and adult classes. The program has run successfully in collaboration with the Wethersfield Board of Education for more than 23 years.  

La Giovane Italia Charitable Scholarship Trust was established in 1992 to nurture, promote, and maintain Italian culture and history here in the United States. This annual, renewable scholarship was created to support and encourage those students who plan to continue in advanced studies of the Italian language, history, literature, and arts or humanities. The goal is to help assure that the rich Italian history and culture will be studied, preserved and appreciated by future generations to come.

La Giovane Italia Scholarship is a one-year renewable scholarship for up to $1,000 awarded to students who will study Italian language, history, literature, arts or the humanities at a certified institution offering a full Bachelors degree.  Students applying for the scholarship must have a good scholastic rating and demonstrate potential for success in their chosen field of study. Most importantly, students are chosen based on their intended future pursuit of the Italian language and culture. As of 2010, 19 scholarships have been awarded totaling more than $16,000.

In 2000, the Cuor d’Italia Folkloristic Dance Group was formed. The dance group consists of both adults and students who learn both traditional and modern Italian folklore dances.  The purpose of this dance group is to both perform and pass on the traditional folklore dances that are an integral part of the Italian culture and history. The dance group’s director is Paulina Kavanaugh who is a professional folklore dance instructor. The group is the only official Italian folklore dance group in the State of Connecticut and has traveled throughout the state performing for various Italian and non-Italian organizations and festivities. The group as also traveled and performed at national competitions in both Virginia Beach, VA and Las Vegas, NV.


Italian Culture Center
Since 1987, the Italian Culture Center (ICC) has been providing after-school language classes for children and adults. Its mission is to encourage the learning of the Italian language and provide an opportunity to explore the country’s rich culture and tradition.  Founded by Nina DiMascio, ICC was established in cooperation with the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE) – a New York based non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the study of the Italian language and culture within the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The program is made possible primarily through an Italian Government grant and operates under the supervision of the Consulate General of Italy in New York.

The courses are designed to teach the Italian language and culture through age-appropriate curricula. The ICC program offers 11/2 hours of language instruction and ½ hour of cultural exposure to the way of life in Italy as well as traditions and customs. Native songs and dances are also taught during this time.  The children’s program runs for 24 weeks – from November through April. Small performances and/or celebrations are held at Christmas time and year-end to demonstrate what has been learned.  
Adult classes run as a 2-hour, 24 session program and also meet November – April.  


Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview
Preschool Class: The Pre-K courses are targeted for children from age 1-4. They are exposed to the Italian language through traditional songs, books, educational games, and multimedia material.

K – 8 Classes:  The K-8 courses are designed to provide students with an ability to begin communicating effectively in Italian as it is spoken and written today. Examples of curriculum include alphabet, numbers, time, days, seasons, calendar, greetings, courtesies, expressions, etc. As the children progress in their knowledge, they will be exposed to reading, writing and speaking at their age appropriate levels.

Adults Class: The Adult courses are also designed to provide students with an ability to begin communicating effectively in Italian as it is spoken and written today. It will also expose students to a variety of cultural activities to help improve their understanding of “La Dolce Vita” lifestyle.

All Italian Culture Center instructors are certified foreign language teachers who all have had either past or current foreign language classroom instruction experience. All the teachers bring a wealth of information and experience to the classroom and the center and several have been an integral part of the program since its inception in 1987.

School Calendar 2011-2012
Silas Deane Middle School, Wethersfield
Tuesdays 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Class Dates                                     Special Events

1                                                          Orientation

20                                                        Christmas/Holiday Celebration – Buon Natale                                                 

21                                                        Winter Vacation – No School


17                                                        Spring Vacation – No School

1                                                          Year-end Celebration        




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