“Now the work to promote Italian language education starts again in America’s high schools and schools abroad, giving all American high school students and foreign students the opportunity to study the international language of culture – Italian,” said Louis Tallarini, chairman of the ILF.
The College Board’s President, Gaston Caperton, said, “Much credit for the reinstatement of AP Italian is due to the vision, passion and energy of the Italian Language Foundation and its committed leaders, Dr. Margaret Cuomo and Mr. Louis Tallarini. They have worked closely and collaboratively with The College Board since 2008 to pave the way for the return of AP Italian, and students and teachers around the world who will benefit from AP Italian are indebted to the tireless efforts of the ILF.”
The College Board began planning AP Italian in 2003 and first implemented the program in September 2005following several years of advocacy by Matilda Raffa Cuomo, former First Lady of New York State, and her daughter, Dr. Cuomo. In early 2009, The College Board announced that it would suspend AP Italian following the 2008-2009 school year because student participation had not met projections.
The process that led to reinstatement began with a 2008 meeting in Italy between Hon. Gianni Letta, Under Secretary of State, Republic of Italy, Dr. Cuomo, Louis Tallarini, and Italian language advocates Governor Mario and Matilda Cuomo. As a result of that meeting, the Republic of Italy agreed in principle to become an equal partner in reinstating AP Italian with advocates of Italian language in the United States.
In addition to working to secure Italy’s commitment to AP Italian, Dr. Cuomo and Mr. Tallarini coordinated the effort to raise matching funds by working with the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the National Italian American Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America, UNICO, the National Organization of Italian American Women, American Association of Teachers of Italian, the Coccia Foundation, and individual donors.
About The Italian Language Foundation: The ILF is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization founded in the spring of 2008 by Margaret Cuomo and Louis Tallarini to address the pending cancellation of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Italian Language and Culture Program. The mission of the Italian Language Foundation is to promote and sustain Italian language education in the United States and reinstate the Advanced Placement Program in Italian Language and Culture offered by the College Board. For more information or to make a donation to the ILF, please visit www.ItalianLanguageFoundation.org.
Press Contact: Andrew Decker