Contestant's Case to Win
This is based on the number of votes received.
Hi! I'm Carolina. It finally occurred to me one day, many years ago, sitting at a desk in a temp job in New York City, that my passion wasn't about the degree that I had obtained in college a few years prior, but more about my personal identity. More specifically about my Italian roots.
I grew up in New York City in an Italian-American/Canadian family, and fell in love with the Italian culture and language at a very young age. I noticed early on, however, that Italian was not spoken in my home. My parents came from the immigrant generation that felt they needed to assimilate quickly to American customs by speaking English, which meant that their native language had to be left behind. I remember often asking family members to speak Italian so that I could learn, but few agreed. I vowed to one day learn Italian and share it with others.
I began studying Italian in college and traveled to Italy every possible opportunity. I taught for many years and then finally found a new talent as a momreneur. Fast forward to 2005 when I launched La Piazza di Carolina, my Italian preschool that specializes in innovative programming in Italian language and culture for children and adults in a full immersion environment. We have a lot of fun teaching Italian through play, hosting unique Italian birthday parties, cooking classes, theatrical performances, cultural art workshops and other special gatherings. We are mobile too, bringing our programming into area preschools and elementary schools. In addition, we have recently begun offering unique Italian products that support language learning.
Very young children possess a unique advantage for acquiring language. Their neuro-pathways in the brain are ripe at a young age so it makes sense to take advantage of this opportunity. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language at a young age enriches a child's cognitive development, it enhances the child's overall school performance, leading to higher scores in standardized tests, and it adds a competitive edge to their future career.
I consider the opening of La Piazza di Carolina my greatest professional accomplishment. After the birth of my two daughters, who are being raised bilingually, it seemed natural to me to help other Italian-American families and lovers of Italian do the same â€“ to keep the Italian language alive in their homes through their children.
Click here to see a multimedia presentation on our school!