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Sons of Italy® Among Groups Pledging to Save AP Italian Program

The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the nation's largest and oldest Italian American organization, has joined a coalition of organizations working to preserve the Advanced Placement (AP) Program in Italian and has launched a nationwide fund-raising campaign to help fund this important language program.

"OSIA considers preserving and expanding Italian studies an integral part of its mission," says OSIA National President Joseph Di Trapani.

Despite its popularity in U.S. schools, the AP Program in Italian that OSIA helped establish in 2005 is currently suspended and is in danger of being permanently eliminated for lack of funds, according to the College Board which administers it. An endowment of about $3 million is needed to save the program, says the College Board.

"Losing the Italian AP program would be disastrous," says Di Trapani, "because college-bound students prefer courses that offer AP credit. Discontinuing the Italian AP will discourage thousands of students from studying Italian."

Italy's Ambassador to the United States Giulio Terzi Di Sant' Agata was instrumental in obtaining a commitment from his government for $1.5 million over a three-year period to underwrite the AP program, providing this country's national Italian American community raises matching funds. He also helped form the above-mentioned coalition.

In December 2009, OSIA officers unanimously voted to support funding for the AP program and have pledged a minimum of $75,000 over three years. The other coalition members, including the NIAF, UNICO, the Columbus Citizens Foundation, and the American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit, have also pledged funding. More organizations are expected to join the coalition with varying amounts of pledged support.

What You Can Do

About the AP Program

AP stands for Advanced Placement. It is an extensive program that offers high school students the chance to complete college-level courses in 22 subjects, including foreign languages such as French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Italian.

AP courses help prepare students for college level work. Students also gain college credit, which allows them to take more advanced courses when they get to college. Most important of all, students who have successfully completed AP courses receive special consideration by college admission boards that increases their chances of being accepted and receiving scholarships.

The AP Italian Language and Culture Program differs from traditional AP foreign language courses and exams because it is designed to provide instruction and assessment in cultural understanding as well as in language proficiency. Another feature of AP Italian Language and Culture is the launch of AP Italian workshops for teachers. These workshops provide consistent, high-quality professional development for teachers of Italian worldwide and are designed to help teachers employ strategies that will enable students to develop the proficiency for earning college credit or advanced placement.

Italian Language in the United States


Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 500,000 family members and supporters and a network of more than 650 chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit www.osia.org. | The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) is the philanthropic arm of the OSIA. Established in 1959, the SIF has contributed more than $108 million to scholarships, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief, and other projects. To learn more, visit www.osia.org/sif.