September 21, 2012
Back-to-school preparations means shopping for clothes and supplies, getting back into the habit of packing lunches, and, for many grandparents, arranging schedules to pick the little ones up after school. While I'm not a grandparent and my children are way past school-aged, I still have children all over the world to think about. Since 1992, we’ve helped more than 100 schools in 60 communities and 30 countries worldwide, including Italy. One of our newest partnerships is in Sicily’s C.F. Aprile Primary School in the village of Corleone, where we’ve pledged $1,000 for digital cameras and photo supplies in support of a new local history preservation project. A visit to the school’s English-language students was a highlight for Terry Wangsness, a former school worker from Arizona featured in this months’ Traveler Story, who traveled with us recently to Sicily. She said she was impressed with the middle-school students’ English-language skills, especially having tried to teach herself Italian beforehand.
Traveler Carol Taylor meets students at the Santa Maria della Pieta School.
Many other travelers on our Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast vacation also tell me how rewarding it is to bring supplies to other students in Italy—especially when visiting the Santa Maria della Pieta School. Since 2004, the Foundation has pledged about $25,000 for a computer lab and English-language software, TV and video equipment, furniture, and more.
I always say that traveling teaches us things about the world, and about ourselves. But perhaps nothing is as rewarding as knowing that our journeys help teach a new generation through the generosity of resources and time spent—perhaps helping young Italian students practice their English skills.