The Italian Language Foundation is dedicated to promoting and sustaining Italian language education in the United States and supporting the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program in Italian Language and Culture. Our officers and advisors include members of national educational organizations, all of whom have a deep-seated commitment to education and the language and culture of Italy. AP Italian is offered to high school students who want to learn Italian and receive college credit for their high school work. The program helps students develop an appreciation of one of the world’s great languages and cultures, and since it was introduced three years ago, thousands of students have enrolled in the program. Since 2007, participation in AP Italian has increased 23%. Yet today, this thriving program – although still in its infancy – is in jeopardy and may be terminated. The issue is funding. The Italian Language Foundation is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation qualified by the Internal Revenue Service to receive tax deductible contributions, and it is our goal to raise funds for Italian language education in the United States. We look forward to the day when hundreds of thousands of students are participating in Italian language studies. To reach that wonderful goal, the program – and all who take it now or will in the decades to come – needs your help today. Join us in learning about Italian language and culture studies and in keeping the AP Italian program alive.
History of the AP Italian Program
After nearly ten years of effort on the part of educators and the intervention of Mrs. Matilda Raffa Cuomo and Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., the Advanced Placement (AP) Program in Italian Language and Culture was launched by The College Board in 2005. (The College Board is a non-profit organization that creates educational guidelines and programs in a range of subjects for high school teachers and administers exams that grant qualified high school students college credit for courses taken in high school.) This was a momentous occasion, as Italian was the first new AP Language Program to be offered by the College Board in fifty years! The program was initiated with the support of the Republic of Italy, lead by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and by the National Italian American Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in American, and UNICO. In April 2008, at the end of the AP Italian Program’s third year, The College Board announced that it had sustained significant financial losses related to AP Italian and that it would discontinue the program unless funders stepped forward to support the program. Advocates of Italian language education, including the Italian Language Foundation’s founders, Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., and Louis Tallarini, immediately undertook an international effort to raise awareness of the peril facing AP Italian and found that the education and Italian-American communities were galvanized in their determination that high school students have the opportunity to enroll in Advanced Placement courses in Italian. Dr. Cuomo and Mr. Tallarini, with the support of Mrs. Mario Cuomo, the Republic of Italy, NIAF, OSIA, and UNICO, established the Italian Language Foundation on July 3, 2008 to support Italian language education and the AP Italian program.