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Final event of the Italy-USA cooperation project and Bridge the Pond project

On May 5, the Embassy of Italy Washington hosted the final event of the Italy-USA Cooperation Project, which, during the 2021/2022 school year, involved on one hand the Parentucelli-Arzela’ Institute of Higher Education in Sarzana (La Spezia) and, on the other, the Annapolis High School in Maryland. Three scholarships were awarded to deserving Italian students who will spend three weeks in October at the “twin” school in Annapolis. In spring next year three American students will visit their counterpart in Italy.

About sixty students from the Parentucelli-Arzela’ Institute and ten students of Italian from the Annapolis High School participated in the ceremony virtually, while seventeen students of Italian from the Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, and two teachers, attended the event in person at the Embassy.

The project was supported by the Italian Embassy with a contribution assigned in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the Casa Italiana Language School, with the patronage of the Municipality of Sarzana. It was an opportunity to strengthen ties and exchanges and allow students to broaden their reciprocal cultural knowledge, enhance dialogue between the two cities and countries, in addition to strengthening language skills.

The initiative was further enhanced with the participation of the above mentioned schools and the American Walt Whitman high school in Maryland to the fifth edition of the “Bridge the Pond” project, which was supported by the European parliament.

In their opening remarks, Counselor Domenico Bellantone and distinguished guest Ryan Meilak, Head of Outreach of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington, noted how the Bridge the Pond project aimed precisely at bridging the gap (“bridging the pond”) between two different cultures by connecting students.

In an interactive confrontation with Maryland House of Delegates Ariana Kelly and the Honorable Brando Benifei, member of the European Parliament, students had the opportunity to discuss a very timely and sensitive issue: “Data Protection” in the different approaches of the European and American legislation. Both Delegate Kelly and MEP Benifei expressed great appreciation for the suggestions and great work done by the students.

The success of the two initiatives and the excellent results achieved were made possible by the great synergy between all actors involved in their implementation: the Embassy, that supported the project, the Ente Promotore Casa Italiana Language School, the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington, the Municipality of Sarzana, and all the school principals and the teachers whose commitment and dedication supported the students.