The Eastchester High School Italian Club celebrated Italian Heritage and Culture and awarded students from Eastchester and the surrounding areas with certificates and scholarships for their commitment to learning the Italian language and culture.
On Oct. 21, students and their families attended the ceremony held in the EHS auditorium where members of the Italian American Club sang the Italian National Anthem and the Star Spangled Banner to commence the evening.
This year’s ceremony recognized Matera. The region is located in the Eastern section of Italy and features prehistoric cave dwellings that most recently have been transformed into hotels and restaurants as part of a resurgence of the area.
The President and Chairperson of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York Joseph Sciame highlighted the accomplishments of Matera and then commended the students. “I congratulate you for what you are doing. The study of Italian is very, very important. Do not let any college or university tell you that you do not need to study a language or that Italian is not important.” Sciame said that after Spanish, Italian is the most studied language across the United States. “It is not a dead language.”
“Grazie for studying Italian. Grazie for doing excellent work in Italian. Keep on doing it and hopefully this is just the beginning of your successful life in school,” said, Co-President of the Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations Professor Carlo Sclafani. He also thanked all the Italian teachers for their effort.
The following Eastchester students received certificates for their achievements: eight-grader, Ben Wien, Italian I, ninth-grader, Melina Valvano (Italian II; tenth-grader, Jessica Fronda, Italian III, eleventh-grader, John Ferrara, Italian IV, twelfth-grader, Sydney Gallo, AP Italian.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer also presented a proclamation to Eastchester High School that recognized its commitment to Italian culture and language. Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino presented awards to the students with members of the Italian American Community.
Special guests included Tony Amata, President of the Antonio Meucci Lodge #213, Professor Lucrezia Lindia, President of the Societa Onoraria Italica, Joseph Sciame, President/Chair Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, Professor Carlo Sclafani, Chairperson of Westchester Italian Heritage and Culture Month Committee.
Thank you to the benefactors who presented scholarships to the students: Mr. Carmine International Hair Salon, Mr. John DeCicco Sr. and Sons and The Ace Endico Scholarships.