New York’s First Italian Dual Language Preschool Coming To Bensonhurst

Source: Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

Bensonhurst will be getting two Italian dual language classrooms at a brand new school coming to 73rd Street and 15th Avenue this coming school year.

One UPK class and one kindergarten class will incorporate the Romance language at P.S. 768, which is set to open at the current site of Our Lady of Guadalupe School (7301 15th Avenue) in September 2015. The public school will be the first in New York to offer an Italian dual language curriculum.

As we reported yesterday, P.S. 768 – an extension of P.S. 112 – will add at least 256 new seats to the district, an effort ease overcrowding at other neighborhood schools.

FIAO Brooklyn teamed up with District 20 to create the dual language program, and a spokesperson for the Italian cultural center told us there has already been considerable interest.

“The response from residents has been outstanding, and we have received many calls about these services,” said FIAO Chairman Jack Spatola and FIAO President Carlo Scissura in a joint statement. “We believe that bringing dual language programs to such a diverse community is vital, as they will help maintain different cultures while also generating a better understanding and greater respect for other ethnicities.”

P.S. 768 joins a number of local schools that offer dual language programs, reflecting the fast growing immigrant communities in District 20. Dual language programs include one for Russian speakers at P.S, 200 Benson SchoolP.S./I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington‘s Arabic program, and a Chinese language program at P.S 105 The Blythbourne.

To participate in the Italian dual language program, children must reside in District 20, and half the spots in each class are reserved for kids who live with a family member who speaks Italian.

To sign your child up, please call FIAO’s office and speak with Sara Steinweiss. The number is (718) 259-2828. Seats are limited.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the number of seats that would be added to the district with the creation of P.S. 768.

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