Monday, May 24, 2010

A Scoula (At School)

As we are nearing the end of the school year, I just have to do a post about my son's school. The cultural experience for him has been amazing. He is in kindergarten and is taught in Italian half the day and English half the day. He is now essentially fluent in 6 year old Italian. He doesn't know adult words like newspaper, but he can just about translate everything he hears people saying on the street.

At school he has made close friends who are Italian, Spanish and Belgian. He now wants to live in "all the countries in the whole world".

They have been to the theatre 3 times this year and the art museum once. Can you imagine taking 18 six year olds to an exhibit with priceless art? I would never attempt it but I'm glad the school did. The class had a guided tour of Kandinsky and Matisse. Seriously.

There are several cats that roam the hallways and rabbits run free on the playground.

And the food, oh the food. They have an amazing chef who cooks for all the children each day. All the kids eat lunch at school, we do not have the option of packing a lunch. They have at least three courses (that's right, three courses) of homemade Italian food, and it is good, healthy, real food. None of the processed stuff they serve in American cafeterias. The children are taught to appreciate and enjoy the food. They are learning the whole quality vs. quantity thing at a very young age. I'm not sure why American schools say they have to use the processed foods for time reasons. Here they are making risotto for the entire school (ages 2-14) and it works out fine. Have you ever made risotto? It is a true labor of love... you have to stir and stir and stir, and yet they make it often.

There is such a huge emphasis on the food, but it is a healthy emphasis. These kids are learning to love things like caprese salad, grilled vegetables and lasagne, rather than doritos and fruit roll-ups. They learn that food is something to be enjoyed. The Italians do not eat for comfort or because they are bored, something I learned in all my funeral experiences this year. They eat socially, almost always sitting at a table, and truly enjoy their food.

My friend Cindy sent me this article about school lunches in Paris and it reminded me so much of our school. You really must read this article.,8599,1967060,00.html

The other day I had a meeting with the principal who is a lovely Italian lady and after we concluded the meeting, the first thing she said was "And how is everything else with the children? Are they enjoying the food?"

Can we just live here forever?

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous experience for your children.