The Pony Express

Italian Program Hosts New Italian Heritage Event

Katherine+Grazier%27s+AP+Italian+class%2C+pictured%2C+are+only+some+of+the+students+who+have+been+working+diligently+to+prepare+for+Thursday%27s+event.
Katherine Grazier's AP Italian class, pictured, are only some of the students who have been working diligently to prepare for Thursday's event.

Katherine Grazier's AP Italian class, pictured, are only some of the students who have been working diligently to prepare for Thursday's event.

Photo Courtesy of Yacob Reyes

Photo Courtesy of Yacob Reyes

Katherine Grazier's AP Italian class, pictured, are only some of the students who have been working diligently to prepare for Thursday's event.

Olivia Dyer, Staff Writer

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Gaither High School is home to many diverse cultures, including Italian culture. This year Katherine Grazier, the Italian teacher, decided to host an event titled “Ciao Italia!” that will allow students, parents and faculty to get together and learn more about the Italian way of life. Grazier sent the students in her AP Italian class to interview people with Italian heritage, which the students will present as their class project during the event.

Grazier set up this event, which will be hosted Thursday evening, to open an opportunity for people to come together to learn about Italian culture. 

According to junior Jonathan Gonzalez, Italian Club president, “The consulate of Italy in Miami is basically kind of like an embassy. So, one of the branches of the Italian embassy in Miami, here in Florida, they wanted the schools around the Florida area to celebrate Italian culture within our community in places where one wouldn’t think to look for it. So Grazier, the Italian teacher at Gaither, decided to host an event as part of that thing they wanted to do in Miami. So, she had us go around looking for Italians in our community so that we can be a part of it.”

“Ciao Italia!” was designed to present Gaither and the local community with interesting facts about a culture that doesn’t receive a lot of recognition.

“The whole point of the event is to just open people’s eyes to see how Italy has really influenced our local community in ways that no one would ever think of so that we could be a part of it. We actually found that there is a lot of Italian influence in our everyday lives that no one really knows what’s there,” said Gonzalez.  

Grazier had her students interview various locals with Italian heritage and incorporate what they learned into an interactive community project. 

“I love seeing them learn, they have learned so much! They actually went by themselves to visit the people. Like these two [students] went to talk to the Archaeology professors at USF, and another group all the way to Ferrari,” said Grazier.  

At the end of this project, Grazier wanted her students to be more connected with the Italian culture and heritage, since Tampa is such a diverse community.  

“We need to appreciate all the different cultures that we have in Tampa Bay. We really have a big variety and we’re so blessed to be really learning about each other. We’re really multiracial, we’re everything in Tampa Bay. Our school is a good representation and it teaches us really to be in the world of languages, which is what I teach, world languages,” said Grazier.  

Grazier says she’s unsure if they’ll continue the event next year, but that students will have to wait and see.

This event is free for all visitors, and each visitor receives a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize. A new local restaurant called Osteria will also be serving pasta there along with dessert, including cakes and other treats.

“Ciao Italia!” will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Gaither High School auditorium.

 

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Italian Program Hosts New Italian Heritage Event