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Community Engagement Updates: Part I

Education Interns meet with local teachers at Montessori high school to prepare their first workshop with English language students.

This time in the semester marks an exciting period at Umbra. Volunteer opportunities, service learning projects, and internships are well underway.


Students interested in volunteering with Monimbò, a local Fair Trade cooperative had an informational session yesterday with Milena, the volunteer coordinator of the Perugia bottega, Michele, the cooperative’s very own president, and Francesco, a fellow volunteer. They discussed what Fair Trade (equo solidale) is, how it looks in an Italian context, what student volunteers’ tasks will be, and the local and national events they can help with. The next meeting will take place tomorrow beautiful, newly remodeled bottega in the city center.

The Unicef workshop, where Umbra and University of Perugia students will make Pigotta dolls with the guidance of Italian volunteers, begins next Tuesday and will continue throughout the semester. The workshops are held in an old convent with lovely frescoed ceilings, a shot distance from Umbra. It creates the perfect energy to design and sew a unique, life saving Pigotta doll. Each doll is adopted and raises enough money to fund a vaccine kit for a mother and her child in a developing country.


Service Learning Projects:

Four student applicants from the SOIT 360: Contemporary Italy: Culture, Society and Trends course were selected to participate in La Famiglia Italiana Project. Beginning next week, these students will meet with one of two Italian families with whom they will interact for the remainder of the semester. Through this front row seat to Italian culture, students are able to explore the themes discussed in class such as regionalism, dialects, gender roles, and much more. This cultural and linguistic exchange also gives the Umbra students a chance to share their American cultural values and the English language with the family members. La Famiglia Italiana Project offers a glimpse into family life that the entire class and the family learn from.


Neither last nor least, Education Interns from the INIT 350: Academic Internship and Seminar course have the exciting chance to work closely with teachers from the Alessi Scientifico High School or creating workshops around the theme of music connecting youth cultures at the Montessori High School in Perugia. Umbra interns have been studying the theory and are now entering the classroom, assisting English language students and teachers with speaking, writing, and listening skills. Interesting fact: the Montessori High School is the exact building where Maria Montessori created her educational philosophy and method!

Community Engagement Updates to be continued…

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