Girotondo Italian Preschool and Kindergarten Expands to Berkeley
For Immediate Release
- With the support of the San Francisco Italian Consulate, Girotondo Italian Preschool and Kindergarten (GIS) is expanding into the East Bay with its’ successful Reggio Emilia inspired Italian immersion school, licensed in San Rafael, Marin County.
GIS has purchased Mondo Bambini in Berkeley, formerly owned and operated by Angelo Del Priori and Laura Ruberto for the past six years. The new Girotondo program will expand from a once weekly program to three days a week starting August 31, 2009. Girotondo Berkeley will continue to operate at the former Mondo Bambini location in North Berkeley until a suitable full-time location can be found for private school licensing, the official state license under which Girotondo Italian School Marin County currently operates, know as a Child Care Center (CCC) License. Upon CCC licensing, Girotondo Berkeley will be able to offer students the option of attending five days weekly.
To meet the stringent staffing requirements for both CCC licensing, and the school itself for native Italian speakers, GIS is sponsoring work permits for four new teachers from Italy for both campuses.
“At present, GIS is the largest and certainly one of the most dynamic [of these] entities in the Bay Area, able to combine attention to the children and efficient structure with the strong support of the community, all possible thanks to the charismatic Rosella Pusateri [Founder and Executive Director of GIS].” said Marco Salardi, Director of the Education Office of the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco.
According to Pusateri, Professor Marco Salardi tapped her on the shoulder this past fall, 2008 with the idea of expanding the popular Italian immersion program into the East Bay. “It seemed like the perfect solution to the high demand for an Italian immersion preschool and a natural fit for us given our many current students making the commute from the East Bay to Marin County.” said Pusateri who received a call of congratulation from the Italian Consulate after the deal was officially closed in April of this year.
“This is the first case of a ‘fusion’ of two Italian immersion schools, and also the first case of an Italian Preschool and Kindergarten which turns its attention to widening its territorial base.” said Professor Salardi. He continued, “The Education Office of the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco follows this positive development with great interest, and reaffirms its sincere support of Girotondo Italian School.”
Founders and owners of the former Mondo Bambini, Del Priori and Ruberto, started the Friday morning class out of desire for such a program for their own children, which will now attend the new Girotondo Berkeley. With other full-time jobs of their own, they built Mondo Bambini to its maximum potential without a dedicated full-time Director. Though close to their hearts, they were pleased to pass on their “labor of love” to a successor with the means and desire to expand it to full potential. Del Priori and Ruberto will remain involved as Board Members of Girotondo Italian School.
For more information about Girotondo Italian School please visit www.girotondoschool.org or call 415/383-6775.
In addition to Preschool and Kindergarten, Girotondo offers “Mommy and Me” classes and “After School” classes in both Berkeley and Marin. Future plans include adding a First Grade class to Girotondo Marin County in 2010. Girotondo Italian School invites all to attend their annual fund raising gala dinner and auction “Sotto Le Stelle” on October 24, 2009. http://www.girotondoschool.org/support.shtml