28 novembre, 2016

buon compleanno dall' America Michelle e progetti di pace da John Caputo

Costruendo un ponte di Pace ed Amicizia
tra due Paesi


John Caputo


Ho trovato la fotografia di un disegno di mio figlio Giovanni di quando siamo venuti in classe da Carmelina il 20 Maggio 2003.

Questo e’ stato l’inizio della collaborazione tra una Universita’ Americana ed una scuola Italiana, in particolare tra due insegnanti.

Insieme a me c’erano anche Suzanne Calbick e Tracy Struble che erano due mie studenti in quell period. Ho visitato la classe di Carmelina almeno tre volte insieme a mia moglie Joann, insegnante di seconda classe della scuola primaria in America.

In un altra occasione, una mia amica Lyn Cunningham, che era una insegnante a Spokane, venne alla sua classe. La storia di queste visite e’ nata dalla mia curiosita’ e dall’ospitalita’ di Carmelina.



Sono stato fortunato nel conoscere negli anni Carmelina Rotundo e la sua famiglia nel periodo in cui insegnavo comunicazione interculturale alla sede di Firenze dell’Universita’ Gonzaga.
Ho conosciuto Carmelina all’Univerista’ o ad una esposizione locale. Sono venuto a sapere che Carmelina insegnava nella scuola primaria G. Marconi a Scandicci e le ho chiesto se avessi potuto visitare la sua scuola, visto che da sempre sono interessato nel sistema educativo in culture diverse dalla mia. Partendo da questa esperienza ho chiesto a Carmelina se avessi potuto portare anche studenti dell’Universita’ Gonzaga a visitare la sua classe. E lei ha accettato.

A volte abbiamo aiutato con le lezioni di Inglese o geografia oppure abbiamo usato il tempo per conoscenze personali e modi di dire.


Durante queste visite ho portato molti dei miei studenti ed anche alcuni dei membri della mia famiglia a visitare le classi di Carmelina. Abbiamo dato vita ad un dialogo importante, un’ amicizia che dura da piu’ di 20 anni, come anche tra molti dei miei ed i suoi studenti. La nostra collaborazione e’ frutto della ricerca di pace ed amore.

Ho inoltre portato cari amici, che sono insegnanti in America, che hanno trascorso tempo prezioso con Carmelina ed i ragazzi della scuola G. Marconi.

Tutto questo e’ successo grazie al nostro amore per l’insegnamento ed il valore dei ragazzi a cui insegnamo.

I giovani insegnanti e gli studenti hanno tutti risposto con entusiasmo e cooperazione.


Unisco alcune fotografie di questi viaggi interculturali perche’ sono uno stupendo modo per creare ponti culturali basati su relazione personali per costruire la pace. Penso che le nostre esperienze hanno creato un bellissimo insegnamento.

Ecco un disegno di mio figlio Giovanni Caputo


Dedicato alla scuola G. Marconi School nel 2003.



Building A Bridge of Peace and Friendship in Two Countries


John Caputo


I found a photograph of my son Giovanni’s drawing
when we came to Carmelina’s classroom on May 20th, 2003.  This was the start of collaboration between an American University and an Italian school, but especially between two teachers.  Also with me were Suzanne Calbick and Tracy Struble who were students of mine.  I had visited Carmelina’s class on at least three occasions and my wife Joann, a 2nd grade teacher in America, came as well.  On another occasion, my friend Lyn Cunningham who was a teacher in Spokane came to her class.   The story of these visits came from my curiosity and Cermelina’s hospitality.




Over the years I have had the good fortune to know Carmelina Rotundo and her family in Florence, Italy. When I was teaching intercultural communication at Gonzaga University in Florence, I was introduced to Carmelina either at the University or a local art exhibition.  I came to learn that Carmelina was a primary school teacher at G. Marconi School in Scandicci and I asked he if I could come and visit her school since I have always been interested in education in other cultures.  From that experience, I then asked Carmelina if it would be possible to bring Gonzaga students to visit
her classroom as well. And she said yes! Sometimes we helped with an English or geography lesson or just used the time for language and introductions:







On these visits I brought many of my students, and also some of my family members to visit Carmelina’s classrooms.  We entered into great dialogue.  Of course we created a friendship that has lasted more than 20 years and many of my students have participated with her students. Our working together came from a quest for peace and love.  I also brought good friends who are American school teachers who also spent precious times with Carmelina and G. Marconi kids.  All of this happened because of our love of teaching and the valuing of the young the young people we taught.  The children, young teachers, and pupils all responded with enthusiasm and cooperation. 

I am attaching some photographs

of these educational and intercultural journeys because they are a wonderful way of building cross-cultural bridges on a one to one basis to build peace.  I believe our experiences have made for wonderful cultural learning. 


Here is a picture my son Giovanni Caputo cartooned and titled it:


Dedicated to G. Marconi School in 2003.

 molti alri progetti riassunti con SARAH
On the Didactic and Human Experience between Elementary and Gonzaga University Students

Since 1981, American students from the Gonzaga-in-Florence program have been able to work with younger Italian students through the classroom of Carmelina Rotundo. Carmelina has been teaching English for many years, and through the contact of the students of Gonzaga University, has seen the unification of students of different cultures. Since 2000, students from Middlbury College have also visited the classroom. This cultural contact allows Carmelina and her students to keep working with the language that is very much alive and changing.
American students leave parts of themselves behind for the young Italians. There is the example of the student, Rose Alokolaro, who made a star with the name of each students in the classrooms of the four classes she visited. This was her message to the students, that though she was out of the country this star could remind them of the light they brought into her life when she visited the school. Janet Burcalow, a teacher from Gonzaga spending a semester with Gonzaga-in-Florence, left behind gifts for everyone she had worked with researching the difference between Italian meals and American meals. John Caputo, a teacher in Gonzaga connected to the students who volunteer in Carmelina’s classroom, wrote to her “Two of the greatest adventures this last spring was being able to bring my Gonzaga students to a meeting whith the American Counsel General Lari Martinez and second, a day of visiting Carmelina Rotundo at her school. My American university students are able to visit at the school and interact with the Italian children both formally in the classroom and informally on the playground. Whether teahcing a lesson about America, helping with reading, or trading drawings and letters, these experiences offer a richness to cross-cultural contact for these young people that last a life-time.” The museums and churches of Florence are enough to take your breath away. But even more important for us are the people of Florence. And Carmelina Rotundo is one of those very important people. And Lyn Cunningham, another teacher chose to sacrifice a day of touring Florence to come out and work with the classroom.
The pupils know and understand the sacrifice of time the Gonzaga students make to be with them, and they appreciate their visits so much more for it. Through this exchange of cultures American students, elementary students, and Carmelina experience the didactic and human experience of cross-cultural exchange. “With them,” says Carmelina on behalf of her students “we learn and we do activities [such as] parties, pancakes, and tea party [that] we enjoy a lot. What a sorrow [for us] when they leave. We hope always they return back.”
On the School in which Carmelina teaches English
The school itself is named after a headmaster, Aldo Pettini (1922-1994). The largest room is named after Benozzo Gozzoli, the glory of Piana di Settimo and the painter of the splendid frescos in the Medici-Riccardi Palace in Florence. His murals in the palace were inspired by Epiphany processions that used to take place in Florence on the 6th of January, past the site of palace. Today this procession, called Cavalcata dei Magi, is recreated each January from the Pitti Palace to the Duomo, thanks to the Opere di Santa Maria del Fiore under the direction of president Anna Mitrano.
Another building in Badia a Settimo bears the name Benozzo Gozzoli. Until the 90’s it was an elementary school. Now the AVIS Mineralogy-Paleantology group of Scandicci (founded in October of 1984) have transformed the school into a museum. It houses a permanent exhibition of minerals and fossiles and slide projections.

Carmelina Rotundo, with the help of Sarah Burgess



Hi Carmelina,
Sorry for the late Birthday wishes.
Hope you had a Blessed Day! Wishing you all your heart desires. 
I made you a birthday card.
I copied a picture of you from your blog page! Hope that is ok?? YOU look Beautiful!! 

I will send you a poem of Vanna for December 3rd she would love to be a part of your celebration and cause! 

Sending Love, Light & Blessings. 
Happy Birthday to Ceaser and pray he is in good Spirits!! 
God Bless and sending an army of Angels the Protect you both with their Loving Wings and Love! XOXO 

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