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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

For Release: May 8, 2003

DOE Officials to Attend Inauguration of the French Resource Center at Rutgers;
Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Consulate

On Friday May 9th, Commissioner William L. Librera, members of his staff, and the president of the state Board of Education, Maud Dahme, will participate in the inauguration of a French Resource Center at Rutgers University.

The development of the French resource center is one of several initiatives supported by the French government as part of a Memorandum of Understanding that has been in effect for several years between New Jersey and the French Embassy.

The event, which takes place at 5 p.m. at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum on the New Brunswick Campus, includes an official delegation from the French Embassy and the president of Rutgers.

The resource center will develop and conduct professional development programs for New Jersey teachers of French, and will provide the latest materials and resources for the teaching of French from pre-school through the university level.

The mission of the resource center supports Governor James E. McGreevey’s educational agenda in that it promotes teacher quality and programs that raise student achievement. It is also an example of an innovative educational initiative that is based on a collaborative effort between New Jersey and the French government.

The resource center provides an environment that will assist teachers in delivering the kind of instruction that will enable the best results for our children in developing second language competence.

The Department of Education is continuing its push for quality World Language instruction by working with other nations in the form of cooperative agreements, known as Memoranda of Understanding.

"A Memorandum of Understanding is a key ingredient for World Language instruction in New Jersey," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "These agreements help continue quality instruction in the classroom. Their benefits are immeasurable."

The DOE recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Consulate to promote the quality and extent of the teaching of the Italian language and culture in New Jersey schools.

The cooperative agreement includes:

  • An incentive program for Italian instruction in grades K-8 that offers districts the opportunity to begin Italian programs in communities with large Italian American populations;
  • A visiting Italian teacher program;
  • Professional development opportunities and exchanges including summer seminars for New Jersey Italian teachers; and
  • The development of a resource center for the teaching of Italian.

On May 1, officials from the Italian Consulate, officers of prominent Italian American organizations, and executive officers of the New Jersey Italian American Heritage Commission were present for the signing of the agreement.

Terry McIntyre, administrative liaison from Governor McGreevey’s office, read an official proclamation supporting this initiative signed by the Governor. Members of the Italian press corps filmed the signing and remarks made by Dr. Giorgio Radicati, Consul General of Italy and Richard C. Ten Eyck, Assistant Commissioner.

In his remarks, Dr. Radicati praised the administration for its continued support for the study of other languages. He emphasized the need to continue to provide students with the tools to be able to communicate in culturally appropriate ways with members of other cultures in order to function in the global community.

For more information about the Memoranda of Understanding or World Language instruction in New Jersey, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.