Order Sons of Italy in America
The focus of the Columbus Forum Educator’ Lodge 1492 of the Sons of Italy in America is to encourage, assist and guide qualified Italian-American employees of the School District of Philadelphia in achieving their highest personal and professional potentials.
Our second objective is to focus on educational programs that provide substantial scholarship support to American students of Italian descent. To this end, the Columbus Forum offers a mentoring program and a scholarship program to children and grandchildren of its members.
Our third objective is to foster an increased awareness of and a supportive interest in the collective role of the Italian-American Community as a reflection of its cultural heritage and to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Americans of Italian descent.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
48th President’s Scholarship Dinner and More!
The Forum had its 48th President’s Scholarship Dinner on March 31, 2016. If you didn’t get there you missed another grand event. If you are following the Forum on the web or reading your newsletter you know that we now have two new scholarships that are awarded on this night. Both are named after Dr.Michael Marcase. One is through a City Grant out of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s Office. The other yet to be awarded is through Dr. Marcase’s estate. Speaking of the scholarships if your children or grandchildren will be a senior ready for college in the 16-17 school year please apply, especially if they are going to take Italian language or cultural courses.
We were busy the next week too! On April 6, 2016 Forum members cooked for the families at the Ronald McDonald’s House. We’ll be cooking the same Italian dinner for the families at the “Gift of Life House” later this year. Look for the date on the web.
Speaking of the web, have you visited it lately? It is user friendly and full of info, pictures of what the Forum is up to, like our New York Trip on 5.15.16. E-mail Renee Novello or look in the newsletter for further info. We have t-shirts long and short sleeved with the Forum logo available and will special order hoodies too.
Okay now to a serious issue that the Forum has started to address and you should know about. The Philadelphia School District has dropped the National Holiday, “Christopher Columbus Day” from the calendar for 16-17 school year. A letter was sent from the Forum Executive Board to both Superintendent Hite and the Chair of the SRC, Marge Neff. Among the others that sent supporting letters were: both the state and national OSIA, Senator Farnese, Councilman Mark Squilla, Judge Panepinto and the Council General of Italy. Our letter is posted on the web. Take a look at it. If there is no action to reinstall the holiday we will be starting a petition drive. We will be reaching out to you and other organizations. There appears to be a national agenda to eliminate “Columbus Day”. This is a slight to all Italians and Italian Americans. What’s next, altering history and the books we use in schools?
Italian Americans must become aware and fight these types of issues that border on discrimination or lead to it. Speak up and let us know if you know of any other slight to our culture and history. Do not be afraid to write or call your local politicians as well as state and federal senators. Let them know that you are aware of what is going on. I’ll let you know of the school district’s response. This is not about losing a day off!
Augustine “Augy” Pescatore
President, Columbus Forum
If you have any information you would like to share with your fellow members contact Renee Novello so she can add it to the Website.