June 01, 2006
Josephine Pacini, retired educator and longtime St. John’s
University professor, sharing her love for the education of the
very young with the diversity of other cultures, has contributed a
significant amount to establish the Josephine M. Pacini Endowed
The Pacini scholarship will provide support for St. John’s
professors and up to ten students per year to travel to Brescia,
Italy, during each summer beginning in 2006 to engage in
collaborative research and study at the Reggio Emilia Municipal
Infant-Toddler Center and Preschools hosted by the Catholic
University of the Sacred Heart of Milan at its Brescia campus, the
Scuola Publishing Company and the Municipality of Brescia.
The five Pacini student scholarship winners that will be making
the trip to Italy this summer are: Erinn Stampe of Floral Park,
N.Y., Rosemary Mc Hugh of New Hyde Park, N.Y., Stacy Anne Garal of
Astoria, N.Y., Kathleen Valencia of Corona, N.Y. and Jennifer J.
Siwula of Cheekowaga, N.Y.
Dean of the St. John’s School of Education, said the endowment will
accelerate St. John’s master’s degree program in early childhood
education, now in its fifth year.
The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on developing academic
knowledge and learning skills among toddlers through experiences
heavily involved in the arts.
“It’s unlike anything in the world,” said Ross. “There are other
universities that go to Italy, but the program offered by the town
of Brescia is tailored specifically for St. John’s. This great
Italian cultural center lends itself to the creation of arts-based
programs that are not in the United States.”
Pacini, recently honored by the university with the prestigious
President’s Medal at their commencement exercises on May 14, has
had a long and diverse career in the New York City Schools System
where she fostered programs in the languages and arts curriculum.
Pacini was a member of the university’s Italian Cultural Society
and has traveled throughout the world with St. John’s professors,
participating in the International Council on Education for
Teaching and in support of the Italian Teachers Association.
The Municipality of Reggio Emilia manages early childhood
services based on a number of distinct features including
participation of the families, the collegial work of the staff, the
importance given to the school environment, the presence of the
atelier and the on-site kitchen, and the pedagogical-didactic
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