Postcards from Prato

Jessica Sullivan


I don’t think I’ve ever needed to catch up on sleep as much as I did after Spring Break. I needed a vacation from vacation. I was excited to be back in Prato, though, because on Mondays, I volunteer at the local school.

I am working with the second graders and helping teach English. The professor integrates English as much as she can into her lessons. We get to help with the lesson and even create our own. Last class, we taught the kids what Easter is like in America. We told them about Easter baskets, egg hunts and the Easter bunny.

We say words or sentences in English and have them repeat after us. They are really great at English and make fun of my Italian.

Last time, I was working with two kids and they were making me repeat Italian words after them. I had to stop them and have them say the English word after. It’s so amazing working with these kids and seeing how different the Italian school system is then ours.

There is a much different dynamic between the teacher and the students. The teachers seen more as friends than a disciplinary figure for the students. The teacher jokes around and makes fun of the kids. The kids are just allowed to get up and leave the classroom to use the bathroom whenever they want without asking for permission.

They are young kids too.

They are so cute! As soon as we walk into the room, they run up to us and ask us how we are and say hi and when we leave they all come up to us and say goodbye individually. Volunteering has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at the Tuscany campus. I love it and I know I will miss it so much when I leave.

Tanti Saluti da,