SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It’s surrounded by cranes and all the hub-hub that is the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, but something very special is going on behind the doors at La Scuola … preschool through 2nd graders are all getting schooled in Italian!

What began as a play-group for a few families 10 years ago to pass on their Italian heritage has now grown into a world-class Italian immersion school. La Scuola embraces the child’s learning spirit and allows them to discovery naturally while learning a 2nd language in a very unique environment.

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Executive Director Valentina Imbeni says it all about their surroundings.”The environment is the 3rd teacher. So if you create a unique environment,a stimulating environment … a sort of laboratory the kids will learn differently and better,” said Imbeni

It’s working, too. In a matter of weeks kids are speaking Italian, and within a year most are fluent.

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From books to posters even the signs in the garden are in Italian and that’s not all, the food is, too

Chef Virna Messina is straight from Calabria and her bolognese is legendary. “The kids eat better here than at home. I can say that for my kids as well”, said Imbeni. There are over a dozen languages spoken by the student’s parents at home and now Italian is the common thread for all these families. It’s a love for all things Italian.



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