SACI Students Creatively Connect with the Florentine Community

Taylor Healy at Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Taylor Healy at Santa Maria Novella, Florence

SACI encourages students to work with the Florentine community on a range of volunteer projects. SACI students teach English at elementary schools, serve as English-language museum guides, and assist at international aid agencies. As part of their classes, SACI students create artwork for local hospitals, design posters for human rights and slow food organizations, and restore art treasures. Each year SACI offers a special award to a student for exemplary service to the community. Click here to see more SACI Community Involvement stories.

SACI Students Volunteer as Guides in local churches

Tory Birnes at Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

Tory Birnes at Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

During the Spring 2014 term, SACI students Taylor HealyTory BirnesJessica Bastidas, and Annie Wilsey each volunteered for an organization called Ars et Fides. They acted as docents for tours in the main churches of Florence: Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Maria Novella, and Santa Croce. Of her experience in the Duomo, Taylor said, “I really enjoyed volunteering in one of the world’s most famous churches. It was an incredible opportunity and I highly recommend it to any student. Giving tours and answering questions really allowed me to learn more about the cathedral, and also the early history of Florence. An extra perk of volunteering was free admission into the other churches throughout the city! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Hopefully I will be back in Italy soon!”

Here are more photos of the SACI students giving tours on location in Florence:

 

Jessica Bastidas at the Basilica of Santa Croce, and Taylor Healy at Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Jessica Bastidas at the Basilica of Santa Croce, and Taylor Healy at Santa Maria Novella, Florence

SACI Students Volunteer in Community Garden

Community Garden, Florence

Community Garden, Florence

Spring is a great time of year to volunteer in the new Community Garden in Florence. During the Spring 2014 term, Samantha Hauser and Diana Pemberton enjoyed sharing their green thumbs with the local community of gardeners and nature lovers. They helped plant flowers and vegetables while maintaining the public grounds. The garden, called Orti Dipinti (Painted Gardens) promotes creativity for all ages. Some SACI students have donated their sculptural works to the garden.

 

Samantha Hauser and Diana Pemberton in the Community Garden, Florence

Samantha Hauser and Diana Pemberton in the Community Garden, Florence

SACI Student Voluteers at the Children’s Lending Library

Spring 2014 student, Nicole Kimberly Price, volunteered at the Children’s Lending Library in Florence. Of her experience, Nicole had to say, “I’m so glad that I decided to volunteer at the Children’s Lending Library. I am very interested in illustrating for children’s books, and I even make a children’s book in my Illustration class at SACI. It was very fun and inspiring to organize and look through the books every time I volunteered. On top of that, the staff is so nice. All of them were extremely kind to me and every time I went to the library I had a fun time. I will definitely miss the Children’s Lending Library and the memories I made there when I have to go back to my home college in the United States.”

Nicole Kimberly Price at the Children's Lending Library, Florence

Nicole Kimberly Price at the Children’s Lending Library, Florence

SACI Students Volunteer in Local Elementary Schools

Erin Mullins with local elementary school students in Florence

Erin Mullins with local elementary school students in Florence

This spring, several SACI students we able to volunteer in local elementary schools, working with young children: Leon Jones, Danielle Schaefer, Anna Charney, Nicole Gagliardi, Daniela Perri, Shane Boissiere, Erin Mullins, and Zoe Gross. The volunteers used their creative skills for fun children’s art projects, as well as their language skills teaching in English. The elementary kids and the SACI students had tons of fun together! This is a great way to create lasting bonds and provide role models for these children. The kids love having foreign visitors and many already speak some English. Some even keep in contact with SACI students after the term ends and they return to the US. If you like working with kids, this is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community!

Nicole Gagliardi teaching English in local elementary school in Florence

Nicole Gagliardi teaching English in local elementary school in Florence

Anna Charney and Danielle Schaefer volunteering in local elementary school, Florence

Anna Charney and Danielle Schaefer volunteering in local elementary school, Florence

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit university-level institution in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking fully accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Year Abroad; Academic Semester Abroad; Late Spring & Summer Studies; Post-Baccalaureate Year Abroad; Two-Year MFA in Studio Art; and a Two-Year MFA in Photography.

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