The National Italian American Foundation’s Book Drive Begins *Visit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(WASHINGTON, DC– March 17, 2006) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is organizing a national book drive to encourage awareness of Italian heritage and Italian American culture through literature. Through the spirit of generosity, inherent in the Italian American culture, educational literature will be donated to school and community libraries across the country.

“Through this exciting, new, nationwide program, individuals can impact what youngsters learn and read about Italian Americans,” NIAF Chairman A. Kenneth Ciongoli, said.

Each season, NIAF will select a new theme for the books. This season’s theme is Italian American identity. The NIAF is recommending I Am Italian American by Brenda Depalma ($18.75, for kindergarten through second grades); Italian Americans by Nichole Bryan ($22.78 for third through fifth grades); The Italian American Experience by Philip Di Franco ($9.95 for fifth through eighth grades); and Were You Always an Italian? by Maria Laurino ($11.16 for ninth through twelfth grades). These books are only suggestions; and any book that conveys a positive image of Italian Americans is encouraged.

To participate in the Italian American Book Drive, contact your local school library before purchasing the books to see if book donations are accepted, and mention the book(s) you would like to donate. After the library accepts the titles, purchase the books through NIAF’s website. When you receive the books in the mail, cut out the donation book plate provided by NIAF, and affix it to the book’s inside cover.

For each book donated through the NIAF book drive, the Foundation will match the donation with a book to a public or private school around the country. In order for NIAF to track and match the book donations, fill out the provided donation sheet and return it to NIAF.

For more information or to order these books, visit For further information, contact Michelle Arbeit at or 202/939-3119.

The NIAF is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Learn more about our programs and events by