SCOLA staff, volunteers, and students met Sunday, August 7 with board members of the Dante Literary Society to formalize a new partnership between the two groups. The Dante Literary Society, located on Prospect Street in Scranton, was the place where many Italian immigrants learned to speak English when they were newly arrived. The Dante helped new arrivals to assimilate into American society, offering help getting jobs, finding apartments, accessing medical help, learning English, and enrolling their children in school. Through its new sponsorship of SCOLA, the society will work to raise funds to aid new immigrants, as well as native English speakers, improve their reading and writing skills.
According to president, Joe Riccardo, the partnership was natural. The Dante Society recognizes that Scranton’s new immigrants settling into the South Side area need the same help that Italian immigrants needed so long ago, and they are ready to welcome them. The Dante will be doing events throughout the year to benefit SCOLA and UNC. The first event is a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, September 18 from noon to 3. Tickets are $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for children. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time at UNC’s Administrative Offices at 425 Alder St. in Scranton.