MB America, the Filippo Marazzi Foundation (FFM) and Mayac Inc receive the Military Child Education Coalition’s (MCEC) 2017 Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award - K-12 category - for their Italian Cooperative Program (ICP). MB America’s CEO Marco Bruzzi, FFM’s VP Monica Melotti and Mayac’s Director Luigi Bava were honored and officially recognized with the award on August 1st at the MCEC National Training Seminar in Washington, DC.

On receiving the award on behalf of the ICP’s partners, MB America’s CEO Marco Bruzzi commented "I am extremely honored for this recognition and proud of everyone who made the Italian Cooperative Program possible. We are all touched by the educational issues affecting the highly mobile military children. Being Italian, the fact that through my native language we can benefit these children, makes all this even more exciting for us".

In April 2017, MB America, the FFM and Mayac, together with the Okaloosa County School District (OCSD), launched the ICP with the generous support of the General Consulate of Italy in Miami, ODLI Inc., on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Italian Military Delegation, at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida.

Starting with Niceville High School and Ruckel Middle School in the 2017/18 school year, MB America, the FFM and Mayac pay for the teacher’s salaries, textbooks and teaching materials whilst the OCSD provide the facility space and educational support required to make this program a success for all students involved.

The ICP gives native Italian language instruction to the dependents of active duty Italian Armed Forces members who are stationed at Eglin AFB embedded within the 33rd Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force. Additionally, the ICP provides American students the opportunity to learn the Italian language and culture, with a total number of 160 students who already participate in the program.

The Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award annually recognizes successful partnerships and projects that ultimately benefit military-connected children. The Award is given in two areas: K-12 and higher education. The K-12 award may represent a single project in which a military installation and one or more school districts participated, or it may be a summation of the entire program between a military installation and the school districts serving an installation.

"The Italian Cooperative Program truly lives the MCEC vision to ensure inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children. Working together, the General Consulate of Italy in Miami,MB America, the Filippo Marazzi Foundation, Mayac, ODLI and the Okaloosa County School District make great things happen for great kids!" commented Dr. Mary M. Keller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Military Child Education Coalition.