1. 1035 Van Hoy Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
The Winston-Salem Foundation
860 West Fifth Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Dear Kay Dillon,
I hope that the Blanche Raper Zimmerman Scholarship will fund my attendance to this year’s
Confratute. Confratute is a two-week conference and institute held annually at the University of Connecticut. It
has gained recognition as one of the top programs in gifted education. It focuses on ways to enrich the
educational experiences of all students by improving higher-order thinking skills.
In recent years, there has been much attention on students who are being left behind their peers. I
argue that more attention should be focused on those students who are intellectual and creative leaders. They
are the children who will shape tomorrow. They are the children who will become role-models for future
students. When they are engaged in learning, they light up, and it is contagious. I foster that passion in
students so that it may spread like wildfire.
Minorities are grossly underrepresented in gifted education programs. In fact, while minority students
make up more than half of the school-age population in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, they only
account for about one-tenth of the Academically/Intellectually Gifted (AIG) population in our schools. There are
many college scholarships and jobs available to qualified students, but we seem unable to supply the quality of
students to fill that demand. We must start encouraging academic leadership at the elementary level.
I teach at Ashley I.B. Magnet School, an at-risk elementary school. We have implemented the
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (I.B. PYP) to enrich the education of our students. I
have spent five years creating and applying a curriculum that goes beyond knowing about the flags and festivals
of other countries. I want my students to participate in a program of inquiry studying the beliefs and
understanding of the world from various cultural perspectives.
When the school opened, our students lacked much of the background that was necessary for this
program. Thankfully, over time, students are beginning to become more knowledgeable about the world around
them. However, they still struggle with global concepts. I believe that what these students need are higher-
order thinking skills and enrichment activities that Confratute has built its reputation on.
My students are fortunate to participate in the I.B. program. It has exposed them to world customs,
languages, and belief systems that they might not have learned about otherwise. They get a good inter-national
education. What they need is inter-cultural education, and the culture they need exposure to is the culture of
higher education and higher order thinking. I fear that if my students do not value continuing education beyond
2. high-school, they will waste their potential. Unfortunately, many of my third-graders do not see themselves
graduating high school and cannot envision themselves as professional adults. Most have parents who did not
complete school, and cannot imagine doing more themselves. Confratute will help me instill in my students a
vision of themselves as achievers who will continue to learn throughout their lives.
Test scores and teacher anecdotes indicate that the students at Ashley are absorbing more information
than before. They know many facts. What they need to compete in an international marketplace are the skills
and traits often attributed to gifted children, such as analysis and synthesis. They need to decide what
information is important and connect it in ways to be most useful. Confratute specializes in teaching educators
how to work with gifted children. I believe these skills and strategies can (and should) be shared with all
The I.B. program has brought out traits such as inquiry and reflectiveness, which reveal how much
human potential these students have that is not currently recognized or nurtured. Confratute is a gathering for
some of the top minds in gifted education. I would like to meet researchers and theorists, as well as other
educators, and ask them how they recommend helping my students become familiar and accepting of the
culture of higher education. Only by feeling successful in school and valuing life-long learning will my students
truly be able to continue intercultural education after they leave Ashley school.
Costs of Confratute
Registration (including housing and meals): $1,900
Graduate Credit: $2,729
Airport Shuttle: $60
Thank you for your consideration,