CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Chilean educator to visit gifted education programs in Iowa City
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sonia Bralic, a coordinator and consultant for the
Andes Foundation in Santiago, Chile, will visit Iowa City Nov. 24-27 as
a participant in the International Visitor Program sponsored by the United
States Information Agency.
While in Iowa City, Bralic will meet with Nicholas Colangelo, director
of the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted
Education and Talent Development and observe classes for gifted students
at Roosevelt and Horn Elementary Schools in Iowa City. Paul Retish, director
of the Office of International Education in the UI College of Education,
will meet with Bralic to discuss the outreach and consulting programs his
office coordinates with international educators.
Bralic has also been invited to discuss the UI International Writing
Program (IWP) with Steve Ungar, the program's acting director. The Andes
Foundation funded Germ'n Carrasco, a Chilean writer who participated in
the IWP this fall.
The Andes Foundation is one of the most important foundations devoted
to supporting educational and cultural activities in Chile. The foundation's
education division is currently being restructured. One of the immediate
projects is to contribute to government efforts to improve the quality
of education by researching cutting-edge programs for academically talented
students in public elementary and high schools. Bralic and her colleagues
would like to develop special programs that could be implemented in some
high schools during a new extended school day schedule. This longer school
day is one of the main elements of the Chilean educational reform.
Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director, said that since Bralic is visiting
during the Thanksgiving holiday, she will be invited to share a traditional
holiday meal with an Iowa City family and Mary Ann Weiss, a CIVIC staff
CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers "serving and hosting
international visitors as a means to promote international understanding
on a person-to-person basis." It is one of two such organizations
in Iowa that accommodates the U.S. Information Agency's International Visitor
Program. The other is the Iowa Council on International Understanding
at Des Moines.
Every year CIVIC volunteers help arrange programs for 60 to 80 visitors
from around the world. This past fiscal year CIVIC has arranged programs
in eastern Iowa communities for more than 100 international visitors, Baldridge
said. Since its inception in 1985 CIVIC has hosted more than 1,000 visitors,
representing more than 120 different countries ranging from Argentina to
Zimbabwe to Iceland and Papua-New Guinea. CIVIC visitors also make a significant
impact on the local economy, bringing more than $200,000 annually to eastern
Iowa, Baldridge said.
CIVIC is also looking for volunteers to help arrange the itineraries
of international visitors. For more information, call the CIVIC office
at 335-0351 or Jeanne Cadoret, CIVIC board president, at 644-2746. The
CIVIC office is located in Room 132 of the International Center on the
UI campus. The International Center is located at the south end of Ferson
Avenue, off of Park Road, in Iowa City.
(Editors note: Tom Baldridge can help arrange interviews for those wishing
to speak with Bralic during her visit. Contact Baldridge at 335-0351.)