LETTER: State should keep funding Governor’s School

To the editor:

I am writing you to voice my concern over North Carolina Senate Bill 257, which eliminates funding for the North Carolina Governor’s School program. This program is the oldest in the nation of its kind and has served the academically and intellectually gifted students in our state since 1963. It would be a tragedy if this amazing summer program would end after the 2017 summer.

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is a five and one-half week residential summer program where academically gifted students focus on the process of learning, as well as explore current ideas and concepts in each discipline of study without the burden of credit, tests or grades. There is an East Campus hosted By Meredith College in Raleigh, and a West Campus Hosted by Salem College in Winston-Salem.

I believe that Governor’s School is an essential program that has to be retained because it helps North Carolina’s best and brightest students rediscover their passion for learning. The joy of learning is often replaced by the drudgery of chasing grades in our education system. The students who this hurts the most are the gifted students who get the best grades. Governor’s School helps our gifted students refocus their energy on the fascination of discovery instead of worrying about getting the A-plus.

Governor’s School also creates an environment of self-discovery and acceptance for our academically gifted students. There are many insecurities that come with being the smartest student in your school. The communities created each summer provide a place for students to grow as individuals and become better people. It also lets them know that they are not alone as they are able to bond with the others in the community who share their extraordinary talents and gifts.

The North Carolina Governor’s School has served over 35,000 students over its 54-year history. The experiences that these students have is truly life changing. I strongly urge the North Carolina House of Representatives to restore funding to the Governor’s School program.

Gerrick Suggs

Activities Coordinator, N.C. Governor’s School