Archive for September, 2010

From the AJC opinion page: A challenge to schools

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

In a guest opinion piece in Monday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, national and state leaders in gifted education speak to why it’s so important for schools to challenge and support our brightest students.

The headline of the article is a bit gloomy, but the authors say Georgia actually does comparatively well when it comes to gifted education programs. Still, there is more to be done, and when you find yourself in a position to lobby for greater gifted support, the arguments presented here can help answer the question of why we should pay attention to gifted students.

Categories: Advocacy and policy

IMPACT science Saturdays at UWG

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

The IMPACT (Improving Motivation, Performance, Attitudes of Children and Teachers) program at the University of West Georgia has announced its fall schedule of Saturday science programs, and registration is now open.

Sessions will be held on Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. Classes are offered for kids from kindergarten through 8th grade, covering a variety of topics from the water cycle to kitchen chemistry to computer animation.

We went to the kickoff session of IMPACT this weekend, and I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s a haul from anywhere in DeKalb. Just how far is it? Well, figure out how long it takes you to get to the intersection of I-20 and the west side of I-285, and then add 45 minutes to estimate your total travel time to UWG. But the price is right: just $5 for a three-hour class. And since you sign up for classes individually, you could pick one topic that really tickles your kid’s brain and make a day of it, enjoying lunch or dinner in historic downtown Carrollton.

Enrollment is limited to 24 children per class, so if you’re interested, sign up soon.

Categories: Enrichment

Odyssey of the Mind releases schedule for competitions and training

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Georgia Odyssey of the Mind has opened its registration process for coaches’ training, team workshops and competitions for the 2010-11 season.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international organization that encourages and celebrates creative problem solving. Competitions are open to teams of children from kindergarten through college. If your school doesn’t already have a team, it’s not hard to organize one. You don’t even have to be affiliated with a school to haveĀ  a team — you can form a team with your kid’s neighborhood friends, Girl Scout Troop, soccer team, or whatever. In fact, last year, the Dunwoody Homeowners Association sponsored a team that went all the way to the World Finals.

If you plan to start a new team, you’ll want to attend the coaches’ training on Oct. 23 at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn. Registration for the workshop is open until Oct. 16.

Categories: Enrichment

Fernbank Planetarium's new show: Many Faces of Hubble

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

The Fernbank Planetarium has just opened a new production about the Hubble Telescope. The show looks at the construction and use of the telescope, and includes interviews with key scientists. Officially, the program is aimed at adults and children 10 and up, but all are welcome.

The Many Faces of Hubble will run through Dec. 3, 2010, and will return from Jan. 6-29, 2011, after the planetarium runs its holiday program. Show times are:

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.
Fridays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays at 3:00 p.m.

Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children.

Categories: Enrichment

Legislative alert: Federal funding for gifted research

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment

In gifted education, it’s on the local level that the rubber meets the road. But the federal government does have one program that supports gifted ed. Sadly, that one program is in jeopardy.

The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program sponsors research on gifted education. In the past, it’s been funded by Congress to the tune of anywhere from $7 million to $11 million per year. In the current budget passed by the U.S. Senate, however, all funding for Javits has been killed.

The U.S. House of Representatives can reverse this action by restoring funding to Javits. If you want to express your support of continuing Javits, you can contact your representative using an online form provided by the Council for Exceptional Children.

Separate from this but also related to federal support for gifted education, a bill has been introduced in the U.S. House that would provide local school districts with grants for programs aimed at closing the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged gifted and talented students. The Equity in Excellence Act (H.R. 5586) has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

If you’re interested in staying on top of legislative activity and communicating with lawmakers about the importance of gifted education, the National Association for Gifted Children has established a Legislative Action Network. Members of the network will be alerted to what’s going on in Congress and will be encouraged to keep in contact their local representatives. (Note: You don’t have to be an NAGC member to sign up.)

Categories: Advocacy and policy

Classes will teach about parenting gifted kids

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

As parents of gifted kids, we share their struggles as they work through the social and emotional issues that can come with being gifted. These can include feelings of isolation or not fitting in with peers, as well as pressure — from themselves or others — to succeed or be perfect.

A new discussion group in the Metro Atlanta area will give parents a forum to talk about how to support gifted children’s emotional needs. The group is being formed under the auspices of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), an organization founded to help parents, teachers and others to nurture gifted individuals as they find their place in the world.

The group will meet in Roswell every Wednesday evening from Sept. 22 to Nov. 10. The class will include reading and discussion of the book A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, by James T. Webb, Janet L. Gore, Edward R. Amend and Arlene DeVries.

The cost for the eight-week program is $150 for one person or $175 for two people attending together. For more information, contact one of the SENG-trained class leaders, Kathy Courchene or Muriel Knope.

Categories: Parenting