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What's New in Gifted Education
Announcing the 2010 Davidson Fellows
2010 Davidson Fellows! Davidson Fellows have completed graduate-level projects/portfolios that have the potential to benefit society. Each will receive a scholarship and be recognized for their achievements at a special awards reception sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (NV) and Chuck Grassley (IA) in Washington, D.C.
Davidson Fellows Program Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Learn what past Davidson Fellows scholarship recipients are doing today! In honor of the
tenth anniversary of the Davidson Fellows scholarship program, past Davidson Fellows were asked to submit brief quotes and/or success stories about how the scholarship helped them, what they are doing today and anything else they thought would be pertinent.
This article was added to the Davidson Gifted Database and titled,
Davidson Fellows Scholarship Recipients - 10th Anniversary Success Stories.
in the Running for $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) is currently in the running for a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant! Anyone age 13 and up can vote every day
until August 31 (today). This count will reset and everyone
can continue voting in September. If successful, the grant will be used for scholarships to train SENG Model Parent Group leaders all over the country.
These leaders help parents meet the unique needs of their gifted children, as well as offer expert information and resources. However, there are not enough
of them to meet the demand, especially in lower income areas, rural areas and areas where English is a second language.
or dial Pepsi at 73774 and then text the message 101797 to vote for SENG.
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
The 2010-2011 school year is underway as of Aug. 23 with
123 students enrolled. Welcome new students and welcome back returning students!
Academy of Nevada, a free public school, the abilities,
strengths and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high
school students are encouraged and supported. Those who
perform at an academic level of advanced middle school or
higher in all subjects and score in the 99.9th percentile on
IQ or college entrance tests are encouraged to apply. Please
Application Review Process page for more information.
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
students and their families are encouraged to visit the
Academy for an informational monthly tour! The tour provides
an opportunity to hear from current
Academy students and parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, network with others,
and ask specific questions.
are required and can be submitted online at
- Friday, Sept. 24, 2010
- Friday, Oct. 22, 2010
- Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
- Friday, Dec. 10, 2010
Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe
to the free
Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
The Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families, including talent development and educational advocacy, an online community, annual get-togethers, and the Ambassador Program. Applications are due the 1st of each month.
How to Apply and
pages have recently been updated to provide a clear
understanding of the application process.
Free Guidebooks for Gifted Learners
The Davidson Institute offers FREE, online access to three
guidebooks focused on advocacy, early
college and mentorships, as well as a brand new guidebook,
Giving Back: A Guidebook for Volunteerism and Community Service. With a wide variety of articles and tools, these comprehensive guidebooks help direct parents and students through the process of searching for an appropriately challenging educational setting.
The Davidson Institute's
Educators Guild is a FREE national service for active elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals who are committed to meeting the unique academic needs of gifted students. Become a member today to be a part of an online community of more than 1,000 professional educators with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications.
Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act – The Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted to eliminate Javits, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education.
Next, the House of Representatives will vote on the budget. In preparation for
this vote, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) are teaming up to have as many Representatives as possible co-sign a letter from Representatives Gallegly (CA) and Courtney (CT),
urging the House appropriations committee to restore funding for the Javits program. Advocates of gifted education can contact their representatives through
CEC’s Legislative Action Center. Sources:
NAGC Legislative Update page,
CEC Policy Insider page
Equity in Excellence Act – Reps. Payne (NJ), Guthrie (KY) and Polis (CO) recently introduced H.R. 5586, a bill to provide grants to school districts to close the achievement gap for high-ability students. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate (S.3086) by Sens. Dodd (CT)
and Grassley (Iowa). Source:
GEORGIA – Due to budget cuts, the Houston County Board of Education recently approved a resolution to increase the class sizes of its gifted and Advanced Placement courses. The resolution allows the district to add up to seven students per gifted or AP course in Houston County’s middle and high schools during the 2010-11 school year. Source:
– Gifted education in Nebraska avoided a major setback as state education officials backed off eliminating the High Ability Learner (HAL) program. The state’s HAL funding for school districts is still targeted for a 10 percent cut. Originally, officials had proposed cutting the department’s $119,000 HAL budget as well as $2.2 million the state allocates to school districts for gifted programs. Sources:
Lincoln Journal Star
NEW JERSEY – The Upper Freehold Regional School District is expanding its focus to better meet the needs of gifted students. The new program includes plans to differentiate classroom instruction and assignments for all students,
in addition to providing enrichment opportunities and support for gifted students. The district plans to use multiple measurements to assess students for giftedness and differentiated instruction. Source:
NEW YORK – This year, more prekindergarten students
than ever before received the highest possible score on a national scaled test for the gifted and talented program in New York City. The 1,000 4- and 5-year-olds reaching the 99th percentile on the exam represent a 34 percent increase from last year. Source:
New York Times
Questions about a lack of diversity at a New York City public school for gifted students are leading some to suggest that the school change the admissions criteria. Source:
New York Times
OHIO – Under a new state Department of Education recommendation, funding for public schools in Ohio would increase by $929 million, as part of the next two-year state budget. Requests include a 72 percent increase in state aid for gifted education next year, which would augment the total to $119.4 million. Source:
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the
On the Web
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
Is this gifted education, or just good teaching?
– Shouldn't good teachers be able to differentiate for different students, anyway, without calling it gifted education?
Join the discussion
- Take a test, skip a grade?
– It seems like a fairly straightforward proposition: each
grade represents a certain quantity of knowledge. If you
already have mastered that knowledge, shouldn't you be able
to show this on a test, and then move on to the next level?
In other words, take a test, skip a grade?
The Davidson Gifted Database at
www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
This Online Math Program Comparison article provides a
comprehensive chart of the main programs offered throughout
the United States. Parents can use this chart to choose the
online math program that works best for their gifted
Whole Grade Acceleration Success Stories,
provides a collection of real-life stories about successful grade skips written from the parents' perspective. The various accounts cover an assortment of educational options, including public schools, private schools and homeschooling.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
August 24, 2010 -
Why it's okay to be bored in school
August 21, 2010 -
The mislabeled child
August 20, 2010 -
Student’s Scientific Investigation Could Help in Battle Against MS
August 18, 2010 -
The Gifted and the Underachiever (Part 2)
August 16, 2010 -
Lakeshore Weekly News,
Hopkins teen wins hefty scholarship
August 13, 2010 -
Your Child Is Gifted, Now What?
August 11, 2010 -
August 11, 2010 -
The gifted and the underachiever
(Henry S. Tenedero)
August 6, 2010 -
Lady Gaga went to geek camp, too
August 5, 2010 -
An Interview with Deborah Mersino: Chatting for Gifted
(Michael F. Shaughnessy)
August 4, 2010 -
A Tale of Two Trees
July 2010 -
Gifted Children: Nurturing Genius -
July 26, 2010 -
Why gifted children also need special services
July 21, 2010 -
Explore Baltimore County,
Traits of gifted and talented students
July 21, 2010 -
July 21, 2010 -
Brightest young minds attend summer institute
July 14, 2010 -
Child Prodigy Becomes Youngest Indian Professor
Discuss these stories and more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Kimani Emmanuel - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference
some past and present projects you’ve worked on to help make
a positive difference in the lives of others?
I have done quite a few small projects in the past, such as a local block beautification project. Also, I recently gave a speech about the dangers of
plastic bags, and the benefit of re-usable bags. My greatest project to date is a project that I did with
One Earth Heart (OnEartHeart), a not-for-profit organization that I founded. Its main goal is to have kids help other kids. I rallied
local schools, my community and friends to donate backpacks filled with art supplies,
called HappyPacks, for the children in the Vo’Fleur Orphanage in Bahia, Brazil;
the total weight was more than 300 pounds. I traveled to
Bahia to deliver the backpacks.
OnEartHeart, and the idea, comes from a study in which
children who live in traumatic situations were given a choice of a toy or sustaining food. The majority of the children chose the toy, because it was something that they could come back to day after day;
it brought them joy and took their minds off the world around them. What this
study shows is that happiness increases not only
your health, but the will to live and persevere. I plan to expand the project by taking HappyPacks to other places
around the world. Another
HappyPack project will bring books to children in long-term
hospital care units.
I am also currently planning to hold a benefit concert for the children in Haiti.
Already, seven bands have volunteered.
What are some of your long-term plans?
Some of my long-term plans are to institute a system in
which kids from around the world can collaborate and solve
various environmental issues in their own backyards; create a “Peace Orchestra” that kids of all races and ethnicities may join,
because music is a universal language; publish a magazine for those who have limited access to computers; have an online comic that children from all over the world can collaborate on; and continue to develop a demonstration zone for green technology and natural energy sources, showing how the desire to help the environment can become a reality.
What I want to motivate young people to do is ensure that we have a living, breathing planet, not just a sphere of radioactive dirt. Another goal is to instill a caring attitude into this generation, so that we will pass it on to our kids, who will pass it on to their kids and so on, creating generation after generation of caring people.
I want to help create lasting peace, and the only way to do
that is by impacting people during childhood. When kids want something bad enough, they are not afraid to go for it. If we put this attitude toward world peace and a cleaner Earth, there is no limit to what can be accomplished with a little effort from a lot of people. We kids are powerful!
How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?
When I reached the age where I could understand and appreciate what
the program was, I was very happy to be a
Young Scholar. I am immensely happy to have people my age
I can talk to and who can understand what I am saying and
appreciate my interests. It is very
empowering to know that there is a group of people on
your level to talk to, and the YS program has not
only kept my mind sharp, but it
has also brought some great
people and friends into my life.
In particular the
Young Scholars Ambassador Program was
instrumental in teaching me organization and leadership. It helped me set realistic goals
so I could break up my big ideas into
little pieces and create realistic goals to eventually
achieve my bigger goals.
Please describe some positive experiences with mentors.
From a young age, I had an interest in astrophysics, mostly on the subject of
black holes and their properties. Since science was always my favorite subject, I always sought more of it than my school
offered. This led to numerous outside activities, and even a summer camp at the City College of New York.
One of my favorite experiences with a mentor was when I was invited to see the research of Dr. Daniel Wolf Savin, an astrophysicist who was working on replicating (on the molecular scale) conditions on the inside of a star. He showed me the research that his colleagues were working on. One of my favorite experiments was the construction of a “satellite” that would be sent into the atmosphere to measure Big Bang radiation from space.
Another favorite mentor of mine was Dr. Neil De-Grace Tyson, whom I have had access to since I was
seven years old. He is the director of the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I had many pleasant experiences with him, my favorite being when I went to a lecture of his on the physics of the Matrix.
I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to tell you a little more about myself and my organization, OnEartHeart. As you can see, it is an enormous undertaking, and I hope that the Davidson community will not only stand by me in numbers, but in actions. Thank you.
". . . For as much as the world has benefited from the contributions of gifted individuals, it is disturbing, to this writer, to realize that the population least likely to learn and achieve its potential is the highly gifted."
~ Joseph Cardillo, Psychology Today
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