Davidson Institute                                                                                        October 2010
             What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight
   What's New in Gifted Education
  2010 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Davidson FellowsOn Sept. 29, 2010, 20 young people were honored at the Davidson Fellows award ceremony for their work in Science, Literature, Technology and Mathematics. Davidson Institute for Talent Development co-founders, Bob and Jan Davidson, presented the awards at the 10th annual ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In recognition of their remarkable achievements, each of the 2010 Davidson Fellows received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship. View the Washington D.C. photo gallery.

Dr. Jane Piirto Named NAGC Distinguished Scholar
NAGC Distinguished ScholarDr. Jane Piirto, the trustees’ distinguished professor in the Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University, has been selected as the 2010 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Distinguished Scholar. The Distinguished Scholar award is NAGC’s highest honor, and is presented annually to those who have made “significant contributions to the field of knowledge regarding the education of gifted and talented individuals” for more than 10 years. Dr. Piirto will receive this award at the NAGC 57th Annual Convention in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 12. She is the author of numerous books on giftedness and creativity, including Understanding Creativity. Source: Examiner.com

Dr. Frances Karnes Receives TeachTechTopia Award
TeachTechTopia AwardDr. Frances Karnes, a professor of gifted education and director of the Frances Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), has been named one of TeachTechTopia’s Top 10 Most Influential Special Education Professors. TeachTechTopia lauds Karnes and her fellow honorees for working “to improve the quality of life for gifted and disabled people through their research and efforts.”

Dr. Karnes founded the Center for Gifted Studies in 1979, helping thousands of gifted students through teaching, research and service, as well as academic and leadership enrichment programs. Under her leadership, the Center has secured numerous federal grants. She has also served as an editor for numerous gifted publications. Source: Southern Miss Now

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada - 2011-2012 Application Available
Davidson AcademyA free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students. Visit The Davidson Academy How to Apply page to find the application, which consists of three downloadable documents. 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 review the Qualification Criteria page of our website as these scores are required for student eligibility. Also visit the Application Review Process for detailed information.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Prospective 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, meet faculty and staff, network with others, and ask specific questions. Davidson Academy
  • Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
  • Friday, Dec. 10, 2010
  • Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
  • Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
  • Friday, March 25, 2011
  • Friday, April 15, 2011
RSVPs are required and can be submitted online at www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu/Explore.

Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe to the free Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here.

Tuition, Room & Board Numbers Announced for New 2011-2012 Academy Residential Program
Davidson AcademyThe Davidson Academy is moving forward with a Residential Program for the 2011-2012 school year! For those participating in the program, the cost will be $19,500 for annual tuition and $3,500 for annual room and board fees. Residential students from out of state will be required to pay tuition as well as room and board fees. In-state students will only be required to pay room and board fees. Residential students will live with local host families during the school year so their families do not have to relocate in order for them to attend school. To apply, a completed Davidson Academy Application along with a Residential Program Interest Form are due Dec. 1, 2010.

THINK Summer Institute 2011 THINK Summer Institute
Applications are available for the 2011 THINK Summer Institute, which will run July 9 through July 30. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK. The first of two deadlines is January 12, 2011. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a space-available basis until our second deadline of February 9, 2011. Apply today!

 Davidson Fellows
2011 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2011 Davidson Fellows scholarships are available online. Young people under the age of 18 have the opportunity to earn a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is March 2, 2011. Apply today!
   Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act – Following the Senate Appropriations Committee’s recent vote to eliminate Javits, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education, 24 members of the House of Representatives co-signed a letter (PDF) to the House Appropriations Committee requesting that the committee restore Javits funding in fiscal year 2011 to its 2010 level of $7.5 million. Currently, Congress is using a "Continuing Resolution" (CR) to "continue" funding levels from fiscal year 2010. The CR will be maintained until December 3, 2010, at which time it will either be extended or agency appropriations bills will be finalized. Source: NAGC Legislative Update page

GEORGIA – The Dinoff School in Griffin, a high school with a curriculum designed specifically for gifted students, was recently received approximately $1 million in scholarship money that will pay the full Gifted Legislationtuition for families who would otherwise not be able to afford the school. The funds come from federal and corporate sources and will help up to 100 students each year. Source: The Citizen

MARYLAND – A new private school for gifted children, the Feynman School, recently opened its doors in Darnestown and plans to use a multi-lingual curriculum. Forty students are already enrolled for the fall of 2011. Source: The Gazette

MASSACHUSETTS – A new school for gifted and talented students, Anova: The Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity and Learning, opened this fall in Melrose. Source: Melrose Free Press

MINNESOTA – A “school within a school” for gifted and talented students has been proposed at Sunset Terrace Elementary in Rochester. Source: Post-Bulletin

NEBRASKA – Gifted education programs across the state would lose $217,567 in 2011-2012, as part of a recent proposal by the Nebraska Board of Education to reduce the education budget by 8.8 percent from the current year. Much of this funding is used by school districts to train teachers. Source: Omaha World-Herald

NEW YORK – The State University of New York (SUNY) and EdWorks recently announced the launch of 11 Smart Scholars Early College High Schools across the state. The Smart Scholars initiative will serve more than 2,700 students. Source: SUNY

A new private school in New York City's TriBeCa neighborhood that opened this fall is aiming to meet the needs of students ages 6 to 11 who are twice-exceptional. This school, named the Lang School, is believed to be the city's first school designed specifically for twice-exceptional students. Source: DNAinfo.com

VIRGINIA – Starting in the fall of 2011, the new Early College Academy at Mary Baldwin College will offer accelerated higher education opportunities for 16- and 17-year-old girls, allowing them to complete high school degree requirements in tandem with college courses. In comparison, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG), allows 13-16-year-old girls to outright bypass all or some high school grades. Source: Staunton News Leader

Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out on the Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.  
If you know of new legislation, please contact the Communications Team.

   On the Web
  Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts focusing on profiles and insightful Q&A's of the 2010 Davidson Fellows. Join the discussion today!

Davidson Gifted DatabaseFeatured Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students.

The Gifted LearningLinks Program (GLL) at the Center for Talent Development combines gifted education expertise with advanced technology to provide a consummate online learning experience. It offers academically talented K-12 students the opportunity to take enrichment, high school honors, AP, and university credit courses online.

This article, 2e Students: Who They Are and What They Need, provides an in-depth look at how to best identify twice-exceptional students and meet their learning needs.

The Bright Kids Club is a community that allows gifted students to socialize with other gifted children. It provides them an opportunity to challenge and be challenged.

Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
October 21, 2010 - Southeast Missourian, Gifted programs dealing with budget cuts (M.D. Kittle)
October 18, 2010 - Irish Independent, Mind & Meaning: Gifted children have their own burdens (Patricia Casey)
October 13, 2010 - Education Week, What's a 4-Year-Old Doing in Kindergarten? (Tamara Fisher)
October 2, 2010 - Lodi News-Sentinel, Should age really be a factor when starting kindergarten? (Jennifer Bonnett)
September 29, 2010 - Vancouver Sun, Hothousing children is a bad idea (Rosie Millard)
September 27, 2010 - Oregon Live, Should you have your child tested for gifted programs - and when? (A. Wang)
September 26, 2010 - Press-Enterprise, Gifted children must also have work ethic (Mitchell Rosen)
September 24, 2010 - 6ABC.com, Student receives scholarship for cancer project (Ali Gorman)
September 23, 2010 - Washington Post, For gifted students, skipping a grade is a smart move (Jay Mathews)
September 16, 2010 - Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gifted students bored and ignored (G. Whitaker & A. Robinson)
September 15, 2010 - Education Week, Research Suggests a 'Gap Year' Motivates Students (Sarah D. Sparks)
September 15, 2010 - Atlanta Journal Constitution, Are schools failing highly gifted kids in society? (T. Giarrusso)
September 12, 2010 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Prodigy label can help...or hinder (Jeremy Boren & Kyle Lawson)
September 8, 2010 - American Thinker, The War on Academic Achievement (Robert Weissberg)
September 8, 2010 - Ultimate Kingwood, Standing up for gifted students (Mike Madere)
September 3, 2010 - Huffington Post, Are We Over-Scheduling Our Children? (Laura Vanderkam)
September 2010 - Psychology Today, Gifted: What Happens When They Grow Up? - Part I  Part II (Joseph Cardillo)

Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

   In the Spotlight

Melody Liu - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

What are some past and present projects you’ve worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others?

In the SpotlightI started Books for Hope (http://ourbooksforhope.org/) last year through the Young Scholars Ambassador Program. I was inspired by my dad’s colleague, who immigrated to the United States from Kenya. He saw the misfortunes of orphans in Kenya, and every year when he went back to Kenya, he would bring them donations and books from the U.S. When I volunteered at the local library last year, I would see boxes of books in the back room – books that were taken off the shelves because nobody wanted to read them anymore! If the library couldn’t sell them, they would often pay to have them recycled, which seemed like a pretty big waste to me. Since a lot of libraries had the same problem of getting rid of books, taking the books from libraries and sending them to orphanages in Africa would kill two birds with one stone - it could help boost the literacy rate in Africa (currently 60%, a far cry from the 99% rate in the U.S.) and help the libraries get rid of books. We are currently sending books to the Motherly Care Children’s Home, a great home for orphans who have been displaced because of HIV / AIDS.

This year in school, I started a community service project that worked with the local animal shelter, SAVE. In addition to collecting supplies for the shelter, we help recruit local high school students to volunteer there for community service hours. I’ve always loved dogs, and have always wanted a pet since I was young, so volunteering at the animal shelter gave me the opportunity to form a relationship with the abandoned and abused pets. By creating a spin-off group at the high school, we reach many more people.

In 2007, my siblings and I created a community service group called Formosa Youth, where we, along with other youth, play Taiwanese folk songs and instrumental pieces at nearby nursing homes. The elderly would gather by the dozens in the front room, closing their eyes to listen to the music, as we played our violins and piano. It amazed and inspired me to see their eyes light up when they saw us enter, carrying our instruments.
In the Spotlight
What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?

I plan to major in a field in astronomy, perhaps astrophysics or cosmology. I’ve always been interested in the deep, vast outer space, especially what happened in the fraction of a second after the Big Bang or how the universe formed. The universe holds so many questions that are just waiting to be answered, and with astronomy’s vast developments in the past decade, with new telescopes and technology, I believe the problems that have evaded astronomers for decades, can be solved in the next few years! However, though I enjoy astronomy, in the long term, I would like to accomplish something that would affect the lives of people all around the world. Though astronomy is useful, it is not directly applicable to the lives of people on earth, and I want to do something that matters and that will have an impact on the generations to come. I have dreamed of ending world hunger, improving the standards of life for children in third world countries, or even stopping corruption in the government. The goals seem so out of reach, and yet, I hear about kids doing amazing things and helping each other. I think that if we all work together, our generation will be able to do all these things and more!

How has the Davidson Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?

The Young Scholars program has helped me immensely. My family consultant, Erik Schwinger, has continuously helped guide me through the process of developing and getting my project up and running. He has also helped me find a mentor who has led me in my pursuits in astronomy, and has given me so many ideas and resources that I would not have received without the Young Scholars program. In addition, without the
Young Scholars Ambassador Program, I don’t think Books for Hope could have fully emerged. The monthly seminars, which taught me how to communicate effectively, develop leadership abilities, and fundraise, have really helped me develop the project.

   Closing Thought

"The overall goal for me is to help other people because the world has given a lot to me so hopefully I can help give back to society."

               ~ Ben Song, 6abc.com


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