|This newsletter is sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children
SIG eNewsletter: The Gifted Student
In this issue:
From the President's Desk
A letter from Barbara Swicord, President of SIG:
While November is the month that we officially think about giving thanks, I would like to extend a year-round plea for living a life of appreciation. It is apparent that many people have discovered the benefits of being grateful throughout their lives, usually after acquiring many years of experience with life. As our particular work is with youth, I have asked our staff to have students in our summer camps take a few minutes to express their appreciation to the person or group or association who supported them in having their SIG experience, whether that support was financial, educational, or emotional. It’s always a disappointment to me to hear about the few students who choose to dismiss this opportunity with sarcasm, non-appreciation, or non-participation. While I understand that they may not have yet experienced the positive aspects of living a life of appreciation, or have not been made aware of the importance of such an attitude from their home or school experience, I do want to do all I can to impress upon young people how important appreciation is.
I thought this month might be a great opportunity to encourage appreciation through practical motivation, rather than an emotional motive that one might not yet be ready to feel. Everyone wants to be healthy and feel good, right? So if you need further motivation to be grateful, know that gratitude is linked to improved health and also promotes healing. People who practice appreciation boost their immune systems, which results in better health than those who do not. Thinking of positive things changes your body chemistry in a good way. If that’s not enough motivation, know that you will have decreased stress levels, increased energy, stronger relationships, and less depression and hypertension.
Writing thank you notes, as we sometimes ask students to do, is just one simple way to practice gratitude. Other ways you can add the positive energy of appreciation to your life include keeping a gratitude journal, experiencing nature, or carrying a small object around that, when you see or touch it, reminds you to be grateful for something. If you can’t manage to do any of these things, simply smile at a stranger or do something nice for someone else to remind yourself of your position of being able to give to others. If you are a teacher or parent, make a conscious effort to encourage these kinds of behaviors in your students. If you are a student, take time to cultivate these practices in your life as well as in your peers. We’ll all be better off in the long and short run in myriad ways that also include good health and enhanced happiness. What more could you want?
So, in my own personal note of appreciation, today and every day I thank all of you for all you do for our highly able youth to make their lives engaged and fulfilled. I also thank my incredible staff for what they do on a year-round daily basis to create fantastic programs for young people and for making coming to work every day a joy and an honor. Thank you!
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted
SIG in the Big Apple! Our Newest Residential Program at Columbia University
Session Dates: June 29-July 19, 2014
Open to: Students who will be ages 13-17
by August 31, 2014
Extended Commuter: $4,295
Day Commuter: $3,295
About Columbia University
Columbia University is an American private Ivy League research university in New York City. According
to the 2013 college selectivity ranking by U.S. News & World Report, Columbia is ranked the #4
The university was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England.
It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the
United States. The university encompasses twenty schools and is affiliated with numerous institutions,
including Teachers College, Barnard College, and the Union Theological Seminary, with joint
undergraduate programs available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as
the Juilliard School. Today the university operates Columbia Global Centers overseas in Amman,
Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Nairobi.
Learn more about SIG at Columbia University
- In 1767, Columbia was the first American medical school to grant the M.D. degree.
- Columbia annually administers the Pulitzer Prize and, as of 2011, was affiliated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other academic institution in the world.
- Columbia University’s acceptance rate for the class of 2017 (Columbia College and Engineering) is 6.89%, making Columbia the fourth most selective college in the United States by admission rate behind Stanford, Harvard, and Yale.
Welcome Max-lynn Desrosiers, SIG's Newest Staff Member
Max-lynn Desrosiers joins the SIG team as the Executive Assistant. She has acquired a total of six years of administrative experience as Office Assistant/Secretary at H3 Creative Solutions and Dylewsky, Goldberg, and Brenner, CPA. Her background includes child development and youth education, having worked with children in various educational settings. She graduated from the University of Connecticut earning a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies. Her interest in travel recently took her to Luxembourg and France, where her passion for French cuisine and photography ignited. She grew up in Stamford, loving its diversity and accessibility to New York City. She is excited to part of the SIG team and is looking forward to the 2014 programs!
Assume you are using a basic calculator and press the numbers in the order shown, replacing each question mark with a mathematical sign.
Plus, minus, multiply and divide can each be used once only.
What are the highest and lowest numbers you can possibly score?
2 ? 7 ? 4 ? 6 ? 8 = ___
Submit your answer online at www.giftedstudy.org/newsletter/puzzlecorner.asp. The first student who submits the correct answer will receive recognition in the next issue of The Gifted Student!
Last Month's Puzzle
Leading up to a marathon, a runner has stepped up her training and set herself a number of streets to cover in a week. On the first day she covers one quarter of the total distance. The next day she covers one quarter of what is left. The following day she covers two fifths of the remainder, and on the fourth day half of the remaining distance. She now has 10 miles left. How many miles has she run?
A: 49.25926 miles
Congratulations to Jason from Holmdel, NJ, for being the first to respond with the correct answer to last month's puzzle!
SIG Beyond: Spring Online Learning Program
Session Dates: February 5 – April 1, 2014
Application Deadline: January 22, 2014
The SIG Beyond Online Learning Program is an enriching 8-week online program for Gifted and Talented students. These courses offer students curriculum beyond what is offered during the school day, are wide-ranging in potential interest areas for individualized learning, and engage students in hands-on learning while applying school content through speaking, writing, researching, analyzing, reasoning, and questioning.
P level (ages 7-8)
• Be a Pet Vet
• To the Rescue! There's a Superhero in Everyone
E level (ages 9-10)
• Astronomy: The Sky Has No Limit
• Trend Economics
J level (ages 11-12)
• Simple Symbols, Complex Communications
• Web Game Design: Scratch the Itch
M level (ages 13-14)
• Geometric Highlights (M51)
Eligibility: This program is open to students who have been identified for a gifted & talented program or who can demonstrate eligibility for any SIG program.
Price: $425.00 plus $25 application fee*
Fee does not include cost for books, if applicable
Returning Online Student Discount: Returning online students will receive $25 off their program fee!
Learn more about the SIG Spring 2014 Online Learning Program
Introducing SIG Community Advisors
SIG is supporting many of its campus communities this season with new field staff called Community Advisors to communicate locally with families and schools about our wonderful mission. Join us in welcoming two of them!
Bill Brennan: New Jersey & Philadelphia
Bill has spent over 30 years of his career as a collegiate technology executive, having previously served as an academic computing specialist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, Executive Director of Temple University’s Computer Activity, and Chief Information Officer for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Upon leaving Penn in the early 1990s, Bill went on to found the Brennan Group, a successful technology consulting firm that served the higher education and not for profit sectors. The Brennan Group’s client list included such notable institutions as the Wharton School, The American College of Physicians, Middlebury College, The Culver Educational Foundation, Milton Academy, New York University, Millersville University, Rollins College, and Simmons College.
Bill is available to the State of New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. You can contact Bill at email@example.com.
George Peternel: Chicago Area
George Peternel has a long and varied history of service to education. He spent nearly thirty years of his career as an elementary and middle school principal, followed by nearly three years directing Head Start, and then five years at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD). As the Associate Director of CTD, he oversaw the NUMATS above-level testing program, administered several programs that targeted underserved gifted populations, and was a co-author of four research papers published in academic journals. One of the papers was awarded “Paper of the Year – 2010” by the National Association for Gifted Children. He also has been active in leading AdvancED external review teams and has participated in school accreditation visits in Illinois and 6 other states.
George is available to the greater Chicago area. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
This famous quote by W. B. Yeats closes a video that SIG recently shared on Facebook about a school within a school, called The Independent Project. The basic premise of the project is that of a student-driven, student-focused environment within a public high school. The students create their unique learning experiences by choosing weekly independent research projects as well as working on long-term independent and group endeavors.
A parent asked, is this the best fit for gifted students? Is this what schools should be for all gifted students? I’m sure you’re used to my answer by now… that depends on the student! The basic tenets of strong student involvement and the ability for students to explore topics creatively and indepth are certainly echoes of what we foster here at SIG, through our individual student objectives, teacher objectives, and the idea of finding out where students are – their individual point As – and helping them journey toward their unique point Bs. This focus on student learning, engagement, responsibility for their own learning outcomes, and ability to move in these directions at the pace that matches their optimal development certainly can be very successful for gifted learners!
You can check out SIG's Facebook page for one video about the project, and The Independent Project's website for another glimpse into this unique project. Then you can begin to decide whether a school like this one would be a good fit for a gifted student you know.
Exclusive IGGY Offer for SIG Students and NSGT Members
Note from NSGT’s Executive Director: We are incredibly pleased and excited to enter into this collaboration with IGGY. The University of Warwick has long been a hub of international gifted education opportunities, and I believe that IGGY is now creating an online standard whereby gifted students from all over the world can engage in meaningful intellectual and academic endeavors while making personal connections on a global level. As our goals at SIG are so very similar, we couldn’t be happier to invite all our students and members to take advantage of this fantastic discount to participate in all IGGY has to offer. This offer is for November–February. Enjoy!
IGGY is an international, social, and educational network for gifted 13- to 18-year-olds created by the UK’s University of Warwick. It gives members access to interactive educational resources and allows them to work with top academics, student mentors, and other gifted young people around the world to exchange ideas, to debate, and to learn and explore in a safe environment. IGGY focuses on providing in-depth content in the core subjects of Math, English, Science, History, Politics, and Life Skills.
It normally costs £200 to join IGGY; however, we have a special SIG offer available for those who register in November through February 2014: an annual IGGY Membership for just $99* (£61). To take advantage of this offer, just Register as a Student, and after all necessary checks have been carried out, the designated parent contact will receive a link to pay. Enter SIG in the promo code field and the discount will be applied.
*Terms and conditions apply
Learn more about IGGY at www.IGGY.net
"IGGY has made me more eager to do extra work outside of school, helped me improve the quality of my work; and also really helped build my confidence" ~ Naomi (aged 14), IGGY Member.
"Is this the social networking site for the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?" ~ Huffington Post
Feedback from a SIG Parent
SIG recently received this lovely note from the parent of a SIG student this past summer:
I just wanted to express my family's deepest gratitude and appreciation to you and your staff. Ysabella enjoyed your program immensely and is already looking forward to joining next year's session.
I am so amazed at how much growth she has experienced in such a short amount of time. The friendships she has developed enable her to appreciate strength and wisdom in diversity. She has cultivated skills and learning strategies that she applies in all aspects of her life. These skills have translated to enhancements in her academic performance and emotional intelligence. Most importantly, she has gained confidence in herself knowing that she is capable of achieving her personal goals.
Again, thank you very much for facilitating and promoting a wonderful program!
Thank you, Annette, for sharing with us how Ysabella's SIG experience has fostered her intellectual and emotional growth. We can't wait to see her again next summer!
Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is now accepting applications for the third annual Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards. Teachers of any subject are eligible for nomination. The $10,000 awards (no strings attached) are presented each year on Sondheim’s birthday – March 22 – to a handful of teachers, kindergarten through college, who are nominated via the Kennedy Center website. Applications are due Sunday, December 15, 2013.
“Teachers define us,” stated Stephen Sondheim. “In our early years, when we are still being formed, they often see in us more than we see in ourselves, more even than our families see and, as a result, help us to evolve into what we ultimately become. Good teachers are touchstones to paths of achieving more than we might have otherwise accomplished, in directions we might not have gone.”
The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards were created in honor of Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday and were initiated and funded through the generous support of Freddie and Myrna Gershon.
For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards website.
SIG's 5th Annual Photo Contest!
It's that time of year again. We are happy to announce SIG's 5th annual Photo Contest exclusively for our Digital Photography students!
Did you create an image that reflects the spirit of SIG and your experience during the program? Did you capture a moment in time that uniquely expresses your personality? Did you use special techniques and digital mastery to transform what might have been an ordinary photograph into a distinctive piece of art? Then show us your stuff! Submit your images by December 1, 2013, to win one of our fantastic prizes and be highlighted in the January 2014 newsletter.
- Images submitted MUST have been taken during your SIG 2013 Digital Photography course.
- Only two photos per student will be accepted for consideration. Images must be in .jpeg format.
- Photos must be titled.
- Submissions will be accepted through December 1, 2013.
Submissions will be judged based on:
- technical aspects
- 1st Prize: $100 Amazon gift card
- 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon gift card
- Go to the SIG Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SummerInstituteForTheGifted.
- Post your photo submissions on our wall. Don't forget to title the photo!
- "Like" our page if you haven't already done so!
- Encourage your friends to "like" your photo. Remember, this is still a judged contest, but your votes could sway the judges.
- Prize winners will be notified via email and announced on our Facebook page. All winning images will be highlighted in the January 2014 newsletter.
- By submitting images to the contest, you grant SIG and its employees and agents the right to use the photo and/or other digital reproduction for publication processes, whether electronic, print, digital, or electronic publishing via the Internet.
- If more than two photos are submitted, SIG will only consider the first two images.
- Please consider the privacy of the individuals in the photos. SIG suggests that you do not tag the images.
- If you have any questions, please contact Siobhan O'Sullivan at email@example.com.
Raise Money for Gifted Education While You Do Your Online Holiday Shopping!
For many of you, now is the time when you'll start doing some holiday shopping online. Through GiveBackAmerica.com, an online shopping mall created to raise money for local charities, your purchases can raise funds for NSGT, at no extra cost to you. Every time you shop online from your favorite online retailers (ex. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ebay), a percentage of each purchase goes to NSGT.
You don't even need to creat an account with GiveBackAmerica.com – simply visit the NSGT shopping mall, click on the link to the retailier of your choice, and then shop as usual.
This is a great opportunity to help us raise money to support our academic program and provide scholarships to gifted students in financial need.
Please note: If you have used GiveBackAmerica in the past and have the NSGT shopping mall bookmarked, please update your bookmark with the link below.
Visit the NSGT shopping mall on GiveBackAmerica.com
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) Annual Conference
November 16, 2013
Keynote: Ann Robinson
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education Annual Conference
November 19 - 20, 2013
"A New Face for Gifted Education," Keynotes: Brian Housand and Ian Byrd
The Marriott Hotel, Columbia, SC
Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education in Second Life
November 23, 2013, 9-10 p.m. (CEST) (3-4 p.m. US-EST)
Guest speaker: Lety Hahn
MIT Splash! 2013
November 23 - 24, 2013 (always the weekend before Thanksgiving since 1957)
A weekend-long extravaganza of lectures, workshops, and seminars for high school students (new for 2013, high school students only, see Sparks for middle school students)
MIT, Boston, MA
Teacher sign-ups are in the early fall, and student sign-ups start November 1st, usually in the evening. Concurrent Parents program
December 3, 2013, 7:30 p.m. EST
"It Takes More than Cheering from the Sidelines: Supporting Gifted Students in Competitions," Tracy Riley
Online, pre-recorded in New Zealand
TAGT Professional Development Conference for Educators & Parents
December 4 - 6, 2013
Keynotes: Joyce Juntune and Temple Grandin
George Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX
December 12, 2013, 7:30 p.m. EST
"I Need a Place Where I Belong: The Highly Gifted Child," Ellen Honeck and Shannon Jones
Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education in Second Life
December 14, 2013, 9-10 p.m. (CEST) (3-4 p.m. US-EST)
Guest speaker, Roya Klingner (Austria)
Spread the News!
If you are excited about what you have seen in The Gifted Student newsletter, please share it with your friends. Or send us their names and email addresses, and we'll put them on our email list. Write to Michelle Holleran at firstname.lastname@example.org with "The Gifted Student" in the subject line to subscribe.