SIG eNewsletter: The Gifted Student

November 2015

Sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children

In this issue:

SIG is a program of NSGT, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization

From the President's Desk

A letter from Barbara Swicord, President of SIG:

November is the month when we traditionally think about being thankful, so appreciation is especially in the air. Oprah Winfrey (along with many others) says, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more." And, as Gertrude Stein said, "Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone"; I agree and am happy to give voice to my thankfulness in this newsletter. I am truly grateful for so many things; I hardly know where to start. Beyond family, health, friends, staff, and our fantastic students and programs, I want to take a minute in this newsletter to express appreciation for all of you who work for the benefit of highly capable and talented students. In working with so many families and schools across the country, I am always gratified to come across so many parents and educators who truly care about the quality of the education of their students. These people often work behind the scenes, striving to instill challenge, fun, and enrichment into programs and activities in and out of school. They demonstrate their dedication in daily routines as well as in special programs. They provide consistency in the tenuous world of gifted education in that they are constant in their beliefs in the needs of this population, while surrounded by random budget cuts, cyclical emphases on test scores or a particular practice, and political exchanges. In our thankfulness, we do indeed hope that more programs, funding, activities, and success will come to gifted students from all directions.

We are doing our part to offer more. We continue to share the programs we are adding to our array through our newsletters, social media, website, and printed materials. Take a minute this month to think of ways you can do more to express how truly fortunate you are.

Have a wonderful month of Thanksgiving!

Barbara Swicord
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted

Be SIGnificant – Give SIG Students a Boost!

Give SIG Students a BoostHere at SIG, we believe that all gifted students, regardless of their financial situation, should be able to experience the academic rigor and enrichment that they deserve. We strive to provide as much scholarship funding as we possibly can so that these students may attend gifted and talented programs.

Through, we are selling custom SIG t-shirts, sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts and collecting donations online. The profit from each item purchased will go toward SIG scholarships for gifted and talented students in need. If you are able, we encourage you to purchase one or more and show your support proudly. International shipping is available!

By reaching our goal, we can fully sponsor many deserving, motivated children to participate in SIG programs. Overall through Booster, we've raised almost $6,000! Help us reach our goal and support fellow gifted students.

View and purchase SIG gear

This campaign will end on November 30, 2015. 100% of all funds raised will go to SIG scholarships.

Apply Now for First Choice Classes

Apply Now for First Choice Classes New courses, new experiences, next summer! Here is a sampling of some of the newest courses we will be offering for Summer 2016. Please visit our website at for complete course descriptions:


  • Ages 9 & 10 – Shark Tank™ SIG Style; Is Shakespeare To Be or not To Be in Your Life?
  • Ages 11 & 12 – Optics: The Science of Light; Fan Fiction Fun
  • Ages 13 & 14 – Global Science: What Future Leaders Need to Know; The Courage of Youth: Teens Throughout History
  • Ages 15-17 – "Deriving" into Pre-Calculus; Environmental Engineering: Designing for Sustainability


  • Ages 5 & 6 – Rooting out Letters and Numbers; Digging Ancient Egypt
  • Ages 7 & 8 – Just Write; Zoos by You
  • Ages 9 & 10 – Shark Tank™ SIG Style; Is Shakespeare To Be or not To Be in Your Life?
  • Ages 11 & 12 – Fan Fiction Fun; Human Biology: It's Personal

Please apply today to select your first choice classes!

Annual Giving Campaign: Support a Gifted Child

Annual Giving Campaign: Support a Gifted Child Since 1993, The National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT) has distributed over $5 million in scholarships to our summer programs. But, we want to do more. In 2015, we distributed over $110,000 in scholarships to deserving students to attend gifted summer programs.

Our goal for 2016 is to achieve a scholarship fund of $300,000!

We can't do this without your help! No matter what amount, your gift will help to give students of high capability a chance to maximize their potential. Here's what your donations can do: provide for a partial or full program scholarship, travel expenses, or books and materials.

Donate Online Now

We truly appreciate your patronage and support in years past and hope we can count on you for a donation (large or small) that will enable NSGT to continue providing opportunities, advocacy, and programs to the extraordinary gifted and talented leaders of our future. 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes toward scholarships for gifted children with limited financial resources.

Campus Spotlight: UCLA

Campus Spotlight: UCLAUniversity of California Los Angeles, established in 1919, is the most applied to university in the U.S. From its celebrated faculty to its super high-achieving students, from its distinguished alumni to its myriad contributions to the community, UCLA has attained a stature in the last century to which most institutions of higher education can only aspire.

Fun Facts!

  • Alumni include: Francis Ford Coppola, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tom Anderson, creator of MySpace, just to name a few.
  • UCLA's Office of Intellectual Property has a total invention portfolio numbering 1,560.
  • SIG has been on campus since 2004!

SIG at UCLA is a Residential Program. A Commuter Program and an Extended Commuter Program are also available.

  • Residential Programs for students ages 9-17
    Students choosing this option will participate in the full curriculum of SIG including a 4-period academic day, evening programs, Saturday Getaway Day and Sunday Activity Days. Students live on campus in dormitories.
  • Day Commuter Program for students ages 9-17 (8:30am – 5:30pm)
    Commuter students participate in the full 4-period academic day, lunch and recreation period. They do not participate in any weekend or evening activities. Commuter students must be dropped off at 8:30am and picked up at 5:30pm.
  • Extended Commuter Program for students ages 9-17 (8:30am – 9:15pm)
    Extended commuter students will participate in the full 4-period academic day, lunch, recreation period, dinner, and all evening activities, as well as a Saturday Getaway Day trip. Extended commuters do not reside on campus or take part in Sunday activities.

Learn more about SIG at UCLA

Kevin's Korner

Kevin's KornerWe find ourselves at the end of another wonderful year with many things to be grateful for, and in the midst of a month that emphasizes just that – being thankful.

At SIG we are extremely thankful for our bountiful opportunities to help make fantastic things occur in the world of gifted children and our ability to impact their lives in meaningful ways. We are truly fortunate to be in a position to make such an importance difference for so many.

One of the things I really enjoy about my work at SIG is researching potential learning material for our courses. Recently, while developing our new Digging Ancient Egypt day program course, I came across a fascinating and moving item that seems appropriate to share at this time regarding gratitude in ancient Egypt. I hope you will enjoy!

In ancient Egypt, Hathor was a goddess who provided good gifts to humanity. She was worshipped throughout Egypt and was especially popular among the poor, including the farmers who worked ancient Egyptian land but rarely owned it. Most fertile land was the property of the pharaoh, his nobles, or religious temples who collected the vast majority of the crops. Farmers kept just a small portion of the crops for themselves and their families. During harvest season, farmers would go to the fields, reach out with their left hand to grasp a stalk of wheat, cut it with a small scythe in their right hand, and a worker behind them would pick it up. They continually worked land they did not, and would never, own, their left hands always in front of their eyes reaching for crops to harvest.

When a poor farmer joined in worship of Hathor, the priest or priestess would hold their left forearm and say, "Name the five things you would miss the most if you were to die right now." The farmer would name the first five things coming to mind such as, "my wife, my children, food, my dog, the river." The priestess or priest would then raise their left hand in front of their face saying, "These are the Five Gifts of Hathor" while the farmer looked at the five fingers of their left hand. "Every day you have these five things to be most grateful for." When the farmer again labored, reaching out for the stalk of wheat to cut, they would see their left hand before them and constantly be reminded of the Five Gifts of Hathor, as well as giving thanks for what is most good and important.

During this season of thankfulness, I hope each of us keep the most important things in our lives in mind and realize that they are often as accessible to us as our hands in front of our faces. Thank you to each of you!

Kevin Wickersham
Academic Director
Summer Institute for the Gifted

Photo Contest Winner!

Thank you so much for all of your photo contest submissions. Each participant did a wonderful job of capturing the SIG experience on camera. After much deliberation, we have a winner!

Congratulations, Nina Robins (SIG at Yale 2014, SIG at Bryn Mawr 2015)! We felt your photo was a wonderful representation of SIG.

We have decided to also select a second place winner, Suzanne Stark (Overlake Parent, 2014 and 2015).

Thank you to all students who submitted photos!

Photo Contest Photo Contest

Nina Robins, First Place

Suzanne Stark, Second Place


Puzzle Corner

Rearrange the letters of "ARTIST EYES SHOPLIFTER" to give a well-known saying meaning that we do not learn from experience. What is it?

Submit your answer online at The first student who submits the correct answer will receive recognition in the next issue of The Gifted Student!


Last Month's Puzzle

A man walks south for 2 miles. Then west for 3 miles. Then north for 3 miles. Then east for 2 miles. Then south for 1 mile. In which direction and for how far should he walk to return to his starting point?

A: 1 mile east

Congratulations to Julian from San Francisco, CA, for being the first to respond with the correct answer to last month's puzzle!

June Puzzle Answer & Winner

The correct answer to the June puzzle was "Stilton and Ricotta."

Congratulations to Leyla from Istanbul, Turkey, for being the first to respond with the correct answer!

Upcoming Conferences & Events


National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Annual Convention
SIG will be there!
November 12 - 15, 2015
"Everything Gifted Under the Sun,"
Phoenix, Arizona
Parent Day and Parent Day Kids' Program Saturday, November 14, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

SIG Will Be There


TAGT Professional Development Conference for Educators & Parents
December 2 - 4, 2015
"Leading Conversations,"
San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas


Young Scholars: Finding and Developing Talent in Underserved Populations of Gifted Learners
December 3, 2015
Keynote: Carol V. Horn,
Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville, Minnesota

Indiana Association for the Gifted (IAG)
December 14 - 15, 2015
"Transformative Thinking: More that Meets The Eye!"
Indianapolis Downtown Marriott, Indianapolis, Indiana

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