Friday, December 3, 2010

November Fall Back

I had hoped to have a blog post for November, but most of my energy has been focused on meetings and I had difficulty coming up with a topic. It's not like I haven't been reading or talking about gifted issues, but I usually need to have that inspiration to post which just didn't happen. I have been bitten by the library bug though and have a stack of books which I need to get to. Not only have I been choosing reference books about cells, a DVD on the Galapagos Islands, The Cricket in Times Square, and a collection of Leo Lionni for both of my boys from the library, but I've gotten some books for myself which I need to get to. Some of these are my signed prize copy of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings by Christine Fonseca (which I mentioned in my previous post), Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders by James. T. Webb, et al., and Good Friends Are Hard To Find by Fred Frankel, Ph.D. I've been having too much fun browsing the library and making use of the interlibrary loan which I highly recommend!
So November was filled with meetings. I had high hopes for our rescheduled Parents of Gifted Children Resource meeting, but attendance wasn't up to the previous month's so that was a little disappointing. We did talk about books, shared favorites, and the kids got to talk and share too so that was nice to see. We will be having our next meeting in January so I'll need to start planning that fairly soon. I was also looking forward to the Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) meeting but Ron Russo, who is on the Children and Youth Committee advocating for gifted children, wasn't there. I did try to speak up for gifted students; however, I didn't get much of a positive response and feel that the majority of folks are just there to support the needs of special education students. I'm reconsidering my participation at the GACEC meetings unless I can contact Mr. Russo to get some encouragement to continue.
Two members of our Parents of Gifted Children Resource Group and myself had a brainstorming session before Thanksgiving to come up with ideas on what we could present to the GACEC at their January meeting. We came up with lots of ideas and are going to meet again to talk, but I still feel that we need to have more people from our group or others involved before going forward. I feel that it is important to have an advocacy component to our group's mission. Just take a look at the US map on the website where you will find Delaware in the red. What this means is that gifted programming is not mandated, funded, and so it is up to the local school districts to decide what to do with their gifted population. Some have programs that start in kindergarten such as the Brandywine school district, while others start in 3rd grade. Some have only after school programs while others have self-contained classrooms, and or pullout programs once a week.
Looking ahead I anticipate good things. I'm inspired by Deborah Mersino's work with and the joining of forces for gifted education on the internet via facebook and twitter (which I still haven't gotten the hang of yet). People are coming together and that is powerful!
Thank you for reading and all the best in 2011!