Guest Author - Lorel Shea
What would you say, if I told you that for less than a dollar per week, you could be connected to the movers and shakers in gifted education and advocacy, across your state, the USA, and the world? All it takes is a small investment in membership dues to join your state gifted organization. You'll instantly be transformed into a well informed citizen of the gifted community. There are gifted organizations in nearly every state in the union. Perhaps those who live in the few states without a formal gifted group will be inspired to make it happen in their state too! These organizations are run by dedicated volunteers; maybe your state has just been waiting for you to get things started!
What do these gifted groups really have to offer? First, they offer you a reliable and trustworthy source for information relating to state legislation affecting gifted education. You'll get clear and straightforward information, which is much much more valuable than stray rumors picked up in the schoolyard. If a bill addressing gifted education comes up before the state legislature, your gifted organization may encourage constituents to send letters and emails, and to call their local representatives. The public schools simply are not set up to disseminate information this way. Families of gifted students enrolled in private schools or homeschools also tend to be out of the loop if they do not join the state gifted association. There is strength in numbers, and a strong gifted association can positively impact the schools and the future of your state.
Second, you'll have access to helpful articles and news regarding gifted children and their education. State gifted associations are great places for parents and educators to get started with learning about characteristics of gifted children, social and emotional differences, and various methods of accommodation. In browsing through various state gifted websites, I found a plethora of resources, tips, and strategies for success.
Third, you may have the opportunity to attend conferences and speaking engagements featuring nationally known experts on gifted education. Active groups offer regular meetings and plenty of activities for children as well as their parents. Parents and teachers who really want to get involved can volunteer their services, and assist with event registration, offer a lecture, or upgrade the group website. Volunteering is a great way to get to know people who share your concerns. Children's activities sponsored by state groups offer a chance for kids to get to know others like themselves.
If you are not already a member, please consider joining your gifted association today. It's a small investment that could pay off in a very big way! See the National Association for Gifted Children website for more information: http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=37