Not all of us are fulfilled by spending our summers playing video games and soccer all day when we have just as much fun learning, creating and inventing. Especially when it happens in an environment that doesn't judge us for how we have fun. In academic camp, we've taken the best parts of school (including daily outdoor PE and recess) and removed the parts that aren't so important to us (no exams and no grades). We're also selective, so if you're not motivated to be here, then you don't have to apply. Class is far more enjoyable when everyone wants to participate!
Thirty years ago, talent development in the education of gifted children was introduced across the nation, reflecting a growth of research and development around notions of intelligence.
Ironically, when it comes to leaving no child behind today, we discover that gifted students can easily fall through the cracks as testing drives us to teach to a standardized response while bringing proficiency of all students to grade level. The phrase, genius denied, refers to those who will suffer a profound gap between their fullest potential and what little is asked of them, particularly when one size just doesn’t fit all.
There is a common misnomer that gifted students can get by on their own, and therefore do not require specialized services. All too often, this misguided notion is also coupled with another myth that intelligence is merely inherited, does not change, and therefore again, does not require specialized services. What sets you apart (the ability to learn at a faster pace than the norm) is more often seen in this society as a negative stigma, and your cross to bear throughout school.
Perhaps this is part of the reason why schooling for the gifted is too often a lonely and isolating experience. Not to mention, BORING! Ask any gifted child what it’s like to learn with same aged peers who are learning at a less advanced level (a.k.a., “regular school”), and the most common reply will relate to waiting. Waiting for the other students to catch on; waiting for the instructor to challenge more;waiting for answers to higher-level questions; waiting for something to inspire a desire to achieve; waiting... for someone to notice.
Summer enrichment programs for like-minded students provide inspiring opportunities for both academic and social growth, and quite possibly, a life defining experience for the gifted and talented student. The Summer Gifted and Talented Program is offered on the beautiful campus of Dominican University for academically motivated students entering grades 2-12 in the Fall, where our classrooms are buzzing with busyness because we know that academic talent must be developed, nurtured, and fed. For us, summer is the highlight of the year. It’s a time when we can feel free to be our quirky curious selves, motivated by the energy that comes with the joy of learning.
Visit educate.dom.edu/gifted-talented for more details about Dominican University’s Summer Gifted and Talented Program, where inspired minds create amazing possibilities.