“Keeping a child who can do sixth-grade work in a second-grade classroom is not saving that student’s childhood but is instead robbing that child of the desire to learn,” writes Ellen Winner, Professor and Chair of psychology at Boston College in her book, Gifted Children: Myths and Realities.
According to a National Teacher Survey on high-achieving students, more than 7 in 10 teachers reported feeling that their brightest and most advanced students were not challenged or given a chance to “thrive” in their classrooms.
With so much focus placed on helping elevate those students who are falling behind, the school system oftentimes neglects to provide adequate programs and advanced curriculum for those accelerated learners growing in knowledge at an above-average pace.
Many studies have shown the positive effects that gifted education programs can have on students, including their connection to students’ post-secondary plans.
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) reported on one long-term study that followed 320 gifted students who received advanced education services from adolescence through the secondary level. By the time they reached age 38, 63 percent of participants had acquired a master’s degree or above, and 44 percent held a doctoral degree.
Fostering growth in gifted children is vital to allowing them to reach their full potential. That’s why William Woods University hosts College for Kids, a residential summer program that has been promoting advanced learning for gifted students for the past 27 years.
College for Kids gives students grades 3-9 the opportunity for accelerated learning through games and social experiences, as well as rigorous academic courses and sessions. Students experience living in university residence halls for the week and take a sampling of courses from several different academic disciplines — theatre, science, art, engineering, cultural studies, business, athletics and recreation, English and more.
This summer program gives gifted students the opportunity to grow socially and academically, as well as get a sampling of what college life is like and explore what subject area they may want to pursue a degree in one day.
Bachelors in education students at William Woods University who are interested in being a part of the continued growth of gifted learners can email College for Kids at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out an information request form for ways to get involved.
Photo and video credits: www.collegeforkids.net