Monday, May 15, 2017

July Pool Party!

Mark your calendars!

Stay cool this summer!  Bring friends and meet new friends!

Click here to add the pool party to your google calendar.

Click here for a printable flyer.

Want to have an email reminder sent to you?  Then send an email to  giftededucationparentcouncil@gmail.com with "pool party reminder" in the subject line.

See you in July!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

AAGT 2017 Legislative Advocacy Summary

AAGT Advocacy Summary
May 8, 2017


Currently there are 89,000 students in Arizona identified as gifted from all demographics, cultures and corners of the state.  Since funding was suspended in 2009, there have been inconsistencies in identification and in the ability of districts and schools to provide curriculum and instruction at a level commensurate with gifted students needs.


Advocacy during the 2017 Legislative Session
Restoration of Funds
We are pleased with the positive response from both Senators and Representatives who have listened, asked questions, and become champions of the importance of gifted education for our students and the future of our state.


Through the leadership of Representative Heather Carter, HB2199 passed through the House Education Committee with a unanimous vote in favor, and passed through the House Appropriations Committee and the House Committee of the Whole with near unanimity overwhelmingly in favor of restoring gifted education funds.


In the Senate, Senator Kate Brophy-McGee introduced mirror bill, SB1105.  With the additional leadership of Senator Sylvia Allen, the Senate Education Committee unanimously voted in favor of restoring funds for gifted education.  SB1105 did not go on to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  And likewise, once HB2199 went on to the Senate, it was not heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee, in spite of its overwhelming support.


Members of the House and Senate then worked to add the restoration of funds for gifted education to the budget.  


Representative Carter changed the funding proposal to $500,000 from the original $3.5 million during the budget process.  It was agreed that this was a much more realistic ask at this point in the negotiations.  Even so, Gifted Education did not end up in the budget this year.


We appreciate the valiant effort on the part of Representative Carter and Senator Kate Brophy-McGee.  Please send them a thank you!  hcarter@azleg.gov   kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov


The GOOD NEWS is we have not lost any ground.  In fact, we have gained.
  • We have reached out to key legislators with a more vibrant message and introduced gifted education to new members of the House and Senate  
  • Representative Carter has been and is still working behind the scenes to get support
  • It has been reported to us that members of the Legislature are indeed talking about gifted education.  We have laid a good foundation to build on!
What are our advocacy efforts going forward?  If there is anything we have learned, it is that we need to be patient.  There are hundreds of issues in our state worthy of investment.  The key is to educate all legislators, the Governor, and business and organizational stakeholders that gifted education funding isn’t limited to helping just our gifted students; it is an investment in the intellectual capital of the state.  How many of those other worthy causes could benefit from such an investment?


  • Representative Carter is committed to introducing another bill in the fall to build awareness and support.


  • It is important to continue contacting Legislators and tell the story.  Personal compelling stories are important to help Legislators understand and get on board.  Summer is a great time to make a visit to the Senator and Representatives in your Legislative District.  Take your gifted student and help your Legislators put a face to the issue!


In speaking with Representative Carter, she shared that constituents who advocate for gifted education with their Legislative District’s Senator and Representatives magnify the volume of her voice in the Legislature.  


*******
To find your Legislative District and the names of the Senator and Representatives who represent you, follow this link: http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/


Here is a sample communiqué:


Dear Senator or Representative  _________________,
I am aware that you passed a budget this year without the inclusion of funding for gifted education.  


I will continue to work with you to ensure funding is restored for gifted education.


This is important to me because _______________________


Sincerely,
Your name
The city in which you live


*******
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!


I hope to meet many of you at the AAGT Parent Institute on September 23, 2017.
Thank you so much for your support!  Together we can make this happen!


Donna J. Campbell, M.Ed.
Advocacy Chair, Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented


Friday, May 12, 2017

Hidden Figures



Before a computer became an inanimate object and before Sputnik changed the course of history, before the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a group of black women working at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research, and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female. Hidden Figures is their story.


Released to theaters in January 2017, "Hidden Figures" is now available on DVD.  After seeing it in theaters the DVD made the top 3 on my Mother's Day wish list.  The author of the book, Margot Lee Shetterly came to Phoenix in April as a guest speaker, sponsored by the ASU Piper Center for Creative Writing.  I was enthralled during her entire presentation.  Gifted and resilient, these women never gave up on their families.  They never gave up on themselves.  They never gave up on their gifts.  View the trailer below and decide for yourself.

-Stephanie





Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why you still don't believe that you're gifted

This is from the blog "Your Rainforest Mind" by Paula Prober.

"People tell you that you’re super smart. They’re baffled by how much you know and how you know it. You can ace a test without studying. You can talk with just about anyone about just about anything. You’re always thinking, analyzing, imagining and empathizing.

But you’re sure that you’re not gifted.

How is that possible?"



Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to Strengthen Your Child's Emotional Intelligence


This article by Dr Meghan Owenz, a psychologist from the blog Parent Co, helps parents understand "emotional self-regulation" for your children.
"When emotions run high, people do and say things they normally would not. When you’re a young child, this is what you do all the time.

Emotional self-regulation, a large component of emotional intelligence, is the ability to manage one’s experience and expression of emotions. With practice, children improve their capacity for emotional self-regulation. By age four, most children start to use strategies to eliminate disturbing external stimuli. In other words, they cover their eyes when they’re scared and plug their ears when they hear a loud noise.

It’s not until age 10 that children consistently use more complex strategies for emotional self-regulation. These strategies can be broken down into two simplistic categories: ..."  Click here to read the rest of the article at Parent.Co.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Digital Breaks: 5 Things to Help Our Kids Disconnect

Here is what Dr Dan Peters of the Summit Center has to say about technology. "Last weekend we had an extended family dinner with many relatives. I was sitting on a cushion on the fireplace and looking at a large couch and an oversized chair stuffed with nine cousins ranging from ages 12 to 22. They were smiling, laughing, sitting on each other and…they were all on their phones! I didn’t realize it at first because I guess it has become so normal to see screens. At that moment I realized I was observing — and living in — a social experiment that is universal to all families today. Media and technology are a regular and normal part of our kid’s lives and our modern culture – a new normal.

While the specific struggles with screen time vary from family to family, as a counselor to parents, teens, children I know this is an issue parents struggle with every day. Here are 5 tips I try to implement in my own home and I tell my patients to practice: Digital Breaks"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy





There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals. Now, Pixar is helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education provider Khan Academy. To find out more, go to Free Online lessons.