Friday, November 17, 2017

Awake the Sleeping Giant

Part 1 of 3

by Stephanie Newitt, Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted

It is November and during this time of reflection and Thanksgiving I am thankful for the Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented (AAGT).  They have tirelessly worked to bring the need of gifted education funding to the attention of members of the Arizona legislature.  In the 2017 effort, our bill made it all the way through the Arizona House!  However, it was stalled in the Arizona Senate, not progressing beyond the Appropriations Committee.

AAGT is gearing up for the 2018 legislative session which begins in January.  We have learned that once the session starts, members of the legislature are inundated with 200+ emails daily!  If we want our emails to stand out during the legislative session, then we need to contact our legislators now, in the "off-season" so they will be familiar and recognize us and our efforts.


Contact your legislative representatives at least three times before the December holidays and encourage them to restore funding for Gifted Education.  We will provide templates for you.  Click here to find the contact information for your representative.  The first template is below.  Send this email prior to Thanksgiving.

Template 1 of 3

Subject line:  Let your email subject line contain "constituent" and "gifted education" in a manner of your choosing.

Greeting:  Dear Senator/Representative ________________  (Send three separate emails, one to your senator and one each to your two representatives.)

First paragraphLet this contain a statement that gifted education is needed and a brief personal experience.  Example ...

I am grateful that the state of Arizona mandates gifted education (A.R.S. 15-799), even though gifted education has not been funded in Arizona since 2009.  My 12 year old son is not in sync with his 12 year old peers as he is able to work two years ahead in math.  

Second paragraphLet this include your reason why gifted education needs funding. 

Giftedness affects the social and emotional development of gifted children as well.  Just because my son can do the math of a 9th grader doesn't mean he is socially and emotionally capable to socialize with them regularly.  I'm writing to ask for your support to reinstate gifted education funding.  This would allow districts to hire and train more teachers with gifted education certification, including training them to provide social/emotional supports for gifted students.  

Conclusion State that supporting gifted education is an investment and thank them for their support and service.

By supporting the learning differences of gifted children you are investing in the state’s intellectual capital.  I thank you for your support of this issue and for your service to our community.

Your name
Active Voter in Legislative District # ___

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