The fall conference will be here before we know it! So please take the opportunity to register now for the fall conference which will be located at McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 25 – 27, 2013! The registration form can be located at the top of the AAGC web page entitled conference. Please print, complete, and mail the form and registration fee to Judy Simpson, AAGC Treasurer.
The theme of the conference is GIFTED MATTERS! The popular preconference sessions being offered on Wednesday include Zentangle with Debbie Dumas and Technology Strategies to Use in Your Classroom with Mandy Fox! On Thursday and Friday, dynamic keynote speaker and writer, Ian Byrd, will be addressing an array of gifted issues. You can register for his newsletter about gifted education at www.byrdseed.com.
On Friday, (Parent Day), Diana Reeves, a NAGC keynote speaker, offers strategies and insight to help parents raise gifted children. Parenting today can present many challenges! Please encourage gifted parents to attend the conference to hear her expert voice!
Several video presentations, the artwork contest winner, and recipients of awards and grants will be presented! Hear information about legislative budget updates, Gifted Education Month, and gifted parent groups across Alabama! Numerous door prizes will be given away as well as an awesome grand door prize! Remember, you must be present to claim your prize! So please register!
See you there!
President of the Alabama Association for Gifted Children
It has been a long road but…I am pleased to announce on May 20, 2013, Governor Bentley signed the 2014 ETF budget allotting $1.05 million dollars for gifted education! This year’s budget is an increase of $50,000 dollars from last year’s budget! A word of thanks to everyone who helped advocate for the gifted education in Alabama! We will need your continued support each year through social media, calling, letter writing campaigns, face to face visits, media interviews, and classroom visitations to demonstrate to the governor and legislators the importance of gifted education.
Gifted Education Month (GEM) will occur again during January, 2014. I encourage you to begin planning classroom activities that includes inviting important state dignitaries, legislators, superintendents, gifted coordinators, the media and parents to observe why GIFTED MATTERS in Alabama during January, 2014! Legislators need to understand the importance of gifted education before designating funds!
I wanted to remind you about a couple of upcoming opportunities! First, the Alabama Association for Gifted Children is offering grants up to $500 each. The grant application is available here: AAGC2013-14 Grant. Follow directions and submit the completed grants before the deadline of June 3, 2013. Grants will be awarded at the AAGC annual conference on September 26-27, 2013.
Secondly, do you know someone who has made a significant difference in gifted education in the state of Alabama? The Alabama Association for Gifted Children is pleased to announce the Awards of Excellence to honor individuals who have made a difference in the life of a gifted student and/or in gifted education in the school or community. These awards will be presented during the AAGC Annual Conference on September 27, 2013. Completed nomination form with letters of support must be emailed to Shirley Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org no later thanAugust 23, 2013.
The categories are:
· Outstanding Gifted Specialist Award
· Outstanding Administrator Award
· Outstanding Gifted Coordinator Award
· Outstanding General Education Teacher Award
· Award for Lifetime Achievement in Gifted Education (dedicating 20 years or more to GT education)
· Outstanding Community Member Award
· Outstanding Gifted Student Award
I want to encourage you to apply for the grants and nominate individuals for awards. It is a pleasure seeing individuals across Alabama who seek excellence and make a difference in the lives of gifted students or gifted education at the fall conference!
Exciting news happened yesterday! The Senate passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) which included the Gifted Student Program’s budget of $1.05 million! This is an increase in our budget of $50,000.00 from last year! Please take time to thank the many legislators in the House and Senate who supported our budget! We are NOT through yet! The final play belongs to Governor Bentley on whether he will sign or make changes to the budget!
I want to express my thanks to each of you who have contacted your legislators to let them know gifted matters! We are not finished yet! Here is our last play- please Tweet, call email, or write Governor Bentley now to let him know the importance of funding gifted education! Funding gifted education will afford opportunities for students to reach their full potential.
I am hopeful that gifted education will make a huge score by being funded again in the upcoming year! Your efforts have helped us get this far down the field because GIFTED MATTERS!
Congratulations to Leslie Mattox of Redland Elementary School. Her student Cooper Jones is a state finalist. ”Chosen from more than 130,000 entries, our 250 State Finalists represent aspiring young artists from across the nation. The State Finalists are the highest ranked doodles from each grade group from each state. The State Winners are the highest ranked doodle across all grade groups for each state.” Google
Here’s a link to Cooper’s doodle. http://www.google.com/doodle4google/finalists.html#d=d2-12
Google holds a contest each year and assigns a theme. “My best day ever . . .”
was the theme this year. Students had to write a short essay and create a doodle with the Google logo to illustrate the story. The best day could be a real event that happened in the past, something the students wanted to happen in the future, or a fantasy “best day would be . . .” Cooper illustrated the Golden Gate Bridge and wrote about his visit to California.
Leslie Maddox gave her GATE students the assignment. Entering the contest was optional but all students had to create a story and concept illustration using the Google logo template.
Tomorrow, April 29, 2013, the Alabama Senate will convene to discuss the Education Trust Fund and the Gifted Student Program budget. AAGC is asking all of you to call, email or Tweet your Senators to ask for their support with the proposed budget of $1.1 million dollars that Senator Arthur Orr submitted. His budget is one hundred thousand MORE than last year’s budget!
You can schedule your Tweets on www.hootsuite.com or www.futuretweets.com for the entire day! AAGC is counting on your help to make a positive impact tomorrow! Remember the Gifted Student Program has $1.1 million dollars at stake! Let’s show the Senators that gifted students have special needs that must be met in order for them to reach their full potential! Go to our legislative page for links to help you connect with your Senator.
Gadsden City Schools 5th grade enrichment students took 3rd place in the McWane Science Center’s Celebrate Science exhibit design competition. We won $750 for science supplies for our classroom! There were 19 schools that competed from Alabama and Mississippi. The students had to create a prototype for an exhibit that could potentially be on display at the McWane Center. They had to use sound science principals and research the content of their exhibit and design. The students exhibit was called Nutrition Intuition. It was an exhibit to help teach the visitors how to make healthy food choices, read labels, increase their exercise and have fun while doing it! The exhibit was educational for children and adults and was praised for addressing a topic that is currently affecting our state as a whole.
We love hearing about what is happening in our gifted programs. Today we got an update on one of our grantees (see how you can get a grant).
Baldwin County Elementary Gifted Program’s GLOBE Earth Day video was submitted this year to the GLOBE Program. The video was entered in a competition and won third place in North America. There were elementary gifted specialists and students from 22 elementary schools in Baldwin County featured in the GLOBE video project. It was a K-12 competition for Earth Day and the BCBE group won 3rd place in the North America division. There were divisions for all regions of the world.
The elementary gifted students are working on environmental studies as a unit of study this year and GLOBE is an international organization that teaches students to use scientific instruments to study the soil, water, and air in their local area. The students take samples and send the results of their tests to an international website where they can be used by scientists all over the world.
It is a pretty cool program and one they plan to get more deeply involved in over the years. This was their first year to actually work in GLOBE as part of their gifted curriculum. GLOBE stands for Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment and is a partner with AMSTI. The AMSTI GLOBE Director, Lynn Vaughn and AMSTI Science Specialist, Susan Arnette have both been working with them this year to get things started. By the way, the AAGC Grant that was awarded last year to them helped supply materials to incorporate the GLOBE program into their gifted curriculum!
Yesterday, April 2, one of our parents of Alabama gifted children, had the opportunity to do a one hour long interview to a live audience in Birmingham on the WAPI radio show (which is widely broadcasted) about the need for gifted funding. Karla Archer, a parent of four gifted children, volunteered to represent us all on the Matt Murphy Show. Please listen to the broadcast at – http://www.100wapi.com/page.php?page_id=401 Scroll down and look for Karla Archer.