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June 2008
Educational Options Newsletter
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National Parenting Gifted Children Week

SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) has announced that the third week in July of each year will be National Parenting Gifted Children Week. This designated week, now placed in the National Special Events Registry, is intended to celebrate the joys and challenges of raising, guiding, and supporting bright young minds.

According to James T. Webb, Ph.D., founder of SENG, each day of this week will focus attention on a particular area of interest to parents of gifted and talented children. This year, the daily topics will be:

  • Challenges of Parenting Gifted Children
  • Underachievement Issues
  • Advocacy for Gifted Children-Teaming with Educators and Legislators
  • Identifying and Recognizing Giftedness
  • Special issues for Gifted Minorities, Gifted Boys, and Gifted Girls
  • Misdiagnosis, Depression, and Suicide in Gifted Youth
  • Parenting Supports and Resources

This year's celebration of National Parenting Gifted Children Week coincides with SENG's 25th Silver Anniversary National Conference, which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18-20. SENG conferences focus on the social and emotional needs of gifted children and their families.



Greetings!

After more than five years as American Mensa's National Gifted Children Program Coordinator, Dr. Ruf is stepping down. She will be handing over the reins of this volunteer position to Keri Guilbault, a worthy successor.

In keeping with Dr. Ruf's strong advocacy of Mensa, we are including information in this issue about some of the programs and features of the organization which we hope our readers will find useful.

In the meantime, Dr. Ruf will take a little time off . . . to go fishing! We hope everyone else will also have the opportunity to enjoy the summer.

Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor


Mensa for Kids

A little over a year ago, in April 2007, the Mensa Education and Research Foundation unveiled its new web page Mensa for Kids.

In a style that should appeal to children, pop- ups on the home page lead readers to articles and interactive features. There is the Feature of the Month. The current feature is Maine's Guide to the Solar System (or, Fun with Planets), and the archive takes you all the way back to its first feature from April 2007, Diamonds (and Laser Pointers) are a Kid's Best Friend. There is also a page of games, activities and puzzles, which includes jigsaw puzzles (ranging from 4 to 49 pieces), arcade games and family crosswords. Other paths from the site's home page lead to a list of other fun web pages for kids, resources for parents and teachers, a place for sending feedback to the webmaster, and a blog.


Mensa Foundation newsletter

To keep you updated on the work of the Mensa Foundation, they have created a new online newsletter. Foundation News is a quarterly publication designed to keep you updated on the projects and people of the Mensa Education & Research Foundation. Each issue will feature new programs, upcoming events and profiles of the people who support the work of the Foundation.

You can read the most recent issue of the Foundation News here.

To learn more about all of the Foundation's programs, visit their web site.


Mind Games

For the past 18 years, Mensans have gathered for three days in April to play games. More than 40 new-to-the-market games are entered by manufacturers and inventors, and Mensans play the games, ranking their favorites. Five of the entries are chosen as Mensa Select Winners.

This year, 210 Mensans played 54 games in Phoenix. Mind Games 2009 will be in Cincinnati April 24-26, and members of Mensa may register now.

Here are the Mensa Select Winners for 2008:


Oprah looking for Talented Kids

Oprah Winfrey is looking for amazing and talented kids to be on her Oprah Winfrey Show. Whether singing, dancing, playing an instrument, painting or other talents, she is looking for prodigies-in-the-making.

For further information about the show and about submitting a video, click here.


Books and more books

Last February, Dr. Susannah Richards spoke at the Supporting the High Potential Reader, Writer, and Thinker Workshop sponsored by the Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented . An Assistant Professor of Reading/Language Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University, Dr. Richards shared a list of web sites for book lists which she recommends.

As we head into summer vacation for our school children, what better time to share this with you than now!


Losing Our Minds
Dr. Ruf's book, Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind, is available through Great PotentialPress or Amazon.

Learn More

"You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive."

- Thomas Arnold Bennett



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