January 2009
Educational Options Newsletter
In this issue

Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf . . .


While many markers point to difficulties in the coming year, we are excited about 2009. There are a number of projects on our horizon that we hope will result in greater understanding of giftedness issues and more accommodations made for the needs of gifted students. We will be reporting on these events as they come about.

In the meantime, we wish you all the best in those things that matter most.

Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor

Games for Gifted

"Gifted children enjoy many of the same games, like Monopoly, that other children enjoy," writes Carol Bainbridge of About.com. "[B]ut their love of learning and need for challenge means that they will enjoy games where they can learn, show off their knowledge, and be challenged. Whether your gifted child loves dinosaurs or space, language or logic, or anything in between, you can find the perfect game." A recent About: Gifted newsletter lists ten great games for gifted kids that the whole family can play.

Question of the year

In politics over the last few years, candidates have campaigned on the promise of change. But what will change everything?

For its 2009 question, Edge, The World Question Center, posed this: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" And 151 thinkers responded.

Edge Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. An informal membership includes some of the most interesting minds in the world. Its mandate is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.

In Minnesota:

1. Edina Center for Academic Excellence (ECAE) will again host the "Inside the NUMATS" seminar for 6th through 9th graders who are participating in this year's academic talent search. Nick Green, former gifted Edina High School student, perfect 1600 SAT scorer, recent Harvard graduate and now CEO of his own company, Ivy Insiders Test Prep, shares an inside view of the ACT and SAT test! His mission is to help put younger students at ease and share a game strategy framework for taking the test. Students and their parents are welcome to attend on Saturday, January 17, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Edina High School. Registration information is available at www.ecae.net.

2. Spring enrollment is now open through The Institute of Technology Center for Educational Programs (ITCEP) for the Saturday morning enrichment classes. This includes UMTYMP (University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program). ITCEP develops and administers educational programs in mathematics and its related science and engineering applications for pre-college, undergraduate and graduate students and for K-12 preservice and inservice teachers.

3. The Minnesota Council of Gifted and Talented (MCGT) is sponsoring a number of exciting events this month. If you are not yet a member - even though these events are open to the public - this might be a good time to consider supporting this important organization. For more information about the events listed below, please go to MCGT's website.

  • The MCGT board is renewing an effort to organize a parent group for families of highly gifted children begun a few years ago. For this purpose, the definition of "highly gifted" can be considered as one who possibly is still not served even by a well designed school gifted program or by homeschooling with considerable enrichment and acceleration. All interested families are invited to attend the formation meeting on Saturday, January 17, 2009, at the Edina Community Center, room 350, 5701 Normandale Road, Edina (on the east frontage road of Highway 100 south of 50th Street).
  • The South Metro MCGT Chapters are sponsoring a workshop, Speak Up For Gifted Education: Practical tips to influence public policy. This is a free MCGT workshop for parents and professionals on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Media Center at Nicollet Junior High, 400 E. 134th Street, Burnsville, MN 55337. Please RSVP.
  • The Bloomington Council for the Gifted and Talented is hosting a moderated discussion on Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSE0) and other educational opportunities for high school students Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the Educational Services Center in the Oak Grove Middle School Building.

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

Learn More

That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.

---- Doris Lessing

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