Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Children's Fund Grant Helps Create a Resource Center for Gifted Students

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Children's Fund Grant Helps Create a Resource Center for Gifted Students

Article excerpt

In September 2005, I began my career as a school psychologist and, probably like other new school psychologists, I was experiencing both excitement and anxiety. Although serving students in the fourth largest school district in the country would undoubtedly provide me with invaluable professional experience, I also knew I would encounter significant challenges. Being a critical thinker and problem solver, I wanted to make a significant contribution to the field of school psychology at this early point in my career, and I wanted my contribution to be innovative.

One day, I received an e-mail at school from my supervisor inviting me to serve on a Gifted Task Force that was being formed to address the underrepresentation of minority students in gifted programs in the school district. I accepted the invitation very enthusiastically, unaware at the time that my participation in the work of the committee would open up new opportunities for me. As I became more involved in the work of the task force, I began to realize that I really didn't know very much about the needs of gifted students. In addition, I was intrigued to learn that gifted students from culturally diverse populations have unique academic and social-emotional needs that are often unmet.

I began reviewing the literature about the needs of gifted students in general and, more specifically, the unique needs of gifted students from culturally diverse backgrounds. As I felt the need to learn more about giftedness and culturally diverse students, I applied for and was awarded a Mary Frasier Scholarship sponsored by the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC), which provided me with more specific information related to the needs of gifted students from culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged populations. I also attended several conferences and meetings focused on the needs of gifted children.

With my new knowledge, I wanted to create an innovative project that would increase the awareness of the needs of gifted students from culturally diverse populations. My supervisors supported my idea to write a grant proposal to develop a resource center for gifted students. In October 2007, I was awarded a grant by the NASP Children's Fund Inc. to create The Parent and Student Resource Center for Gifted Students, currently housed in a Title I middle school in Miami Gardens, Florida, where 98% of the students are African-American, and approximately 10% of whom participate in the gifted program.

Before the Gifted Resource Center was established, many parents, teachers, and support personnel were unaware of the needs of gifted students from culturally diverse backgrounds. …

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