Friday, June 29, 2012

BRUSHING UP ON YOUR ADVOCACY SKILLS: SUMMER READING FOR PARENTS/FAMILIES

We often think of summer as a time for students to take a break, explore other non-academic interests, go on vacation, visit family and pursue other settings. While some of your children and teens are involved in camps, enrichment programs, and doing their required summer reading, as parents of gifted children, summer can also be a time that you spend ‘brushing up’ on your advocacy skills. With national statistics ‘screaming’ underrepresentation of black, Hispanic and native American children in gifted programs, I know that one of the best ways to address this national embarrassment is through improved parent and family advocacy.

My book, ‘Bright, Talented & Black: A guide for families of African American Gifted Learners’ was written specifically to help the African American community become more aware of gifted services and the benefits of these services for their high ability students. Since its release in 2011, the book has taken on a new life as a professional development tool for educators as well as an advocacy tool for parents. (By the way, my book has an extensive advocate’s vocabulary in the appendix. Words that all parents of gifted learners should know).

I’m excited about having educators from local districts, private schools, charter schools and university professors using my book to educate, enlighten and improve access for culturally diverse children of all groups to Gifted Programs.

I’m pleased to have the educators on board with this issue, however, I want parents and families to understand that YOUR ROLE as advocates is crucial in beginning to change the course of education in general for all diverse populations, but particularly for changing the complexion, the focus, the emphasis in public-funded gifted programs nationwide!!

To do this, parents & families need to be WELL INFORMED. My book and others in the field are written for this purpose. In addition to a great number of books, websites, blogsites also provide tremendous resources to parents everyday. These resources are available but only when we know what to look for.

I make it my business weekly if not daily, to check out resources so that I can recommend them to you. I’ve come upon a couple of very exciting blogsites recently that I MUST pass on to others. I’ve listed the blog sites below and recommend them as:

SUMMER READING & EXPLORING FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF GIFTED CHILDREN

Please visit www.collegeprepready.com created by an ingenious, highly gifted African American student - Ashley Hill, CEO , College Prep Ready.


Other Blogs & Websites to Visit:

Hoagies gifted website

Bright, Talented & Black: papers, links, other resources

NAGC Parenting Page

Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

Great Books To Read: 
‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell  
‘It Worked for Me’ by Colin Powell
‘A Hand to Guide Me’  by Denzel Washington

Gifted students from diverse backgrounds NEED PARENT ADVOCATES, MENTORS, SUPPORT SYSTEMS that will help them to reach their highest potential. They need you to be involved at the  local level with schools and district administrations. They need you to attend meetings, volunteer for committees and SPEAK UP ON THEIR BEHALF!!

Well, I’m off for a few weeks of rest, and to present at a couple of conferences! I’ll join you back here on this blogsite in August. Please continue to share this blog with others and network to improve access to advanced instruction and gifted program services for all  culturally diverse learners!

We're in this together!! JLD

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