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Joel McIntosh

Joel McIntosh
I'm the publisher at Prufrock Press. I've been involved with education for more than 20 years and hold a masters degree in gifted education. I've been a classroom teacher and a parent (still am that). In addition to this blog, you can follow me on Twitter. Feel free to contact me by e-mail if you have any questions about this blog or Prufrock Press.

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Advocate for Gifted Children

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - by JMcIntosh - Category: Gifted Education
This week I began posting samples of articles that have recently appeared in Gifted Child Today, Prufrock Press' gifted education teaching and parenting journal. One of the articles focused on the topic of ways parents and teachers can use traditional public relations strategies to advocate for gifted education and gifted children.

The time for such an article could not be better. Gifted and talented programs are faced with budget cuts, and teachers of gifted kids are dealing with the damaging effects that the No Child Left Behind initiative is having on the educational opportunities for gifted children. In the article, Kevin Besnoy explains that, in order to stem the tide of the reduction of gifted education services, teachers and parents of the gifted must become advocates and employ public relations strategies to support their cause. The article goes on to explain how. You can download the article by clicking the link below.

"Using Public Relations Strategies to Advocate for Gifted Programming in Your School" by Kevin Besnoy (Gifted Child Today. 28(1), 32-37, 65.)

Mr. Besnoy's article caught my attention because of its relevance to a recent blog entry I wrote in which I focused on the problems that No Child Left Behind has created for gifted programs.

Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Joan Smutny called me to talk about some of the exciting things happening with the Illinois Association for Gifted Children (in addition to her many other accomplishments, Dr. Smutny edits the association's annual journal). During our conversation, the topic of advocacy came up, and Dr. Smutny mentioned a parenting book she had written titled Stand Up for Your Gifted Child: How to Make the Most of Kids' Strengths at School and Home. I had not seen the book, and Dr. Smutny had a copy sent to me.

Last weekend, I got a chance to read the book. It is a fantastic how-to manual on advocating for your gifted child. The book discusses how to tell if your child is gifted and helps you understand the problems your gifted child may face in school. The book focuses on knowing your rights as a parent of a gifted child and how to work with your child's school to guarantee that he or she is challenged. The book also talks about building a supportive home environment for your gifted child and how to find and network with other parents of gifted kids.

I really like this little how-to manual for parents who want to become better advocates for their gifted kids. I would have to agree with Dr. Jerry Flack who, in the book's foreword, writes, "I have never read a finer and more practical book on advocacy for gifted students."

Kudos to Dr. Smutny and the folks at Free Spirit Publishing for publishing such a great little book.

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