FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Organization Focuses on Advancing Gifted Education in New York State
Parents, advocates, and gifted education experts announce formation of Gifted New York State to support gifted students and advance gifted education in state
ONEIDA, NY (May 18, 2020) – New York State parents, educators, professionals and gifted education advocates have come together to form Gifted New York State, Inc (GiftedNYS), a new not-for-profit organization aimed at improving awareness and understanding of gifted students and improving availability of appropriate education programs statewide. GiftedNYS offers membership to all who are interested in advancing gifted education in New York.
New York State lags behind most states in its approach to gifted education. It is one of only eight states that neither funds nor mandates gifted education. The National Center for Education Statistics states that only 1.7% of students in New York State are identified and placed in gifted education programs, compared with 6.7% nationally. Only 17.4% of New York’s school districts reported offering any form of gifted education, as published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection. This gap disadvantages New York’s students as individuals, but also disadvantages the state’s future talent pool and economy.
A driving factor in the development of GiftedNYS is the need for a better and more inclusive understanding of giftedness in New York State’s education system, communities, and culture.
GiftedNYS believes that gifted individuals:
- Receive and process information differently from their age peers.
- React in unusual and unique ways in order to produce ideas, products or outcomes atypical of their age.
- Are diverse. They are found in all cultures, ethnicities, religious belief systems, races, socio-economic statuses, gender identities, sexual orientations, and disabilities categories.
And that gifted children need:
- Support from school personnel who have had specialized training and ongoing staff development.
- An environment that is flexible, individualized, and cultivates expertise .
- Ongoing opportunities to interact with peers of shared interests and talents.
- An environment which promotes healthy social-emotional growth for asynchronous development of intense, exceptional pupils.
- An environment that fosters freedom to learn at their own pace, develop expertise, engage in strength-based opportunities, and to demonstrate understanding in unique ways.
- Access to materials that are commensurate to their abilities.
When these needs go unmet, gifted children risk being chronic underachievers and may develop emotional difficulties associated with being and feeling misunderstood, unseen, and underdeveloped.
GiftedNYS’ founding directors come from different regions of the state and draw from their personal experience as parents of gifted children, parents of twice-exceptional children (gifted with one or more disabilities), and as former gifted and twice exceptional students themselves.
The organization’s work is guided by a highly experienced advisory board with years of combined experience in the field of gifted education and services.
Over the next year, GiftedNYS’ focus will be on nurturing diversity within its membership and leadership, and advocating for a voice for gifted students as New York State embarks on its Reimagine Education initiative.
Learn more about GiftedNYS and how you can support New York State’s gifted students at giftednys.org.
The non-profit Gifted New York State (GiftedNYS) is the only active statewide organization dedicated to supporting gifted education. The GiftedNYS mission is to build awareness and understanding of what it means to be gifted or twice-exceptional, to promote federal, statewide, and local policies and initiatives that support and protect these underrepresented children in our schools, and to create community for gifted and twice-exceptional children and their families.
The organization will soon be filing an application to obtain formal recognition of its status as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.