This is a report of the progress made in 2001 towards achieving the Davidson Institute's mission to recognize, nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents in positive ways to create value for themselves and others. In pursuit of this mission, the Institute delivered the following programs, services, and publications:
Davidson Young Scholars
An individualized, family-oriented program aimed at nurturing profoundly gifted children.
Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2001
42 new Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program.
Total Number of Young Scholars Currently Enrolled
93 Young Scholars (39 females; 54 males) from 31 states representing a variety of economic, racial and ethnic groups.
Types of Services Provided
The services provided to the Davidson Young Scholars included:
- Frequent contact, in most cases weekly, with each Davidson Young Scholar family
- Assistance with locating appropriate educational settings and materials, advocates, counselors, and mentors
- Access to professionals in areas such as parenting, schooling, talent development, assessment, etc.
- Connections with peers for Young Scholars and their parents
- Connections with PG adults who have developed their talents to make a positive contribution to society
- Online Book Discussion Groups for Young Scholars
- Group and topic specific list serves for Young Scholars and their parents
- Financial Assistance (based upon need) to implement the Young Scholars Action Plan
- Online Seminars for Parents on the following topics:
Adjustment/Development of PG Children, facilitated by Maureen Neihart;
Assessment, facilitated by Annette Revel Sheely;
College Preparation for the PG Home Schooled Child, facilitated by Jon Reider;
Creativity, facilitated by Jane Pierto;
Friendship, facilitated by Annette Revel Sheely;
Gifted Child as Philosopher, facilitated by Dee Lovecky;
Introversion, facilitated by Sharon Lind;
Parenting the PG Child, facilitated by Elizabeth Meckstroth;
Sensory Integration, facilitated by Ric Carrasco;
Starting a Good PG School, facilitated by Sandra Schilling;
The Experience of Raising the PG Child, facilitated by Julia Osborn
The Necessary Other, facilitated by Stephanie Tolan;
Underachievement, facilitated by Josh Shaine.
- Young Scholar Reunion Gathering, "Out of the Box - Thinking Differently to Make a Difference," was held in July in the Pocono Mountains.
- Young Scholars Tahoe Gathering for families enrolled in 2001 was held in August.
An annual evaluation of the Davidson Young Scholars program was conducted in October, 2001; over 80% the families participated.
Young Scholar families rated the following major program components for their effectiveness:
- Action Plan, as a tool for addressing the Young Scholars strengths and areas of need - 78% rated as Effective
- Action Plan, the creation, implementation and maintenance process - 72% rated as Effective
- The Family Consultant, as a partner to assist in locating resources - 94% rated as Effective
- The Family Consultant, as a partner to assist with educational advocacy - 93% rated Effective
- The Family Consultant, as a partner to assist with talent development - 88% rated as Effective
- Private List Serve, as a medium for receiving program updates and information - 99% rated as Effective
- Private List Serve, as a way to connect with other Young Scholar families - 84% rated as Effective
- Private Bulletin Board, as a way to connect with other Young Scholar families - 60% rated as Effective
- Private Website, as a way to receive program updates and information - 93% rated as Effective
- Private Website, as a way to learn about other families in the program - 90% rated as Effective
- Online Seminars, as an opportunity to learn valuable information - 90% rated as Effective
- Online Seminars, as an opportunity to connect with experts in the field - 84% rated as Effective
- The Gatherings, as an opportunity to learn valuable information - 93% rated as Effective
- The Gatherings, as a way to connect with other families - 96% rated as Effective
- Financial Assistance - 83% rated as Effective
- Davidson Gifted Database, as a convenient, helpful bank of resources - 95% rated as Effective
The following were evaluated as the three most valuable aspects of the Davidson Young Scholars Program:
- Working with a Family Consultant
- Attending the Young Scholars Gathering
- Connecting with other Young Scholar Families.
The program participants indicated their level of agreement with the following benefit statements:
As a direct result of participation in the Davidson Young Scholars program, my child . . .
- is now in an academic environment that is better suited to his/her abilities. -90% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- is now working to further develop of his/her prodigious talents. -90% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- has developed at least one genuine friendship. -85% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- has an improved self-concept. -90% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- has had the opportunity to share his/her gifts with others in a positive way.- 91% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
As a direct result of participation as a Young Scholar parent, I . . .
- have gained new and valuable insight about parenting a PG child. -96% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- have developed effective strategies to address my child’s behavior. -90% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- have gained access to valuable advisors who were not available to me before joining this program. -94% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- have located new learning materials, equipment, and other resources to help my child develop his/her talent. -89% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- have developed quality connections with other parents of PG children. -98% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
- have been encouraged to think differently about how to address my child’s strengths and needs. -90% Agreed or Strongly Agreed
Areas of Service
The following information was gathered from our Family Consultants and indicates the approximate number of Young Scholar families who received ongoing support in 2001 in the following areas:
- Assessment Consultation & Assistance - 53
- Assistance in locating Professionals for Social/Emotional Support - 40
- Creation of a Home Schooling Academic Framework - 26
- Educational Advocacy - 44
- Financial Assistance - 57
- Home Schooling Support - 52
- Talent Development & Academic Enrichment - 52
- Tuition Assistance - 13
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Davidson Fellows Awards
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students up to age 18.
Any young person, under the age of 18, may apply who has created a significant piece of work in the areas of science/technology, mathematics, the humanities, and/or in an "out of the box" category.
Judges, with high levels of expertise in the domain areas of the works submitted, carefully reviewed the qualified applications and selected nine individuals to be recognized for their prodigious achievements.
2001 Davidson Fellow Laureates ($50,000 scholarship recipients)
- Joshua Feldman, 11, from Manhasset Hills, New York
Project Title: "A Piano Recital Composed of Four Masterpieces from the Baroque Period to the 20th Century."
- Chintan Hossain, 14, from Wilmington, Delaware
Category: Technology and Mathematics
Project Title: "Conquering the Heart Using Nonlinear Dynamics."
- Brennan Johnson, 18, from Des Moines, Iowa
Category: Technology and Science
Project Title: "Phylogeography of the Western Hognose Snake."
2001 Davidson Fellows ($10,000 scholarship recipients)
- Eric Anderson, 17, from Evanston, Wyoming
Project Title: "Snaker 2 - A Real Time Interactive Multi-Player Computer Game Featuring AI Controlled Elements."
- Kit Armstrong, 9, from Los Alamitos, California
Project Title: "Five Elements, A Suite of Five Movements for Piano."
- Julia Carey, 15, from Wellesley, Massachusetts
Project Title: "Compositions for Orchestra and Chamber Groups."
- Rachel Emery, 16, from Annville, Pennsylvania
Project Title: I-Ana.
- Kai Kadoich, 17, from Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Humanities/Literature & Philosophy
Project Title: "Melville’s Metaphysical Masterpiece."
- Daniel Ohrenstein, 15, from Sarasota, Florida
Project Title: "The Endeavor of Seeing the Essential Nature of Existence."
Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on November 7th. The ceremony, held in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, was co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.
Davidson Fellows are encouraged to make a moral commitment to support others and develop their talents.
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Services for Talent Development
An array of specific talent development services including Assessment Assistance, Educational Advocacy, Early College Assistance and PG-Connections for profoundly gifted young people.
Services were launched between March, 2001 and September, 2001.
The Talent Development Services are available to any qualified, profoundly gifted young person under the age of 18.
Evidence of precocity, when verified by the Institute, provides membership in Davidson Institute Coterie, allowing a young person and his/her parents access to available services.
Davidson Coterie Members
Eighty-six profoundly gifted young people are currently members of the Davidson Coterie and thus eligible to receive any of the Services for Talent Development.
Services rolled out in 2001:
- PG Connections list serves include Parenting a PG Adolescent, Parenting the PG Child, Parenting a Twice-Exceptional PG Child, Single Parenting the PG Child, PG Children in the Classroom, Radical Acceleration and Early College, Home Schooling the PG Child, Research on Intelligence and Giftedness. Number of members participating - 86
- Assessment Assistance: Number of members receiving services - 29
- Educational Advocacy and/or Home Schooling Support: Number of members receiving service - 36
- Early College Assistance: Number of members receiving service - 15.
Due to the recent launch of the Services for Talent Development, no formal evaluation has been conducted. A formal evaluation is scheduled for Fall 2002.
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Services for Professionals
Provides educators and school administrators with information and services to help them support profoundly gifted learners.
Approximately 300 professionals received assistance via telephone and/or personal contact.
Fifty gifted coordinators received training about how schools can support profoundly gifted learners.
An informational pamphlet for educators was created with information about the population and their educational needs. Over 5,000 were distributed to educators between August and December 2001.
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Davidson Gifted Database www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB
Developed by and for profoundly gifted students, their parents, and the professionals who serve them, this web-based, searchable database provides a wide variety of resources for and about profoundly gifted young people.
At the conclusion of 2001, the database offered:
- 1,400 resources for profoundly gifted young people covering programs, special interests, schools, support organizations and information regarding identification, education, development, and parenting;
- most of the resources were rated with comments from members of the profoundly gifted population; and
- 150 full- text research and informational articles on or about the population.
Since its launch in late February, nearly 12,000 persons have used the database to locate resources for the population and/or access information about the population.
In 2001, the Davidson Institute's staff produced the following publications:
Acceleration for the Profoundly Gifted Student: Recommended Readings.(2001). Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Capurro, M. (2001). Pursuing Profound Possibilities: The Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Off the Charts. Annette Revel Sheely and Kiesa Kay (eds.)
Davidson, J. (2001). Thoughts on Philanthropy. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Informational Pamphlet: Could the Next Einstein be in Your Classroom? (2001). Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Sheehan, K. (2001). Professional Perspectives on the Assessment of Profoundly Gifted Children. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Robinson N. and Harsin, C. (2001). Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance. Davidson Institute for Talent Development. (This publication is available through the Services for Talent Development.)
Robinson, N. and Harsin, C. (2001). Food for Thought: Is Early College Entrance an Appropriate Alternative? Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
The following articles were commissioned by the Institute and written specifically for the Davidson Gifted Database:
Kearney, K. (2001). Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Kearney, K. (2001). Frequently Asked Questions About Testing and Assessing Giftedness. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Osborn, J. (2001). Assessment, Educational Issues, Advocacy: the process of parenting an exceptionally gifted child. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Osborn, J. (2001). Educational Advocacy for Gifted Students. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Wright, B. (2001). Parents’ Perspectives of Early College Entrance For Profoundly Gifted Children: Readiness Issues and 1st College Class Options. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Wright, B. (2001). Parents’ Perspectives of Early College Entrance For Profoundly Gifted Children: Testing for Admittance and Choosing Enrollment Options. Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
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In 2001, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development expanded the Davidson Young Scholars program, started the Davidson Fellows Awards, added the Services for Talent Development and Services for Professionals, and launched the Davidson Gifted Database.
As of December 2001, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to 250 profoundly gifted young people. The estimated number of persons receiving indirect support via the Services for Professionals, the database and the Institute’s web site is 20,000.