*“Derived from the Greek word "κῦδος", meaning "fame" and/or "glory".
Used for awesomeness
*The Urban Dictionary
WATG has kudos to share! As many of you know, we have been asking folks to share their personal GT stories with their representatives and make the ask for a $2.5 million budget for Wisconsin’s gifted children. Currently Wisconsin’s ~100,000 gifted children receive less than a total of a ¼ million dollars of funding and that is in the form of competitive grants. Simple math will tell you that is about 25 cents per gifted student per year. Yes, you read that correctly. 25 cents. Hence the push for the additional funding in the next two-year funding cycle. Some valiant efforts have been put forth by individuals on behalf of our gifted students and I want to highlight them this month.
We had two individuals stand before the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) hearings and offer their heart-felt testimonials. A huge shout-out goes to:
Hillarie from Altoona
Martha from Weyauewga
In addition, the following individuals (or groups) joined me in submitting written testimony to the JFC. These folks include:
Alison and Bryan-Manitowoc
Have you submitted a testimonial? We would appreciate adding you to our growing list of movers and shakers. Please email email@example.com and let us know of your work!
If you have not contacted your representative, but you are willing to, please let us know that as well. At this point, the deadline has passed for submitting both oral and written testimony to the JFC, but your individual representatives can take your personal phone calls, letters and/or visits to their offices. We will happily coach you through the process, although your heartfelt concerns will be heard and listened to without coaching.
This is a crucial time for lobbying for gifted education funding in Wisconsin. By July we will have the next budget set for two years. A budget change for gifted education is our goal in THIS budget cycle! It would be remarkable to have a ground swell of unsatisfied constituents contact their representatives in the next two months (May and June). You can and will make a difference!
Please share with us if you are advocating for gifted education and let us know how it is going for you! We want to hear and share the news of our collective work! Email firstname.lastname@example.org Share your news!
Will you join us in a commitment to our gifted students? Thank you and KUDOS to those who have! We are grateful!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
I recently returned from a trip out of the country, to beautiful Florence, Italy. Amidst the swath of gelato flavors, Italian cuisine, and historic sites, I remembered a lesson I had been taught. I recalled it after I had the awe-inspiring opportunity to stand before pieces of work done by masters such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Botticelli. Seeing these works, the intricacies and the details of generations of study and mastery is... difficult to describe in any tangible way. I will simply say that I have been changed forever because I had the opportunity to become part of their history. As I stood before the statue of Michelangelo’s “David” I had to wonder how a relatively inexperienced 26-year-old was capable of producing such an incredible piece of art. The works of polymath da Vinci had me stunned. The architectural wonders surrounding left me spellbound… these marvels and feats all gave way to one big question. Who mentored these people that were capable of such creativity and handiwork? What was the instructional system that inspired this “renaissance” with lasting results? And now I cannot help but wonder about our present system of raising up new “masters” after seeing what can happen when giftedness meets a mentor and a benefactor. In the times of Michelangelo and da Vinci, students were partnered with mentors, the ones to pass down centuries of study and knowledge for continued scholarship and innovation. These students, under the tutelage of their mentors, were given the chance to learn, hone and perfect their talents. They were also taken under the wing of benefactors who financially supported their learning and endeavors the sake of imagination, creation and knowledge.
So how can we inspire a renaissance for contemporary gifted education? How do we inspire gifted mentors to take on the role of being there for the younger pupils? How do we inspire benefactors like legislators, businesses, and corporations to invest in gifted education and support these students? Right now, we have the opportunity to be ambassadors for a “renaissance” in gifted education. I challenge you to continue (or start) asking the questions and building relationships for the sake of our gifted youth as an ambassador for them. A gifted education renaissance is within our reach, when together we raise up this new generation of “masters”. Will you join us?
From the President
"At the beginning of the training process for gifted and regular classroom teachers, they need to learn the skills of the trade."