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Benefits of Summer Programs for Gifted Students

by Caroline Daniel

Welcome back! January is a time to reflect on our commitments and renew our priorities for the new year. Here at SIG, it is a perfect time to refresh our understanding of how summer programs can benefit gifted, academically talented, and creative students.

In a world where gifted education and academic programming for high potential youth are lacking, it is crucial that we provide opportunities for ingenuity and innovation for the gifted and high potential youth.

SIG summer programs help students do just that and more! From a rigorous STEAM+ academic approach to our enriching student life, SIG students learn to push the limits, cultivate their passions, and build life-long friendships.

Why are intellectually engaging summer programs so vital for the growth of gifted and academically talented students? Research indicates that enrichment summer programs can significantly influence the optimal development of their talents (Mihyeon, 2016). When deciding on whether academic summer programs, such as SIG, are a good fit for your child, reflect on the following questions.

  • Will your child benefit from homogeneous grouping? It is important that students grow with like-minded peers within learning and social environments along with opportunities for collaboration with mixed-ability, heterogenous groups of students. During the academic school year, gifted students are often paired with mixed-ability students to be the academic model, peer tutor, or close the achievement gap. When is it time for your gifted/academically talented student to sharpen their own talents and experience growth? SIG summer programs provide the optimum settings for new learning and achievement because students are grouped with like-minded peers. SIG academics not only values students’ prior knowledge but differentiates the course work for learners through the guidance from knowledgeable and trained instructors.
  • Can your child benefit from explorations and experiences related to their passions? Often, gifted and academically talented students demonstrate multipotentiality, the ability to excel in two or more different skills/interests. Without opportunities to develop and nurture these strengths, students remain with untapped potential and are unaware of the contributions they can make in society or communities. SIG programs offer a plethora of courses in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, fitness, and humanities to help guide students in their unique areas of passion. SIG not only offers students the freedom to expand their interests but acknowledges their strengths and guides them towards growth.
  • Does your child need to develop self-confidence and problem-solving skills? The summer is the best time for students to take risks that encourage them to be self-reliant. SIG Innovators (ages 9-17) and Investigators (ages 5-12) programs offer students the freedom to step out of their comfort zone and meet new people from different locations around the U.S and from cultures around the world. SIG programs help students find commonalities and enjoy the feeling of a global community. SIG residential programs (Innovators) provide a way for students to experience independence as they live away from parents which helps them problem-solve and prepare for future responsibilities. When students succeed at being independent, it increases their self-esteem and boosts self-confidence.

Yes, January is a time to embrace a new year of possibilities as we launch our 37th SIG season! We invite you to visit our new website (www.giftedstudy.org) with information on campus programs. Stay tuned for more information on online program options coming soon!

Mihyeon, K. (2016). A meta-analysis of the effects of enrichment programs on gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 60(2) 102-116. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/articles/70

Written by: Caroline Daniel, SIG Director of Academics

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