Gifted & Talented Programs

"Powering America's youth to above and beyond thinking."
"Flying away into our imagination!"
"The train of thought"
"Projects that make learning fun"
"Zooming into high level thinking"
"Sparking new ideas"
"Preparing students for the challenges of life"


Who are the gifted and talented?

Arkansas Definition: Gifted and talented children and youth are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services.

Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average:

  1.  Intellectual Ability
  2.  Creative Ability, and
  3.  Task Commitment/Motivation

  • Creative Thinking (Fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration)
  • Critical Thinking (Analysis, synthesis, evaluation)
  • Independent learning (Selection/planning process, acquiring information, recording/analyzing data, presentation/evaluation of product)
  • Communication (verbal, non-verbal, written)
  • Affective Development (Self-concept, interpersonal relations, personal decision making, coping with success and failure, leadership)


The key to raising gifted children is respect: respect for their uniqueness, respect for their opinions and ideas, respect for their dreams. Gifted children need parents who are responsive and flexible. At home, children need to know that their uniqueness is cherished and that they are appreciated as persons just for being themselves.


To a large degree, the needs of gifted children are the same as those of other children. Some limiting problems, however, appear more often in gifted children.

  • They may enjoy more complex activities, games and conversation than children their age making same age relationships less than fulfilling. Help them find intellectual peers as well as chronological peers. Gifted children often have several "peer groups".
  • Talk openly about feelings of pressure and be aware of your reactions and questioning that may make them feel pressure from you. (Reading biographies about other gifted people is a good way for them to understand about dealing with the stresses of being gifted.)
  • They may be strong willed, often seeming bossy to children their own age. Teach them to practice taking a break from being the one in control. Possibly have them keep a journal and write about their feelings on days they choose to let others be the leaders.
  • Being gifted is not by choice, as having learning disabilities is not by choice. All children are special. Teach your child to accept this idea by not shying away from taking credit for their accomplishments, nor developing an attitude that they are better than others because of their ability.
  • Remember that though gifted children need and can handle more decisions of their own, the parent must remain the one in charge. Children need limits and find security in them, even when they push those limits. If your child hasn't been taught to accept limits in early childhood, don't expect them to start in adolescence.
  • Be involved in your child's life and let them know you love them always.