The Gifted Child Society is a
non-profit organization that was
founded in 1957 by parents of
New Jersey to further the cause
of gifted children.
Summer Super Stars
(for Summer only)
The Gifted Child Society is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1957 by parents of New Jersey to further the cause of gifted children. Its mission goals are:
- Educational enrichment and support services specifically designed for gifted children.
- Assistance to parents in raising gifted children to full and productive adulthood.
- Professional training to encourage educators to meet the special needs of these youngsters.
- A greater effort to win public recognition and acceptance of these special needs.
Since 1957, the Society has served over 60,000 children and their families. In 1975, the U.S. Department of Education named it a national demonstration model.
The Gifted Child Society was founded by Mrs. L.J.A. Stiles in 1957. As the mother of a gifted child, Mrs. Stiles wanted to form a club to promote the interests and talents of gifted children. Through an ad in a local newspaper, she was able to form this club. The club's first meeting was held at the City Hall in Dumont, New Jersey, in October, 1957. On June 1, 1958, Mrs. Stiles was elected the Society's first president.
The first classes sponsored by the Gifted Child Society (now called the "Saturday Workshop") were held in March, 1959. The classes at that time were small and held twice a year. The first summer program was conducted in 1962 at the Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, New Jersey.
The Society grew in membership and in 1962 was incorporated. It was in 1963 that the Society's former Executive Director, Gina Ginsberg Riggs, became involved in the Society as both a parent member and as the Society's publicity chairperson.
By 1965, 250 children were enrolled in the Saturday Workshop. The Society continued to expand, adding its first courses for parents in 1966.
The Gifted Child Society sponsors many activities designed to assist gifted children, their parents, and educators. Our most popular activities include the Saturday Workshop, Summer Super Stars, Parent Seminars, Testing, and Educator Training.
- Saturday Workshop
Consisting of over 60 one-hour Saturday morning courses specifically designed for gifted children, the Saturday Workshop is composed of two ten-session semesters that run from October to December in the Fall and from March to May in the Spring. It is conducted at the Ho-Ho-Kus Public School in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. All Saturday Workshop classes are designed to challenge the special learning needs and styles of gifted children. Curriculum and teaching strategies stimulate the development of higher levels of thinking, creativity, problem solving, and leadership. An interdisciplinary approach is used and, where practical, courses are future oriented and globally aware.
- Summer Super Stars
We offer a balance of summer academics and recreation for gifted children from age four to grade eight. Conducted at the Northern Highlands High School in Allendale, New Jersey from July to August, the program offers three and six week sessions with an AM-only option available. The academic morning offers five periods in the sciences, arts, humanities and technology. The recreational afternoons include swimming in a lifeguard supervised lake (swimming instruction available), individual and team sports, computing and other recreational activities.
- Parent Seminars
To help parents meet the challenge of raising gifted children, the Gifted Child Society offers seminars at the Society's main office in Glen Rock, New Jersey. The seminars are conducted in the evening hours to accommodate working parents. Seminar topics include discussions on the behaviors of young gifted children, study and homework skills, discipline, ADHD, existing school programs for the gifted, advocacy and many others.
- Educator Training
The Gifted Child Society is unique in that it is one of few organizations that provide educators with specific training in the education of gifted children. In-service training sessions are offered to local New Jersey school districts at a nominal cost. Since 1999, the Society has sponsored 90 fully-funded Fellowships for selected New Jersey teachers to develop skills in challenging gifted children through specialized training at Confratute at the University of Connecticut. Confratute is one of the nation's leading institutes for teacher training in education of the gifted. It is a total immersion, live-in experience offering training in K-12 teaching that cuts across all school activities, curricular areas, grade levels, and grouping. These teachers have brought back to their districts expertise in providing services for gifted students as well as skills development for other educators. In addition, the Society has offered several state-wide Saturday Teacher Training Conferences featuring well-known keynote speakers and breakout sessions on specific aspects of giftedness.
- Intelligence Testing
Individual testing for children age four and older is given by a licensed or certified psychologist, followed by a brief interpretive consultation. In-depth assessment and consultation service is also available.