833 Young Scholars
Nurturing Potential, Sustaining Support
We are once again welcoming new parents to our Young Scholars newsletter this month. If your child has just recently been referred as a Young Scholar, this parent newsletter is a place to learn more about Young Scholars and discover information, resources, and opportunities to help your Young Scholar grow.
All past Young Scholars newsletters are located on the District 833 Gifted Education website using the following link:
We are on our third week of a recent shift from focusing on different thinking styles to understanding the three foundational goals of Young Scholars. These goals can be seen in the image below and are also reflected in the commitment at the beginning of every newsletter:
Nurturing Potential, Sustaining Support
For Young Scholars, this means supporting and increasing access to resources, affirmation of self, and advocates in and out of school to help students reach their academic potential.
My hope is that as each month goes by, you will discover a clearer understanding of what Young Scholars is all about while gathering useful resources to encourage and grow your Young Scholar!
This Month in Young Scholars
Having an advocate is a lot like having your own personal cheerleader. Advocates encourage and inspire themselves and others to keep going even when things get tough - like those times when having even just one person say, "You can do it!" makes all the difference.
Every time you stand up for yourself or others, you become an advocate, and as parents, we are likely the most important advocate our children will know.
Sharing positive messages each day, especially when you notice your Young Scholar struggling, can make a huge difference and go a long way to affirm and encourage their efforts. Sometimes the best way to advocate is simply to let your Young Scholar know you are there, walking alongside them.
Along with your everyday support, partnering with your child's classroom teacher and school is another great way to advocate for your Young Scholar. Being a personal cheerleader is a big job, but you don't have to do it alone. Your school is there for you with additional resources and support systems to help you stay connected and involved in your Young Scholar's education.
Finally, while having even just one passionate advocate can make a huge difference in the life of a child, it is also important that children become strong advocates for themselves.
It takes time, support, and courage to learn to stand up and speak up in effective and respectful ways, but the skills to do so can be the very best source of empowerment and advocacy we can teach to our children.
Here are three questions your Young Scholar can ask as they work toward being their own best advocate:
- What is it that I need?
- What help or support will help me get what I need?
- How can I best share my needs with others?
These are not always easy questions to answer for any of us, and children may have little experience understanding they even have the power to ask such questions. Your Young Scholar will need all your support, encouragement and cheerleading to help them on their journey.
While the path to self-advocacy may not be short or always sweet, along the way your Young Scholar will be building powerful life-long skills such as increased problem-solving, self-confidence, ownership of their learning, independence and self-empowerment.
Here are some ideas to help as you build self-advocacy skills in your Young Scholar:
- Talk with your child about their strengths and weaknesses.
- Have ongoing conversations with your child about their learning.
- Remind your child that asking for help is a good thing.
- Praise your child's efforts at speaking up in respectful ways.
- When a problem comes up, give your child a chance to solve it before stepping in.
Advocacy, whether from without or from within, is one of the most powerful and long-lasting ways you can encourage, inspire and support your Young Scholar throughout their lives.
Check It Out!
Information, Resources and Opportunities for Your Young Scholar
Life can be tough sometimes. We all need advocates to encourage and remind us, as Winnie the Pooh likes to say, "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
Below are just a few examples of books that can help advocate for, support and encourage both you and your Young Scholar. These books are a great place to start. You can find many more examples online and in your local bookstore or library.
Emmanuel's Dream is the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, who's determination and belief in himself helped him cycle four hundred miles across Ghana - with only one strong leg - to let everyone know that being disabled does not mean being unable.
In Giraffes Can't Dance, Gerald the Giraffe is having a hard time fitting in until an unlikely advocate shows him that being different can be beautiful.
Finally, the website Brightly lists 10 Books That Empower Kids to Stand Up and Speak Out. This book list by Olugbemisola Thuday-Perkovich includes ten books, for a variety of ages, with positive messages of advocacy for kids.
My name is Colleen Redmond, and I am thrilled to work as the 833 Young Scholars advocate and lead teacher.
I'm a mom of two teenagers, a wife, small business owner, avid biker (the pedal kind), book enthusiast, and beekeeper. Plus, on top of all of that, I have the happy job of implementing and growing the Young Scholars program here in 833!
I've been lucky enough to teach in South Washington County Schools for the past twenty-five years and have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the lives of students and families in my classroom.
Now, as we launch Young Scholars, my path in education is taking on a whole new and wonderful life. I am so very excited to work with and support you and your Young Scholar. I can't wait to see where the journey takes us!
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions, thoughts, or needs!