Our work so far…

The Gifted Education Family Network may be a young organization, but we’ve accomplished a lot in a few short years.  Please see below to learn about our significant work and milestones, and please help our organization continue to grow by spreading the word.  We look forward to connecting gifted families from all populations through support and advocacy for years to come.

Our Publications

Support Provided by GEFN

  • Free membership for any Texas GT parent or guardian, prioritizing equity and ensuring access to our resources, networking, support, and advocacy for GT families from all backgrounds and populations, regardless of income; membership includes our e-newsletter and online discussion group
  • Free access to our members-only online Member Support Group, a discussion forum created for GT families across Texas to connect and exchange information about meeting the needs of their students, local advocacy, starting and sustaining GT parent groups, and other GT-related family topics
  • Free Parent Advisory Council membership for leaders of local GT groups across Texas, providing opportunities for GT parent groups in every corner of Texas to connect with parent groups in other Texas districts, to advise GEFN on our priorities and future activities, and to learn directly from leading GT experts attending PAC meetings, including Dr. Todd Kettler and Dr. Fred Bonner

Events Hosted by GEFN

  • Coming in January: “How to Use Math to Invent,” a free virtual family event with math expert Professor Po-Shen Loh, math professor at Carnegie Mellon University and national coach of the USA International Math Olympiad team
  • November 2021 – “Panel Discussion for Building on Resilience: Models and Frameworks for Black Male Success Across the P-20 Pipeline – A Book Read Experience,” a virtual event with the MACH-III Center (Minority Achievement, Creativity, and High-Ability Center) at Texas Prairie View A&M University, open to all members
  • July 2021 – “The 87th Texas Legislative Session: Conversation with Representative Matt Shaheen,” a virtual opportunity for GEFN members to ask questions and learn from a Texas Representative supporting GT education
  • April 2021 – Virtual Cardboard Challenge, a unique enrichment event sparking creativity in students of all ages, sponsored and hosted by NuMinds Enrichment
  • March 2021 –  “Parents and Community: Erasing the Color Line in Texas Gifted Education,” presented by Dr. Fred Bonner for the GEFN Parent Advisory Council
  • December 2020 – “What Does Giftedness Look Like?” online event for all GEFN members, presented by Dr. Kristina Henry Collins, sharing wisdom, resources, and support for families of gifted learners in all populations

GEFN Advocacy

  • GEFN partnered with the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented in successfully requesting state agency guidance to accurately convey legislative purpose for the new GT Allotment, ensuring GT program support from both dedicated GT funding and from the Basic Allotment, as intended
  • With support from our Legislative and State Advocacy Committee, GEFN partnered with the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented in drafting and working with legislators on amendments to House Bill 1302, which would have increased access to needed acceleration opportunities in Texas, and which can now serve as a starting point for future legislation
  • Advocated on behalf of member families at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to request that state agency guidance would ensure continuation of state-manded GT programs, including services during both synchronous and asynchronous virtual instruction
  • Promoted additional advocacy opportunities aligned with our Mission, Vision, and Priorities, including advocacy for public education funding through Raise Your Hand Texas and advocacy from the National Association for Gifted Children requesting federal funding for the Javits Gifted Education Program

Outreach

Partnerships and Publicity

  • Provided parent survey input, planning input, and publicity for the 2020, 2021, and upcoming 2022 GT Parent Conference hosted by the Baylor Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, including publicity for scholarships to ensure equal opportunity for all GT families
  • Promoted scholarship opportunities, research opportunities, and interest surveys aligned with our Mission, Vision, and Priorities, including scholarship opportunities from the National Association for Gifted Children, an enrichment interest survey from the Baylor Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, and a virtual learning GT parent survey from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cincinnati
  • Shared free articles of interest with our GT families, including multiple articles published by the Gifted Education Review and an article from Parenting for High Potential (access granted by the authors and the National Association for Gifted Children: Discussing Racism with Gifted Children)
  • GEFN leaders and volunteers actively engage with and volunteer their individual time and talents for numerous organizations dedicated to GT education, public education, and equity work. Current and recent positions include: board service for SENG (Supporting the Needs of the Gifted); trustee service on school boards for Texas public school districts, including board leadership; service on the Texas Commissioner of Education’s Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (CAC); past and current work in school and district administration; committee service for the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB); local district Education Foundation board service; service in local Racial Equity Committee work, TASB Master Trustee designation; individual awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) and from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB); board service for the nonprofit PG Retreat, and leadership positions in campus and district-level parent and teacher organizations, including Council and campus PTA units  
  • Promoted free and low-cost virtual and in-person family events related to GT family support and GT equity, including events hosted by the PACE Fort Bend Association of Parents for Academic Excellence, the Baylor Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, the Minority Achievement, Creativity, and High Ability Center (MACH-III) at Texas Prairie View A&M University, the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, the National Association for Gifted Children, the University of Houston Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee, Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG Model Parent Group for 2E Parents), the Carrollton-Farmer’s Branch Association for the Gifted and Talented, the McKinney Gifted and Talented Alliance (virtual SENG Model Parent Group), the Denton Association for Gifted, the Consortium for Inclusion of Underrepresented Racial Groups in Gifted Education (I-URGGE), the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education, the Mirman School, Denver Mensa, Prufrock Press, the University of Denver College of Education, Duke TIP, With Understanding Comes Calm (Let’s Talk 2e Conference), The G Word documentary (Gifted/Talented/Neurodiverse Awareness Week), and the New Mexico Association for the Gifted.

Our Future

The Gifted Education Family Network was founded by and for families of GT students, and our future depends on the passion and involvement of families like yours. We invite you to subscribe to our free member newsletter, to join our online community, and to share our information with families across Texas. We welcome contact from businesses or organizations interested in joining us as partners or sponsors, and we invite all GT families to volunteer for our projects or committees.

If you support our Mission, Vision, and Priorities, your input is important to us, and we have a place for your interests and needs. We look forward to connecting with you and learning from you.

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