Minds in Motion – 3/23/13


Minds in Motion: A Fun-Filled Saturday for Kids
Got curious kids? Seeking a fun and enriching way to spend a Saturday in the doldrums of March? Registration is now open for Minds in Motion, a popular annual event offering hands-on, fast-paced programs for children in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The event is hosted by the Connecticut Association for the Gifted, but kids don’t have to be identified as “gifted” to attend. All are welcome!
Just bring a healthy curiosity and an appetite for fun. Workshops are broken into categories by grade, and they include exploring live creatures from the Long Island Sound; getting up close and personal with tortoises, lizards, snakes, chinchillas; doing an archeological dig for Native American and Colonial artifacts; doing fun projects that relate to chemistry, green energy, flight and acting; rocking out on the electric guitar and even starting your own organic garden!

In addition to the kids’ events, parents will enjoy the vendors offering a range of cool gifts, puzzles, books, along with information on camps and educational programs and services.

The ninth annual Westport “Minds in Motion” event will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 12:30-4pm at Bedford Middle School (88 North Ave. in Westport). “Minds in Motion” is an afternoon of fun, fast-paced, hands-on workshops geared to high-ability, motivated learners. The event is designed to enrich and encourage curious (not necessarily gifted) students in grades K-8, and there is also a free program for parents, educators, and other adults. The event is presented by the Westport PTA Council, The Connecticut Association for the Gifted and the Westport Public Schools. It is sponsored by the Summer Institute for the Gifted.

This year’s workshop offerings for children are diverse and include over 30 workshop choices divided by age group. Examples are “Storytelling and Your Brain” from the Westport Public Library and “Science of Soils and Animal Decomposers” from the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford for grades K-1; “Biomimicry: Nature, Science & Technology in Society” from the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport and “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons” from Suzuki Music School for grades 2-3; “Build a Catapult” from the Eli Whitney Museum, “Wild Weather” from Talcott Mt. Science Center and “Creative Printmaking” from Westport artist Betsy Beach for grades 4-5; and “SketchUp 3D Programming” from the Westport Public Library and “Be a Blogger” from Westport columnist and 06880 blogger Dan Woog for grades 6-8.

The brochure with all the workshop choices and online registration can be found on the CAG website at http://www.ctgifted.org. The cost for CAG members is $30 per child, and for non-members $40 per child for the whole afternoon. Financial aid is available upon request. The registration deadline for the children’s workshops is Friday, March 8. Space is limited, classes are assigned on a first-come, first served basis and they fill up fast.

A highlight of this year’s event will be guest speaker Dr. Lauri Kirsch, who will present a Keynote Address, “Raising Happy and Successful Gifted Children,” and an adult workshop. Regardless of whether they are labeled gifted, talented, precocious, or just plain very bright, research tells us that children of high intellectual ability are often complex with regard to their social, emotional, and academic needs. Parents and educators share the common goal of preparing and inspiring high-potential children to make a difference for the future. This presentation will help both groups to understand, empower, and advocate for these children in education and in life. Dr. Kirsch is the gifted program supervisor in a large school district in Florida. In her role she has the opportunity to provide leadership, direction, and support for all those who touch high-potential learners. She serves as Treasurer for the National Association for Gifted Children, is the former State Board Representative to NAGC, and served as the President of the Florida Association for the Gifted. As a parent, former teacher, and now supervisor of gifted programs, Dr. Kirsch has spent more than two decades addressing the issues surrounding high-potential children and exploring ways to help parents and educators better understand and attend to their complex learning needs.

Dr. Kirsch’s breakout session is entitled “Help! My Gifted Kid Came Without an Owner’s Manual.” Since gifted kids can be a joy and a challenge, in this session parents will learn how to provide the support and opportunities to keep their precocious kids on track. They will leave with ideas for navigating the bumps in the road along the journey of parenting a high-potential child.

There will be no charge for Dr. Kirsch’s talks or the other adult workshops, although pre-registration is requested. Certificates of Attendance are available for teachers. To attend the free adult program, please register on the CAG website at www.ctgifted.org.

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