By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent December 6, 2012 3:12PM
Lakeisha Bridgeman of Gary, Ind., and her daughter, Kaylin, 2, receive information from Rhoda Rosen, associate director of the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development, on Dec. 1, 2012. | Jeff Addison~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 7, 2012 12:28PM
Grissom Elementary School fifth-grader Dylan Niblett, 11, loves to read. He reads so much that he also studies and researches the subject matter in books.
He and his mother, Tammy Niblett, attended the recent Lake Ridge New Tech Middle School and Gary Community School Corp.’s High-Ability Education Parent Fair.
The theme, “Do Ask, Do Tell,” centered on educating parents of high-ability children about finding activities for them, plus helping them adjust to being high-ability students. Niblett said she knew Dylan was a high-ability child before he went to kindergarten.
“At home, he’d line up his toy trucks by color, type and size,” she said. “He was never one to just play with the toy trucks.”
Dylan said he is less organized now, but loves reading.
“At night, if I don’t stop myself, I will be up all night reading books,” he said.
Janet Flores, Lake Ridge assistant superintendent, is also a high-ability curriculum coordinator. She said it is always challenging to keep up with a high-ability student.
“You have to keep them active and engaged,” Flores said. “They process information differently and can become bored quickly if they are not challenged.”
Torry Ivey, Lake Ridge dean of students, said she can relate to high-ability children.
“I was a high-ability child and was in the gifted-and-talented program,” Ivey said. “The Gary Community School Corp.’s high-ability coordinator, Terri Ransom, was my high school English teacher.
“I am a high-ability adult because I am always going to great lengths to get things done.”
Ivey said the difference between high-ability students of the past and present is, today’s students are more aware of their gifts.
“When I was in gifted-and-talented, we did not realize our full potential,” she said. “These students today know they are not average students and will let their parents and teachers know it. They are not ordinary; they are extraordinary in their ability to achieve in academics.
“This fair helps parents to understand more about their children and what they can do to help them.”