Giftedness and ‘The International Day of the Gifted’ – Flying the communal Kite of Gifted Awareness- Part 1- The first Tale
Giftedness and Celebrating the International day of the Gifted — Flying the communal kite of Gifted Awareness- Part 1- “The first Tail/Tale”
The WCGTC’s 19th World Conference is over. Everyone who attended is now back home. We are all moving on to other things. It was a wonderful experience, and a delight to network with so many committed and knowledgeable people, from so many countries. Language hardly seemed a barrier, as one only had to look into the eyes of another, to understand the shiny thoughts and excitement that were being shared.
This year was a special year as it became the launch pad for, not only the International Day of Giftedness, which celebrated awareness efforts on behalf of Gifted Children everywhere, wherever they were taking place in the world, but also announced the forthcoming and first ever ‘International Year of Giftedness and Creativity’, scheduled to take place during 2013, and to culminate at the 20th WCGTC Anniversary Conference, in New Zealand.
Thinking back, it is extraordinary to see this happening. The idea around having a day such as this, has surfaced, informally, at least in my experience several times in different places over the last many years. I heard a group of parents discussing how wonderful it would be to have a ‘Global Gifted Day’, at my first WCGTC 2001, in Barcelona. Again a year or so later, at the California Association for Gifted Children (CAG) Conference, in Palm Springs, a number folk at dinner one night wondered if international affiliates could work together, and establish and International G&T Day that would travel every year, and be hosted by each individual international affiliate in turn. I am sure that there are other folk out there that have heard similar ideas at different times, however, to my knowledge, anyways none of them happened, maybe the time, was just not right. Maybe the belief that they could actually happen, was low, or energy to persist, find a way to make them real, was just not there. Maybe these ideas did not take flight as the vehicle for them to spread quickly, and gain momentum, to unify, was not there, who knows.
Enter the age of social networking…
In Prague, the highlight of the celebration was the video, (seen below) , ‘ The International Day of Gifted Children’, put together , and produced by one of the very Creative German Delegates, Roya Klinger. She did a phenomenal job of coordinating and collecting contributions from gifted children, through friends, families and centres across the globe. In the space of just 10 days, she managed to produce an extraordinary piece of work. It was wonderful to see all the children from different parts of the world, such as Ukraine, Mexico, Vietnam, Phillipines, Hungary, China, Irland, South Africa-Denmark, Germany, Iran, USA and other places, all excited, and all sending out their messages of ‘Happy International Day of Gifted Children’ . How very kind of them to give of themselves and their time! It truly brought the message home of what we all, as advocates, are here about. No wonder it was a good piece of work, as, her interest in the idea of a world awareness day has always been in her heart. The voicing of this wish, over the social networks, such as Face Book, lent it wings, and was one of the initial inspirations, along with a number of other awareness activities taking part in many parts of the globe, that led to the idea that the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, with it’s upcoming International Conference in Prague , in August 2011, would be ideally placed , as an organisation, to hold a first International Day, ‘The International Day of Giftedness’, on which to both celebrate gifted children and to showcase these awareness efforts, and hopefully support them and be an impetus for more to come from many parts of the globe. The time was finally right.
It seems to me that these awareness ideas/efforts- past, present and those that will come in the future are all part of a/the same Kite we should all be flying. We are all responsible for having added pieces to its construction, both those folk from long ago, and all of us who still are, or will be working in this area, kids/parents/practitioners/policymakers or researchers, no matter where we live, no matter how big or how small the contribution.
The danger is, that kites by their very nature, are fragile, and if we do not guard ourselves against our human nature to claim ownership, squabble and yank on parts of the kite to hard, we may tear it so badly, it will never get off the ground. I am sure our global gifted community has more sense than to let that happen.
There it sits, this/our beautiful kite, made with parts of us all, with it’s string firmly tied in New Zealand, waiting for 2013. It is a big one folks, and beautiful.. maybe of an unusual/or unique shape… and I do know it is made up of wonderful and different colours… however, as all kites, it will be flightless unless we add tails to it.. and this is something that we each can do, either individually, as schools, parents, organisations, groups or countries. Think of our own way of doing this and what bows we may be attaching. The more tails, the better the bows, the higher and stronger our kite will fly in the wind.
A final word…..
Roya Klinger, is really to be commended for her wonderful work, attaching that first tail, for hers has been the first tail, and then the first bow- which she attached, a beautiful video, giving the children their first voice. With their voice, she reminds us all, ultimately and emphatically, who (the kids), we are raising this awareness for. The transformation of the creativity, talent that their giftedness can become, is reflected in herself, and her innate skills, and the product which she produced. A gifted child, who became/is a gifted adult.
Others will have different, but equally important tails/bows- voices to attach (see next Blog post on- Gifted Photoquotes – ‘The Second Tale’), and I certainly hope that more & more folk/others follow suit with many more creative ideas. I for one, hope that over the next two years, Roya and others like her, will continue to help, all the while adding more bows on to the tails they attach to this kite, which, we are all constructing. As The President of the WCGTC mentioned to me at the 19th Biennual Conference in Prague, it is the passion from folk like herself (Roya) , and especially from young folk, that is necessary for moving into the future. It is this , added to the tempering, from the tails/and tales of wisdom that are to/will be passed on from those who have gone before, working together, which will make this/our Kite–our communal gifted awareness Kite–take off during ––‘The International Year of Giftedness and Creativity’— and — on ‘The International Day of Giftedness’, WCGTC 2013, New Zealand– Fly High!
This is my wish: May we all hold the string gently and wisely, without animosity, may we share in this our communal dream, and welcome each others’ efforts with equal value and joy, moving forward, may we work within and without ourselves on leaving any stormy weather behind, (such as impatience, bitterness, frustrations, begrudgery, politics, ownership), placing any differences aside, so that high above the earth, our Kite, its tails/tales, all it’s shinning bows and it’s colours may be seen from afar, in a clean, fresh breeze. From every country, celebrating gifted, talented and creative youth & people around the Globe, and in being visible, making our World more ‘Aware’.
I know it seems like a long way away now, however it is not to early to be planning what you might do to raise awareness in your countries over the next year.. In a third Blog post, — Part three, I will try to highlight some of the activities a number of countries have used to this end, and offer some suggestions as well. I also hope that the community will feel free to comment and offer other ideas as well. It will be my hope that we can share these with each other. Here’s hoping the International Day of Giftedness 2012 will be a second step along the way. Showcasing and celebrating a much larger and wider number of awareness efforts/ activities from around the world, and gifted children, wherever they may live. Building communities that support each other. May we keep up the momentum along the way so that when we/it arrive(s) in 2013, every nation around the world will have a hand on the string of this/our beautiful gifted awareness Kite.
(Roya Klinger runs the Bavarian Centre for Gifted Children, among many gifted support activities through the centre she also runs the innovative Virtual Global Gifted Meetings in Second Life, and an Open Sim Virtual Camp for Gifted Students)