Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Spencer's Speech for the School Board
Funding for the gifted enrichment program is in jeopardy in this county. This is the speech Spencer wrote (with mom's help) and was looking forward to delivering on Tuesday. Just before we left the house, we got a call from the principal to let us know funding was restored and that we did not need to go to the school board meeting. His delivery would have been priceless - Spencer in his bow-tie, speaking very seriously, great emphasis on important points. He's a heck of a speaker! He wanted the board members to know what a gifted kid was like and that without good support, he may not flourish.
School board meeting, February 2, 2009
My name is Spencer Martin and I am in the third grade and in the gifted program at Harding Avenue Elementary School. I want to be an astrophysicist and eventually get my PhD. I am interested in LEGO Mindstorms, programming, mathematics, geology, and quantum theory. My favorite book is the Universe in a Nutshell by Steven Hawking.
I can’t wait to get to school each morning. A big reason that I love school is the gifted program and the support I get from my teachers. The work we do is challenging and inspiring.
We meet in our gifted pullout groups once a week for an hour. Right now we are working in pairs on a project. It is called Athenian Secret and it involves solving complex mathematical puzzles to unlock a secret code. We have to spend a lot of time on each puzzle and we make many mistakes on our way to the solution but we learn a lot this way. We share our discoveries and learn from each other too. When I succeed, I feel so good and so confident. I don’t get that feeling from regular school work. While I enjoy all my classmates, I’m glad for the time in the gifted program when I really can just be myself. It’s just one hour a week, but I think about the ideas and puzzles all week long.
If I am going to be a successful scientist and solve important problems, I need to be challenged now. My brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked and we each work at different rates. I can’t get enough of learning and have been reading science books since I could read.
When I was 6 I won a talent show by giving a lesson about geology. Last year I made a video of a lesson on string theory. I have programmed a multivariable game with LEGO mindstorms. Now I am beginning a new project in school on renewable energy. Can you imagine if I didn’t have regular time in the gifted program?
Please do not cut funding for the gifted program. Kids like me need a place to go each week to be challenged and to grow. And we need to encourage future scientists who can solve the many problems facing our world.
Thank you for your time and consideration.