Oklahoma Lands Funding for Gifted and Talented Education Project

The Oklahoma State Department of Education will receive a $2.3 million grant over the next five years to identify and support gifted and talented students with disabilities and those from minority, economically disadvantaged and English learner populations. The U.S. Department of Education is funding the Oklahoma Young Scholars Project through the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program.

The project will focus on the nearly 6,000 elementary school students in Ardmore, Duncan, Guymon and Tahlequah. Those districts were chosen based on socioeconomic data, poverty rate and low rates of gifted/talented participation in elementary schools.

“All children should have the opportunity to build their natural gifts into extraordinary talents. By recognizing those gifts early, we can help historically under-identified student groups reach their potential,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This grant will enable us to ensure gifted and talented programs are available to exceptional learners regardless of their background.”

The idea is to identify those gifted and talented students early, allow for professional development of the teachers, increase parent engagement and provide enrichment opportunities during the summer break. As the instructional resources are developed by the project, those materials will be shared with teachers statewide. Oklahoma is one of 12 grant recipients.

The Oklahoma Young Scholars Project is part of the Oklahoma Department of Education’s 8-Year Strategic Plan to provide a more competitive education to students.

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