Monthly Archives: December 2012

5 Great Podcasts for Gifted Kids

By Jen Mounday

podcastPodcasts are an excellent source of entertainment and challenge; they keep us alert on the commute home, amused while waiting at the doctor’s office and entertained before falling asleep. At IEA, we are discovering that podcasts can also be an excellent alternative source of information for our brightest minds. Plus, we know that your kids, who constantly crave information, are going to be looking for cool things to learn about over the holiday break from school. As our gift to you this holiday season, we present our five favorite podcasts for the gifted child.

See our 5 picks here!

Why Give?

By Zadra Ibanez

Giving back

IEA held its annual fundraiser Thursday night, and we were thrilled with the event. It was a great success! Nita Millstein, the owner of The Peach Café in Monrovia, California, generously donated the space for our event, which included a plated dinner and silent auction. Among the attendees were IEA Board Members Ken Merchant, Jeff Hudson, Donna Ford and Jonathan Shintaku. The entire IEA Staff attended as did many parents of program participants. Through the silent auction alone, we raised over $2,000, with items donated entirely by the IEA staff. We are also pleased to announce that 100% of the auction proceeds will go directly towards supporting the children and families we serve.

The feedback and support we received on Thursday reaffirmed our belief that IEA’s dedication to creating programs honoring and nurturing the whole gifted child is valuable and important to many people. To further demonstrate this fact, 100% of the IEA staff had contributed a monetary gift to IEA before the end of October, and 100% of the IEA Board has contributed, as well.

When looking at donor trends as reported by Charity Navigator, we see that, on average, most donors intend to give roughly the same amounts in 2012 as they did in 2011. However, those donors who reported that they expect to give less than they did in 2011 expect to give significantly less in 2012, while those donors who anticipate contributing more generously than they did last year only expect to give slightly more in 2012.

What does this mean for IEA? It means that we are relying on a greater number of donors giving small amounts to help the kids we serve in the same way that a few donors giving larger amounts can. No gift is too small. Every gift matters.

This leads us to consider: Why do people give? What compels a person to donate and to donate to a specific organization? IEA believes in giving back to our community and encourages the staff to support charities including, but not limited to, IEA. For example, we are collecting canned goods for the local senior services center in South Pasadena, a project started by our own Kate Williams.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I give, personally (in no particular order):

1. To show my support for a friend or an organization I believe in.

Many of my friends work with projects that provide a great service to the community. This can range from arts/culture/humanities to animal rescues to human services-based programs. I enjoy supporting the work of my friends by contributing to these causes.

Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever given a donation to an organization that didn’t ask. Often, I will be searching for information on a website and there will be a request for financial gifts or in-kind donations directly on the page. While no one called and asked me specifically to give, seeing the organization’s need sparks my altruistic intentions.

2. To help change the world or to give others a chance that I didn’t have.

Many contributors want to feel like they are helping to change someone’s life. Many of the organizations they give to provide programs that focus on helping individuals take care of themselves, such as Heifer International or the Boys and Girls Club of America.

3. Wanting to be connected to a community – to be part of the crowd.

Schools often employ this with their alumni programs. At IEA, we encourage a friendly spirit of competition among our programs and encourage parents from each of our programs to give. In some cases, the alumni have even set up contests to see which class can contribute the most! It is all in good fun and supports a worthy cause.

4. Feeling fortunate or guilty.

Sometimes people give because they feel a wealth and want to share with others less fortunate or just to demonstrate gratitude for something beneficial. I feel this way when visiting museums or the Botanic Gardens. Other times, as in the cases of food drives, I want others to have what I have.

But sometimes, I feel powerless to undo a past wrong and want to make up for it somehow. Once, I ran over a raccoon. It was dark; it was raining; and I didn’t see it. I felt horrible! When I got home, I researched what to do in case of an animal emergency and the Greenwood Nature Center of Colorado had a list of what to do. I sent a donation to Greenwood in memory of Rocky Raccoon. I couldn’t undo the past, and I don’t believe money will buy me peace of mind, but I do feel that I am making a difference to other animals, even if I couldn’t help that one.

5. Tax write-offs.

Yes, this is a major motivating factor for some and is one reason many gifts are received at year end. Another reason is that the holidays inspire giving. For me, sometimes I just forget to give until the last minute. : p

Whatever your motivations for giving, this is the perfect time to support and donate to worthy causes, especially if you feel that they provide value to your day—or to the day of others. To contribute to IEA, please visit our website.

Why do you give? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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Gifted Child Parent Support Groups

Click here for 2013-2014 Parent Meetings.

Gifted children have a variety of unique gifts, as well as a variety of unique needs and challenges. Join the Institute for Educational Advancement as we explore ways to meet our gifted children’s particular needs and learn more about this extraordinary group of young people. These monthly meetings are intended for parents of gifted children to provide support and community in the midst of the joys and challenges of raising a gifted child.

2012-2013 Parent Meetings:

Speaker: Elizabeth D. Jones
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Special Guest Speaker:
Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
6:30 pm—7:30 pm

South Pasadena Public Library – Community Room*
1115 El Centro Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030

College Admissions
Speaker: Kate Duey
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Summer Programs
Thursday, March 7, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Gifted Children at Home and in the Classroom
Speaker: Sharon Duncan

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

My Child is Gifted. Now What?
Speaker: Elizabeth Jones, IEA President
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Please RSVP to If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Please invite parents that you feel would be interested.

Dates and topics later in the season may change. Please contact IEA for an updated schedule.

*This activity is not sponsored by the City of South Pasadena or the South Pasadena Public Library.

Want to stay updated on future parent meetings in the Los Angeles area? Sign up for our email newsletters and be sure to fill in your zip code!

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Confessions by the Dashboard Lights

By Lisa Hartwig

Lisa is the mother of 3 gifted children and lives outside of San Francisco.

iPodThere is a song on my son’s iPod that has over 500 plays. 500 plays in 3 months, no other song comes close. He listened to this song while he was at boarding school in New Hampshire. He was depressed.

Made a wrong turn once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life
. . .
You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself. You were wrong.
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead.
–P!nk “Perfect”

When my son came home from boarding school, he told me very little about his depression. He did, however, tell me how many times he played P!nk’s song. From that moment on, I followed his musical tastes closely.

We brought him home from boarding school, and his depression continued. He enrolled at a school in San Francisco halfway through the year. I picked him up from school and drove him home every day. Most days we sat in silence. When he refused to share his day with me, I would ask him to play me a song from his iPod.

‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe
–Anna Nalick “Breathe (2am)”

He was working through his problems, and he shared this process with me every day at 3:00pm.

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just do your best, do everything you can
And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
–Jimmy Eat World “The Middle”

Sometimes it felt like he was hitting me over the head.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.
–Kelly Clarkson “Stronger”

This must all sound so contrived. I don’t think I would believe it if I didn’t live it. The funny thing is that I was never good at finding patterns. That was my son’s strength. I take most things at face value. It wasn’t until I became aware of my son’s pain and his accompanying silence that I began to pay attention to what was happening in the car.

It all makes perfect sense now. He has been doing this type of thing for years.

My son collects inspirational quotes and posts his favorites on his Facebook “About” section. “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” Or “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

He searches for writings that move him, like “Acknowledgement: A Meditation” by Kenneth Sawyer and Anis Mojgani’s “Here Am It.” He made me watch countless TEDTalks. His favorite: Jan McGonigal’s “The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.”

In a week, I can stop looking for clues; my son is ready to talk. He is going to participate in a student production in which he and 10 other high school sophomores perform a series of scenes and monologues they have written about their lives. He will be writing about the last year. I’m more than a little nervous. Somehow, the expression of pain is easier to stomach when accompanied by a guitar.

I no longer pick up my son at school. He likes the independence of riding BART and the bus. Instead, I ask him to make me CD’s with his favorite songs. When I do find myself alone with him in the car, I ask him to play his iPod. I take great comfort in listening to his latest favorite.

Isn’t it time you got over
How fragile you are
We’re all waiting
Waiting on your supernova
Cause that’s who you are
And you’ve only begun to shine
–Anna Nalick “Shine”

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