Program to encourage gifted, talented Oldham students boosted by foundations

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By The Staff

 Oldham County Educational Foundation and PNC Bank Foundation support program

Oldham County Schools’ Gifted and Talented program has been greatly enhanced thanks to continued support from the Oldham County Educational Foundation and the PNC Bank Foundation. Oldham County Educational Foundation treasurer Gayle Johnson said the PNC Foundation has generously provided $7,500 to target some new and challenging resource materials for the district’s gifted and talented students – in addition to $7,500 the PNC Foundation contributed last year. Anita Davis, assistant superintendent, said OCEF and the PNC Bank Foundation have enhanced the educational experience in Oldham County classrooms for both gifted and talented students, as well as the greater student body.  “The money provided by OCEF and PNC allowed the district to purchase subscriptions to the Renzulli web-based software, which can be used by gifted and talented students for additional research projects, as well by teachers across disciplines to differentiate learning materials for all students in Oldham County classrooms,” Davis said. Oldham County Middle School Gifted and Talented Coordinator Joe Percefull is in his second year of incorporating Renzulli into the school’s gifted and talented offerings.  “We had one student who was really interested in pipe organs, so he used Renzulli to search for different activities and projects that incorporated pipe organs,” Percefull said. “That same student was also having trouble with pre-algebra, so he could go online to the Renzulli site from home and use it as a remediation tool.”  Percefull said he sees the biggest benefit of Renzulli being that it can be used for students at any level. “For instance, if you are a special needs teacher, you can use Renzulli to find projects for your students at whatever level they are functioning on; you can find something for everybody,” he said. Percefull and Davis said they agree that Renzulli has been very beneficial and there are no limits as to how many students this program can reach.  “I really see this as a three pronged approach,” Percefull said. “It can supplement teachers in class, it can offer students things that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to during the normal school day, and it can benefit students at home because they have remote access to the opportunities provided by the software.” Gifted and talented educational services is just one of the three ongoing funding priorities identified by the Oldham County Educational Foundation.  The Oldham County Schools Arts Center, including the new lighting obtained by OCEF through the Head Family Trust, and the Pyramid Award Teacher Grants make up OCEF’s other primary support areas.