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Why Invest in ACE?

Imagine a school where bright children can feed their hunger for learning, as quickly and as deeply as they desire. Where birthdays are for celebrating, not for qualifying to study a particular subject or a specified level of information. Where trained teachers help the children understand and manage their intensity, or perfectionist tendencies, or the difficulties of an intellect far beyond emotional maturity.

Stephanie Tolan has written a powerful metaphor of gifted children as cheetahs.

The cheetah is the fastest animal on earth. When we think of cheetahs we are likely to think first of their speed. It's flashy. It is impressive. It's unique. And it makes identification incredibly easy. While body design in nature is utilitarian, it also creates a powerful internal drive. The cheetah needs to run! If a cheetah is confined to a 10 X 12 foot cage, though it may pace or fling itself against the bars in restless frustration, it won't run 70 mph. When given only rabbits to eat the hunting cheetah will run only fast enough to catch a rabbit. If a cheetah is fed Zoo Chow it may not run at all.

ACE strives to create an environment that allows gifted children to feed their minds, understands when they need to sprint in the hunt and when they need to rest. That surrounds them with similar minds. And that helps their hearts keep pace with and make sense of their racing minds.

Why a special school? Won't these students survive anywhere?
Public schools have a mandate to teach an enormously broad range of children. To do so requires an inflexible curriculum not suited to the slowest or the fastest. Funding for gifted and talented programs has been cut drastically in the past five years at both the state(1) and the federal(2) level. Even prior to these funding cuts, up to 20 percent of high school dropouts test in the gifted range(3).

Creating an environment where these students thrive is not easy! Your contribution can help ACE Academy to:

  • Recruit and retain stellar faculty who can challenge these children.
  • Continue to expand the technology and curriculum, enabling students to pursue the depth and breadth of their inquiry.
  • Recruit a diverse student population. Giftedness occurs in children of all socio-economic levels. ACE's goal is to provide scholarships for students who would thrive in the school's environment.
  • Reduce problems such as depression and anxiety and other emotional problems common among gifted children. The Emotional Intelligence portion of ACE's curriculum helps students stay comfortable with who they are and how they relate to others.

These children need us, and we need them to sprint forward at full stride to face the problems of tomorrow.

(1) This table shows funding data from the 2005-2006 Academic Excellence Indicator System District Reports from the Texas Education Agency.

Students Teachers 2002-2003 Expenditures 2005-2006 Expenditures
Gifted/talented program 7.4 % 1.4% 2.13% 1.5%
Special education program 11.7% 12.1% 14.61% 18.2%

(2)The Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act is the only federal program that specifically addresses the needs of gifted and talented children. From 2004-2007, funding was cut substantially so that for three of those years, no grants were given at all.

(3) Source: Davidson Academy National Statistics