My Son Had An Amazing Year

By Erin Gribben, NAGC Parent Member

I gave to NAGC’s Annual Fund this year because I saw the difference my son’s teachers and NAGC resources have made in our lives. I wanted to show my gratitude by making donations in honor of Spencer’s Math/Science teacher and his gifted specialist. They provided endless support, love and encouragement, and I have no doubt that his successes came from their joint efforts.

My husband and I live with our two children in a small town in Tennessee, south of Nashville. Like most parents of a gifted child, I struggled with how to have Spencer properly identified and then later with whether acceleration was the best choice for him. I worried that he wouldn’t fit in. Grade advancement is such a hard decision, and the first two months were emotional and scary. The uncertainty about making such a huge decision for your child is a heavy weight to carry. Shortly after Spencer began third grade my fears seemed justified when he came home one day and asked: “would it be too late for me to go back to second grade?” If it hadn’t been for the support of Spencer’s teacher and gifted specialist, we might have given up.

These young women embraced Spencer. They loved him, cared for him, helped him adapt, and encouraged him. They were in constant communication with me about how he was doing. There are just no words to describe how much their influence mattered during this transition. They provided just enough extra TLC to help him mesh with his new surroundings and friends and then continued to challenge him and push him as they would any third grade child.

Spencer and Ms. Courtney Fowler, his Math/Science teacher





Spencer, his friend Megan Freemon, and Mrs. Bridgette Thompson, his Gifted Specialist


One of the most important aspects of grade advancement is teachers and an administration that are in support of the plan. If they don't work together—with the child and with the parents—the process is so much more difficult. Spencer's school has been absolutely amazing this year.

And we have been so fortunate to live in a school district that includes special service in its annual budget. They are currently trying to staff each school with a full-time gifted specialist and psychologist. It is easy to look past the gifted students. But our district is dedicated and focused on not letting that happen.

I became a member of NAGC last year, and I can say that membership has already paid for itself. From summer activities, to advocating, to working with your child's school and teachers, to the newest research and information, NAGC resources are easy to find and use. Our lives are so busy and it is easy to lose touch with what is going on. NAGC Facebook notifications are awesome. I love keeping up with the current events that affect gifted students and it is important to me to stay in touch with what is happening around us. NAGC is such an important tool in helping us be the best parents we can be for Spencer.

As Spencer's third grade year comes to a close, we are 100% sure that grade advancement was the right route to take. He thrived both academically and socially, and he can confidently say he is so glad he did it. Honoring his teachers with a NAGC donation is just one of the ways we can express our sincere appreciation and thanks for all they have done.

Please recognize your special teacher or mentor with a gift to NAGC’s Annual Fund.