Inspiring. Listening to four articulate high school students explain the many ways in which they have benefitted from the Challenge program for the Gifted, Creative and Talented filled me with joy and hope. This is exactly what learning should be about.
This particular Challenge program is offered in BC’s School District 41, Greater Victoria. It is offered at both Esquimalt High School and Mount Douglas Secondary School. The two-part application process begins this month, and forms are available now on the school websites.
Since Esquimalt is also a French high school, students there can combine classes in French with the Challenge program. The vision statement of the Mount Douglas Program states:
The Mount Douglas Secondary Challenge Program serves the unique needs of gifted, creative and talented learners by creating a community which seeks to maximize student opportunities for enrichment, self-direction, independence, synergetic interaction and emotional well-being in a secure mentoring atmosphere.
Visionary indeed. However, why does the Challenge approach seem so remarkable and progressive? Shouldn’t all programs for all children share in this vision and graduate young people who are as happy and fulfilled as the Challenge students?