Ment i Cor: Formentera hosts first open days for gifted children

foto actef 2The Formentera Council's education office announces that this weekend island families can look forward to a series of open days on the intellectually gifted and exceptionally talented organised by two area groups together with support from the Council. Ment i Cor (Catalan for “Mind and Body”) is being put together by ACTEF, an association to support individuals with exceptional abilities and talents, and the Balearic Islands' federation for the intellectually gifted.

Education secretary Susana Labrador says the event will be crucial to “bringing visibility to a group which could represent up to seven per cent of students”. Often the children to receive special care are the slower learners, observed Labrador. “We tend to overlook gifted pupils”, she said, “who have special learning needs, too”.

ACTEF's deputy chair, Maribel Calafat, detailed some the problems facing gifted youth, such as feeling they aren't understood by their peers or that they don't fit in. “'Gifted' doesn't mean 'good student'”, clarified Calafat, “It describes a different way of feeling, thinking and living. And if these children continue to go without special attention, down the road they could be struggling to find their place”. Such a prospect was the driving force behind the organisation of this weekend's open days, which are “specially tuned for families and educational staff to bring awareness to the 'gifted' question”.

Discussions and other activities
Organisers say 130 parents and teachers and 45 young people have already registered to participate, which will centre on responding to questions brought by households with gifted children.

The cinema will host a programme with a wide array of talks and round-tables with strategies for supporting gifted children, exploring their ways of processing emotions and frustrations, and coming to terms with their intellectual gifts.

At the same time, the Antoni Blanc fitness centre will play host to a range of fun and educational activities for kids. The space is being billed as “the perfect place to learn, gather and share hopes and concerns”.