By Hannah England
Gifted and Talented Coordinator
During the month of February, students usually learn about President’s Day, celebrate Valentine’s Day, and try to build a snowman on a snow day. However, this past February students from Russell County Schools embarked upon an exciting adventure where they learned so much more.
Twenty-six students representing second through eighth grade participated in Western Kentucky University’s Winter Super Saturday sessions where they explored their passions in math, science, history, art, and technology. According to The Center for Gifted Studies, “Super Saturdays encourages students in grades one to eight who are of high ability or have high interest in a topic to pursue their passions outside the regular classroom. Through a minds-on, hands-on approach to learning, students explore and investigate such areas as math, art, science, history, writing, music, and performance under the thoughtful guidance of experienced teachers and in the company of enthusiastic, like-minded peers.” Russell County students learned how to become successful entrepreneurs, operate Virtual Reality technology, create replicas of human organs, produce various styles of artwork, and a plethora of other activities.
Not only did students receive the opportunity to attend Super Saturday sessions, but they were also taught a valuable lesson about the positive effects associated with giving to others. With the financial help of the Wicker Quinn Family Foundation, Russell County Schools were able to award twenty scholarships to students who were interested in attending the workshops. Each scholarship covered the cost of the workshop, lunch, and transportation for each session. These acts of kindness provided students with the confidence to turn their dreams into reality.
It is evident to see from the smiles that every student had a blast while attending the workshops. Students were able to engage in challenging activities with like-minded peers while visiting a college campus. Students were also introduced to the physical attributes associated with living in a larger city.
This experience would not have been possible without the Wicker Quinn Family Foundation established by Mr. Kent Wicker and Mrs. Karen Quinn. Their generosity is making such an impact on the students of Russell County. Also, a special thank you to Superintendent Mr. Ford and the Russell County Board of Education for their support and encouragement. In conclusion, the positive outcomes from this experience can best be summed up by a quote from Mr. Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”