November 23, 2010

21 November 2010
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society.  
The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. 
~Gil Stern

Dear Friends,

News Flash! Gifted in France was able to get a last-minute, sought-after tour slot!
We are pleased to announce a very special educational outing to the Musée Air + Espace: the Mécaniques du Vol! This unique event will take place Sunday, December 12 from 10h00 -16h00 at the museum, and is limited to 15 children (ages 11-18). The day will include a guided tour (in French) of the museum's Grande Galerie and an atelier led by the museum staff: Explanation is below and attached. First come first serve, payments must be received by 28 November, (this is a requirement by the museum).

Journée Mécanique du vol

Au cours de cette journée, chaque enfant alternera les activités suivantes :
  • Visite des collections du musée avec un jeu parcours de la Grande Galerie distribué à chaque enfant.
    (Durée de l'activité : 2h30)
  • Activités prises en charge par les animateurs du musée :
    Eléments constitutifs d’un avion (maquette, démonstrateur).
    Les forces en action (utilisation d’une soufflerie).
    Visite du Boeing 747.
    (Durée de l'activité : 2h15)
This event has been a year in the making by the museum! The cost for each person attending is 15 euros (does not include transportation costs). Parents must accompany children, or designate another adult (see below). We must have at least 5 adults to accompany our group to the museum.

We suggest you bring a bag lunch, in order to keep up with our guided adventure. It is a full, action-packed day!

WHAT:  Daylong-visit to the Musée Air + Espace (at Le Bourget)
(Duration 6 hours on-site)
WHEN: Sunday, 12 December, 2010
TIME:    10H00-16H00 on-site (Meeting place at Gare de Lyon at 09h00, returning there by 17h00), details to be confirmed.
WHERE:  Le Bourget
RSVP:  You must reserve your space and all payments must be made in full and received before November 28, 2010. Space is limited to 15 children. These fees are set by the museum for group tours. 
NOTE:  Children must be accompanied by an adult to the meeting point and we must have five adults going on site to the museum with the group.  If you wish to get their on your own, children and parents can meet us at the museum no later than  9:45.  Don't forget your bag lunch!

Please consider joining Gifted in France, a small but growing non-profit association.  We have many goals for this coming year, among them are to purchase our own video projector for presentations; more webinar recordings with experts in the field; and several hand-held GPS devices for geocaching/.educaching activities we hope to host for children via and other outlets. Please consider helping us with your time in sharing your expertise with children, with coordinating an outing to a museum, or being part of the community development and planning committee. This is a genuine plea as we can not accomplish much without your help.

We hope to see you all soon. Don't forget to send in your RSVPs and payment before 28 November - this event will fill up quickly.

Best regards,

Helen Sahin Connelly

November 11, 2010

11 November 2010
Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best.
~Henry van Dyke

Dear Friends,

Just a quick and final reminder of the upcoming recorded Webinar by SENG on Superachiever or Underachiever – Parents and Teachers Make the Difference on Thursday 18 November 19h30-22h00, must RSVP in advance (see below). Dr. Rimm will discuss the importance of perceived expectations, self-efficacy, resilience, appropriate curriculum and parenting styles as key contributing factors to children's success at home and at school. We'll take a look at peer pressures and how children go 'under cover,' and what parents and schools can do to help reverse under-achievement, oppositional behavior, perfectionism etc.

Please bring your partner, and invite a teacher who is interested in helping children succeed. RSVP is mandatory for reasons of space, security, and a 29-page PowerPoint handout that has to be copied in advance.

Here are the details:      
The Gifted Child: Superachiever or Underachiever –
Parents and Teachers Make the Difference
Recorded Webinar in PowerPoint format: Presented by  Dr. Sylvia Rimm
Thursday 18 November, 2010  at 19h30-22h00
by Saturday 13 November,  respond to this email,, Subject: GiF: Sylvia Rimm 18 Nov. (please indicate your phone number)
5€ for members, 10€ for non-members (GiF membership form is attached)
RSVP is mandatory due to limited space and preparation of handout materials.
Refreshments: Please bring something to add to the table of nibbles and drinks. Nothing fancy or stressful!

“About the presenter: Dr. Sylvia Rimm is a psychologist who directs Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio and specializes in working with gifted children. She is a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Rimm speaks and publishes internationally on family and school approaches to achievement. She has authored 22 books, including Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades, and co-authored the popular textbook, Education of the Gifted and Talented. Dr. Rimm was a longtime contributing correspondent on NBC's Today and a favorite personality on public radio. She also served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children.”

Gifted in France is a loi 1901 non-profit association. GiF does not endorse speakers or their material, but aims to provide a wide variety of ideas on parenting and relationships with a focus on understanding the gifted and twice exceptional population.

Kind regards,

Helen Sahin Connelly
President, Gifted in France

October 12, 2010

10 October 2010
The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do,
never does what he can do.”
~John Stuart Mill

Guest speaker: Florence Créneguy

DATE: Tuesday 19 October, 2010
TIME:  19H30-21H30/22H00
RSVP TO:, Subject: French Education System
                 Space Limited. RSVP Deadline, latest, Saturday 16 October.
                 Please include your emergency /cell phone numbers.
LOCATION: in the 16th, near Radio France
COST: 5€ for members, 10€ non-members.

Mme Créneguy will explain how the French system works from Primary through Lycée, what are some of the ‘problems’ that gifted children encounter in the traditional system; what are the ideal grades for skipping/grade acceleration and some of the options your child may have outside of the ‘classical’ track for entering and succeeding in Lycée. This talk is generally aimed at helping parents manage the French system by understanding how it’s structured and opportunities to make it work for your child. With your RSVP, please send along your questions and the ages and grades of your children.  This will help us understand the needs of the participants. General information on the French system can be found in this link:
Background: Mme  Créneguy has been a teacher of gifted children for more than 15 years. She currently teaches in the secondary section of  Ecole Gerson, a Catholic semi-private school (in the 16th).  She also gives talks on behalf of AFEP to teachers and parents around the country and participates in conferences and meetings regarding gifted children in France.  She is French, but speaks English quite well. She has participated at previous GiF meetings.

Munchies/Potluck: Please bring along something to drink or eat, something very easy you can pick up from the grocery store to add to the nibble selection. No stress!
Membership Forms: Annual membership form is 30€ per family, email for a copy of the form. 
Side note:  Peter Gumbel, the author of the recently published book On achève bien les écoliers, has provoked a debate about the French education system. His next presentation will be held at the American Library in Paris on 16 November. It is not a GiF event. Visit ALP's link for Gumbel's talk. To follow ongoing discussions, you can track him on the book's facebook page.

I hope to see you soon!

Best regards,
Helen Sahin Connelly
President, Gifted in France

September 17, 2010

15 September 2010
 “I think in the coming decade we will see well-conducted research demonstrating that emotional skills and competencies predict positive outcomes at home with one’s family, in school, and at work. The real challenge is to show that emotional intelligence matters over-and-above psychological constructs that have been measured for decades like personality and IQ. I believe that emotional intelligence holds this promise."
--Peter Salovey, from “Emotional What?” EQ Today

Dear Friends,

We're going to declare the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of October Family Weekend focusing on building a better relationship with our children with a DVD presentation for parents on Saturday 2 October 10h30-14h30 and the Odyssea walk/run race for the entire family on Sunday 3 October 09h45-13h00. (See the previous post.)

WHAT: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child,
  DVD Presentation featuring a lecture by John Gottman, PH.d
  (Duration 1h40mins, followed by parents networking)
WHEN: Saturday 2 October, 2010
TIME:    10H30-14H30 (DVD presentation will run from 10h30-12h00/12h30, followed by parents making friends and comparing notes.
WHERE:  Maison des Association du 16ème, near Radio France.
RSVP:  Please RSVP giftedinfrance@gmailcom by Monday Tuesday 28 September --Subject: Emotional intelligence
RSVP in advance is mandatory. The venue is usually closed for business on Saturdays. The conference room is located in the basement of the building, phone reception is not always reliable.
We chose this DVD since the topic of Emotional Intelligence has been one of the more popular subjects among parents looking to improve communication with their children. With the rentrée already underway, we are, once again, going to need all the help we can get. So, come with your partners, parents, grandparents and friends and lets get on the same page in building stronger bridges with our children. Dr. Gottman's expertise is also in relationships between adults, see his bio at the end of the page.
DVD Description:
" Every parent wants to equip their child with social and emotional skills necessary to succeed in school and life. In this 90-minute community talk to parents, John Gottman reveals how successful parents us "emotion coaching" with their children. Based on evidence gathered from his studies of families and parents, Dr. Gottman says that when parents offer their children empathy and help them to cope with difficult feelings like anger, sadness, and fear, they build bridges of loyalty and affection. Within this context, emotion-coaching parents will still need to effectively set limits, but misbehavior is no longer the main concern. "Compliance, obedience and responsibility come from a sense of love and connectedness children feel within their families," he says. "In this way, emotional interactions among family members become the foundation for instilling values and raising moral people." Source:
About Dr. Gottman:
"He is the author of 190 published academic articles and author or co-author of 40 books, including the bestselling The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work ; The Relationship Cure ; Why Marriages Succeed or Fail ; and Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child , among many others. Dr. Gottman’s media appearances include Good Morning America, Today, CBS Morning News, and Oprah, as well articles in The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Glamour, Woman’s Day, People, Self, Reader’s Digest, and Psychology Today. "

Gifted in France does not endorse speakers or their material, but aims to provide a wide variety of ideas on parenting and relationships with a focus on understanding the gifted and twice exceptional population.

Please consider joining Gifted in France, a small but growing non-profit association.  We have many goals for this coming year, among them are to purchase our own video projector for presentations; more webinar recordings with experts in the field; and several hand-held GPS devices for geocaching/.educaching activities we hope to host for children via and other outlets. Please consider helping us financially or with your time in sharing your expertise with children, with coordinating an outing to a museum, or being part of the community development and planning committee. This is a genuine plea as we can not accomplish much without your help.

We hope to see you all soon. Don't forget to send in your RSVPs for the Emotional Intelligence event above on 2 October, and sign up with Odyssea for the family event on 3 October.

Best regards,

Helen Sahin Connelly, President
Rose Burke, Vice President of Events
Gifed in France
13 September 2010
Go the extra mile.  It's never crowded. 

Dear Friends,

I hope your rentrée is going well.

I should have some meeting dates coming your way in the next few days.

In the meantime, I would like to invite you and your children to join us as we RUN or WALK the Odyssea race against breast cancer on Sunday 3 October.  Many of you already know of this race and know how much fun it can be for the family.  

This is the first year that Gifted in France is entering as a group. The race is open to children 8 and older, though there are child care/garderie arrangements by the Odyssea organizers, not GiF, for children who can't participate in the race. Space is limited in the garderie. We did the race as a family a few years ago and it was encouraging to see so many children running or walking alongside adults through the Esplanade du château de Vincennes  Click here for a map of the 5km route/path.

Just yesterday, I registered online for the whole family, it was quite easy and quick. You can register multiple people (family, friends) following their easy steps. 
Please do not feel obliged to do this event as a group, but if you wish to join us and walk together, here are some steps to follow:
  1. Register yourself and/or your family online or in person directly with the organizers as indicated on their website.Gifted in France is not authorized to register anyone, or take any payments. 
  2. Once you've registered, please email us at, Subject: Registered for Odyssea and we'll add you to the list of people interested in meeting up before the start of the race.
  3. Indicate names of adults registered and for which race. Also indicate name, age, grade of children registered to walk with you. Please also include cell phone numbers for your party.
  4. Indicate if you will be running or walking the 5k and/or 10k race. We (my family) are only registered to walk the 5k race for the moment. Please note that for  the 10k you need a doctor's note saying it's OK for you to participate in this event. See their website for information regarding this.
  5. Please NOTE: All children participating in the event must be accompanied by adults. GiF will not be responsible for looking after unattended children, or be responsible for children walking the race unaccompanied. We don't have the volunteers or the means to provide this accommodation at such a popular event.
  6. Here is the information you need to register:
·         Schedule of events for Sunday 3 October, note that the 10k runners start first
·         Link to register online: Once you start the first registration, the system allows you to keep adding names to your order, and give you a final receipt for payment at the end.
·         GiF Meeting time for the 5k race will be at 09h45, location to be determined. This gives you a chance to get there, retrieve your numbers, t-shirts, etc and find us. Warm ups, organized by Odyssea, are at 10h45. 5k race begins at 11h00.
·         Reminder: Once again, GiF will not be making any payments or taking in any registration. All these transactions must happen directly between you and the organizers of the race.
See you there, 
Helen Sahin Connelly
President, GiF

August 13, 2010

The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that
the mind of man can ever feel.
--Claude Bernard (1813-78) French physiologist.

August 13, 2010

Science workshop for Kids 9-14+ years-old, see info below.

Sunday September 5, 2010
For Ages and Time: Two groups, two different times:
9-10 years-old: 12h00-14h00 (up to 8 kids per session)
11-14+ years-old and up: 15h00-17h00 (up to 8 kids per session)
Location: near Radio France, 16th
RSVP: by email before August 27th, space limited.
Stephen M. Elliott
The development of plasma fusion power plants will provide an abundant and environmentally clean supply of electrical power. Once fully developed, this method of producing electrical power will produce more energy than is needed by our growing population, will not contribute to climate change, and avoids the problem of high level radioactive waste.

Steve Elliott will present a seminar on plasma fusion
power. The seminar will cover basic fusion reactions, the principle of the tokamak fusion machine, several tokamaks in different countries, and the ITER tokamak being built in France.

If you are interested in the environment, energy, and big science, bring your ideas and join us. Steve's first workshop for GiF was in the fall of 2009 when he did a two-part series on Thought Experiment. He is based in Colorado and travels to Europe for his work once or twice a year.

More About Steve:
Stephen M. Elliott: In 1975 at the Scaife Nuclear Physics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, Stephen M. Elliott started working in charged particle physics. During his career, Mr. Elliott has worked on the development of ion beam sources, electron guns, linear accelerators, field emitting devices, magnetron sputtering cathodes, and plasma and ion deposited thin film coatings. In 1991, he founded Thin Film Consulting to provide charged particle beam device design and thin film process development services. In 1993, Mr. Elliott began using Vector Fields software for space charge beam device development. Since then, he has developed models for the simulation of X-ray tubes, neutron generators, plasma and surface ion beam sources, electron guns, cavity resonators, klystrons, and ion spacecraft thrusters.

Related links to Fusion Power:

See you soon!

Best regards,
Helen Sahin Connelly
President, Gifted in France

May 25, 2010


May 24, 2010

"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."

--Walter Lippman

Dear Friends,

Please take a moment to read the following updates as we approach the end of the academic year and go our separate ways until the rentree!

FOR PARENTS: Three June webinars (see the 2 charts below) are coming up and they are likely to be of great interest to you on different levels, especially for those of you wanting to foster creativity at home, for those of you who are in the midst of exhausting the system trying to understand your gifted child’s puzzling issues, and for those of you struggling with twice exceptional (2E) kids (gifted children with learning or other issues). These recorded webinars, in power-point format, feature three highly respected experts in the gifted, educational, and mental professional community. They are well spoken, and one of the most interesting points each of them makes, regardless of the situation at hand, is not to overlook your child’s potential talents and not to take their areas of strengths for granted. Each webinar is information packed. Please note that there are morning and evening showings for each of the three webinars, so respond accordingly in the SUBJECT. Even though the month of June is full of many activities, I hope you’ll join me for the following presentations that will hopefully give you a leg-up on options and different perspectives you did not previously consider. The only trick is I need a minimum of 5 people to keep each presentation. Please send in your RSVP asap if you are available to join us. Please remember to update your membership so we can continue to purchase these kinds of webinars to enlighten ourselves and those around us. Membership is 30euros and it’s good for a year from the time you join. Email:


1. Gifted in France is in the middle of hosting its 3rd annual Paris Spelling Bee. We had 73 students from over 30 schools register for the preliminaries. They are heading to the finals on Sunday May 30th with 16 finalists in each group, which consists of children in CE2-CM2 and 6eme-4eme. We wish them luck. The event is only open to the contestants and their families.

2. Also, a reminder that on June 6th for kids 9+up there's a creativity workshop, which will combine words and visual arts: "Making Characters Jump off the Page" A Creativity Workshop for Kids 9+ with Cybèle Troyan and Cathy Altman Nocquet. Sunday June 6th 2-6pm (see end of page for details).

List of upcoming Webinars presentations by GiF, courtesy of SENG:




Developing Your Child’s Creative Thinking Ability: Strategies for Parents (and teachers),

with Dr. Joyce Juntune

Morning Presentation:

Thursday June 3rd : 10h00-12h00 RSVP by May 31st

10€ for non GiF members,

5€ for members

Evening Presentation:

Thursday June 3rd: 19h30-22h00. RSVP by May 31st

Navigating the Quest for Help: Understanding Your Gifted Child’s Puzzling Behavior,

with Dr. Steven Curtis

Morning Presentation:

Thursday June 10th 10h00-12h00. RSVP latest by June 6th.

10€ for non members,

5€ for members

Evening Presentation:

Thursday June 10th, 19h30-22h00. RSVP latest by June 6th.

The 2E Enigma: How Do I Know My Child is 2E -- and How Can I Best Support Him/Her?

With Susan Baum, Ph.D

Morning Presentation: Thursday June 17th: 10h00-12h00. RSVP latest by June 12th.

10€ for non members,

5€ for members

Thursday June 17h: 19h30-21h00. RSVP latest by June 12th.

IMPORTANT NOTE: please be sure to note the morning or evening presentation in your RSVP and reply by the given deadline so we know whether or not to hold the presentation for that day. We need a minimum of 5 people to proceed. The presentations are by a laptop hookup to a tv monitor. Since the handouts/slides to these presentations are numerous, I’m not sure if I can guarantee copies for everyone. We’ll see how it goes.

These Webinars are provided by SENG,

SENG is committed to sharing complex issues relating to the social and emotional needs of giftedness. Webinars reflect the opinions of their speakers and do not necessarily represent the philosophy of SENG. SENG invites your comments and discussion about these webinars.


Developing Your Child’s Creative Thinking Ability: Strategies for Parents

with Dr. Joyce Juntune

Creative and innovative thinking are valued as skills in the workplace. Creativity also provides an important and necessary outlet for gifted children. What can parents do to make the development of creativity a natural part of family life? Join creativity expert Dr. Juntune for ways to have fun as a family while fostering creative and innovative thinkers.

Joyce Juntune is a Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. She teaches graduate level courses in gifted education and undergraduate courses in creativity.

Dr. Juntune was one of the developers of Project REACH – a staff development program for integrating creative thinking into content area classrooms, and served as its Director for 5 years. She bookmarkwas the Executive Director of the National Association for Gifted Children for ten years and the Executive Director of the American Creativity Association for six years.

She has traveled extensively across the United States and Canada providing training to thousands of teachers in over 500 school districts in the areas of creative thinking, instructional improvement, differentiated curriculum, creative problem solving, and gifted education. She has also provided training in creative thinking and problem solving to law firms, hospital and health care professionals, corporate managers, small business owners and managers, and members of the transportation industry.

Navigating the Quest for Help: Understanding Your Gifted Child's Puzzling Behavior with Dr. Steven Curtis

Parents of gifted children often struggle to understand how to best meet their son's or daughter's needs. When a gifted child has some type of puzzling behavior, or social or learning challenge, this struggle can intensify which can result in numerous visits with professionals and people in the know. This "quest for help" can be a very frustrating and exhausting experience.

In this webinar, Dr. Curtis will begin with a description of the pathway of the "quest for help" that so many parents of gifted children take. This will be followed with a presentation on the common characteristics of gifted children, how gifted children are identified, common controversies and myths, and how gifted children are often misunderstood and mislabeled as having something else. Participants will then learn about possible educational options and ways to create/implement a strength-based strategy of success. The goal of this webinar is to help parents better understand the needs of their child, know how and when to intervene, have a better understanding of whom to turn to for help, and feel more empowered to help their gifted child find success. It will also empower positive communication between parents and educators. By participating in this webinar, parents and caregivers will find that the quest for help is much less costly and more effective in the long run.

Dr. Steven Curtis is a Child Clinical Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. He has worked in medical, school, and university settings for 25+ years. He was trained at Utah State University and at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is the former Special Education Director at Seattle University and teaches part time at Antioch University. Dr. Curtis engages in private practice with Lifespan ( and specializes in helping gifted children with Behavioral, Social and Learning Challenges.

The 2E Enigma: How Do I Know My Child is 2E -- and How Can I Best Support Him/Her? With Susan Baum, Ph.D

An increasing number of gifted students experience learning disabilities, attention deficits or social and emotional issues. Simply addressing these difficulties without consideration of their advanced abilities is rarely effective. In this session we will:

Discuss the characteristics of 2E students including those gifted students with ADHD, learning disabilities, or Aspergers Syndrome.

Dispel the myths and misconceptions concerning their needs.

Introduce The Talent Centered Model for 2e Students, with specific strategies for helping parents and professionals meet the needs of these special youngsters.

Susan Baum, Ph.D. is co-director of the International Center for Talent Development and Director of the National Institute for 2E Research and Development at Bridges Educational Center for twice exceptional education. Professor Emeritus from The College of New Rochelle, Susan is an expert in twice exceptional education. An international consultant, Susan is published in the areas of twice exceptional students, primary-aged gifted students, and social and emotional factors affecting gifted students. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Students and is past president and co- founder of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students.

Creativity Workshop for Kids 9+up: "Making Characters Jump off the Page"
with Cybèle Troyan and Cathy Altman Nocquet

Sunday June 6th 2-6pm

RSVP: directly with Cathy Altman Nocquet 06 99 85 40 98 – For more information, visit

Kids in this four-hour workshop will use words and visual arts in concert to make fully developed characters, then deploy them in a variety of poems, scenes and stories. What is unique about the friendship between the Ninja palm reader and the rutabaga minstrel across the room? Why are the lioness and rocking chair characters rivals? Work with new friends on this fun and surprising project, then present your creations to parents at the end of the session.
Cost: 22 euros
10% discount for GIF members and for siblings
Location: near La Motte Picquet Grenelle metro

Finally, here’s an interview with Wenda Sheard by SENG regarding her speaking engagement with Gifted in France last February. Her topic was Gifted Third Culture Children.

Best regards,

Helen Sahin Connelly
President, Gifted in France