The primary focus of the Talent Development Institute is the oversight of the TDI Summer Camp, which was founded by Dr. Carol Story in 1998 and was originally an adult institute under the auspices of Northern Vermont University-Johnson (then Johnson State College). TDI, though it still takes place at NVU, has been run by our organization since 2004. In addition to TDI Summer Camp, we offer our annual March event, The Joys and Challenges of Brilliance: Helping Your Gifted Child Shine; our annual end-of-the-summer Celebration at Lake Elmore; and a new Fall Gathering in Winooski. We also provide TDI Connections events, as well as occasional seminars and discussion groups, for the parents of gifted children.
Additional activities in the past have included leading parent discussion groups, individual consultations with families, and occasional professional development sessions. The Center had also been a co-sponsor of the New England Conference for Gifted Education when Vermont hosted that conference.
Annual fundraising efforts support the mission of the Talent Development Institute and provide scholarships for students at TDI Summer Camp. The governing board, with help from its working committee members, students from the TDI Leadership Program, and parents of program participants, continues to explore the many possible ways to meet our mission.
In the spring of 2017, our organization combined forces with the Vermont Council for Gifted Education, which had been an advocate for gifted children, their families, and their teachers for over forty years. Members of VCGE had helped craft the state education laws that benefit gifted children, delivered many professional development opportunities for Vermont teachers, and provided support groups for parents of gifted children. Recently VCGE had struggled to maintain these activities. As a result, the board of VCGE voted to disband and to pursue joining with the Green Mountain Center for Gifted Education. At a meeting of the Center board on 9 May 2017, this move was approved. While the loss of VCGE as a group is disappointing, it is heartening to consider the strength behind the Center and its several hundred members and what this might mean for the future of gifted education advocacy in Vermont.