Partners and Leaders (PALs) with AcademyACL
There are many ways to support AcademyACL and its programs. To check out several projects, visit our Network for Good site for ways to support financially. To volunteer time or donate supplies and materials, contact the office at 719.434.6566.
AcademyACL is the only full-time K-8 gifted education program in the Pikes Peak Region.
AcademyACL is dedicated to serving not only its enrolled students, but also the greater education community and the special needs of gifted students at any school or educational setting. Since it opened in 2010, AcademyACL has hosted tours and trainings on- and off-site and offsite. AcademyACL has also worked with several student teachers.
In the 2012-13 school year alone, as an example, the following visits occurred:
- Approximately sixty people toured AcademyACL.
- Professional educators also toured and asked questions about our program, including the following:
- eight teachers came to see cross-grade, flexible skill groupings;
- educators from a local preschool wanted to see how our Divisions I and II classrooms operated;
- a local school representative wanted to glean ideas for gifted education options;
- educators from a local school wanted to look at primary gifted education services;
- educators from a local school wanted to look at tools for gifted education in upper level classes;
- a school executive wanted to see what we are doing to increase students’ growth, especially in light of our high test scores;
- and two administrators came from a school from in Denver to see the teacher evaluation and observation system that we use.
We have also hosted other tours such as two different groups of Leadership Pikes Peak, with representatives of professionals from all around El Paso County who are interested in learning about the needs of our region.
Additionally, our staff makes presentations at conferences. Last year’s staff presentations included:
- Communicating the Needs of Gifted Children During Times of Limited Resources, at the National Association for Gifted Children Conference;
- Common Core
- CDE Requirements
- Gifted Students in Your School: What Administrators and Teachers Need to Know
- Root Cause Analysis: Issues, Challenges, and Lessons Learned, and Star Teachers Council at the League of Charter Schools Conference
- The Pitfalls of Perfectionism in Gifted & Talented Students at the Beyond Giftedness Conference
- Testifying before the Colorado Senate Education Committee and the Colorado House Education Committee concerning the School Finance Act
In addition to these types of visits in 2013-14, an educator and a community member from a school district in another state came to visit our program and take ideas back to their district.
As it grows, AcademyACL seeks to continue to develop as a Resource Center that includes training and resources for preservice and inservice educators, and support and training for families across the region.
AcademyACL invites members of our local, state, and national community to partner with AcademyACL in its vision and mission. AcademyACL is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Receipts of donations to AcademyACL, for tax purposes, are available from the Business Manager. Single donations and monthly or quarterly pledges are welcome.
If you are a business owner or manager, we invite you to consider becoming a GOLD ($200+) or SILVER ($100+) sponsor, and/or donating items that can be used as throughout the year as prizes or support for students and staff who meet challenge goals.
The students raised over $29,500 in the 2016-17 school year to support our new playground project. Visit our Facebook page for the Pike Park Beautiful project details. When the students met and passed the goal of $20,000 by midnight on Wednesday before the event started, the Academy Director (principal) Mrs. Myers had to read on the back of a horse... for three hours on Readathon day!
AcademyACL holds only one all-school fundraiser each year. Please see the Readathon page for more information about the current year’s process. The goal of this fundraiser is to connect with partners and build a sense of community on behalf of our students. Students attempt to read as many pages as they can over one weekend, to locate at least ten sponsors who ‘get to know’ our school, and to raise $10 per sponsor or $100 for each student. This money extends the ability of AcademyACL to meet the needs of its students, and its role as a Resource Center.
Our first year, we raised approximately $5,000. Our second year we raised approximately $11,000, our third year we raised approximately $24,000, and our 4th year we raised approximately $19,000 by the time all of the money arrived from sponsors. With our regular budget, we strive for “mission critical” items that have to be purchased or supplied in order for our students to make progress on Colorado content standards. Beyond that, there are “mission important” items that help us support our students and provide opportunities for our teachers to support and challenge students without using student fees and other costs for parents. Therefore, Read-a-Thon funds over the last three years have purchased the art exhibition wall, storage materials and shelving, a storage shed, field trips, individual math subscriptions, educational magazine subscriptions, handwriting workbooks, art materials and supplies, theater masks, Restorative Justice training, testing materials, curriculum assessments, gift card prizes for students, staff professional development, STEAM day materials, Creative Minds speakers, student government projects, enrichment scholarships, student performance fees, Sock Hop band, student risers for pictures and performances, gifted education books, and supplies for family events and the next Read-a-thon.
From our 2010 newsletter: For our first Readathon, we sought to build relationships with our students and families through this event, and we had 70% of our students show up to read with us on a Friday night! More than twenty-five students stayed to read all night long, until their eyes could read no more. We had several local businesses donate, and we had four local firefighters show up to read with our students. The following local authors showed up to read their books to our students and discuss the writing and publication process:
- Evangeline Denmark (the Dragon and the Turtle)
- Donita K. Paul (the Dragon and the Turtle; the Dragon Keeper Chronicles)
- Susie Binkley (Squirrels in Deerland)
- Paxton Helling (Head over Blue Heals: The Story of Rita Rumble)
- Robert and Beverly Kaynor (Oscar the Christmas Kitten) .
One student, one year in Division III (a third-fourth grade multi-age class), set the bar for everyone else when he read until 5:30 a.m., took a forty-five minute nap, and woke up to read some more. Students, parents, and teachers were spread all over classrooms and hallways with bean bag chairs, pillows, and their favorite books. Some students fell asleep with a book tucked right up next to their cheek. Pledges arrived from as far away as Norway and Kwajalein Island! We are honored to great partners in supporting this event and our school. Thank you again for supporting the joy of reading with us!