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For Immediate Release
September 30, 2004

Contact: Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
(804) 371-2420

Julie Grimes
Public Information Specialist
(804) 225-2775

Project Promise Receives Three-Year Grant
Program Targets Kindergarten through Grade Two Students

Project Promise, a program to provide curriculum and instructional strategies for teachers to recognize and nurture advanced learning in economically disadvantaged kindergarten through grade 2 students, was recently awarded a three-year grant totaling $800,000. The Jacob K. Javits grant was awarded to the Virginia Department of Education (DOE), in partnership with George Mason University, Greensville County, Martinsville City, Norfolk City, and Prince William County public schools.

Through Project Promise, teachers from the Martinsville and Greensville County school divisions will receive professional development to identify gifted learning behaviors in students who are often underrepresented in gifted programs. The training modules, designed by early childhood education faculty at George Mason University, are based on successful methods utilized by Norfolk and Prince William County schools. The modules will focus on ways to incorporate necessary skills — critical and creative thinking, independent research, presentation, and problem solving — into the general education classrooms that are important markers in the identification of gifted learners.

Achievement data of randomly selected students in classrooms of teachers receiving Project Promise training will be collected over a two-year period and will be evaluated by the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary.