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Oklahoma Department of Education awarded $2.3 million grant

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma state agency received some welcome news this week.

On Monday, the Oklahoma State Department of Education announced that it had been awarded a $2.3 million, five-year grant to help gifted and talented students with disabilities from minority, economically disadvantaged and English learner populations.

Oklahoma was one of 12 recipients of the grant, which will be used to help nearly 6,000 elementary school students in four school districts across the state.

Agency leaders say Ardmore, Duncan, Guymon and Tahlequah were chosen based on socioeconomic data, poverty rate and low rates of gifted/talented participation in elementary schools.

“All children should have the opportunity to build their natural gifts into extraordinary talents. By recognizing those gifts early, we can help historically under-identified student groups reach their potential,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This grant will enable us to ensure gifted and talented programs are available to exceptional learners regardless of their background.”

In addition to helping gifted students, the grant will also fund professional development for teachers, resources to increase parent engagement and summer enrichment opportunities for students.