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CTY News In Brief

Boy ReadingImagine magazine’s March/April writing issue explored the topic in full with profiles of young writers, advice from CTY writing instructors, and student-written stories about topics including the Iowa Young Writer’s Workshop and CTY’s Advanced Fiction class.

The issue also features interviews with two Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists, Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon.

Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008 for “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” discusses his favorite children’s books (“Lord of the Rings” and “Watership Down”) and talks about his inspiration for becoming a writer. “The only thing I wanted to do as a young person was read,” he told Imagine. “Eventually I realized that writing was a wonderful excuse to be a permanent reader.”

And Chabon, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001 for “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” talks about his love for Sherlock Holmes, the importance of noticing the world around him, and the necessity of feeling his way through a narrative. “I find that the more detail in my outline, the more I know in advance what’s going to be happening in a book and the less interested I am in writing it,” he said. “It’s about discovery, about feeling my way and learning things I didn’t know about the world I’m describing and the characters in it.”

Read their interviews or subscribe to Imagine.

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CTY’s new parents group on Facebook is booming. This is a space where CTY parents can discuss education issues, share experiences and insights, and connect with one another. Members are encouraged to share thoughts, photos, and links, and to invite other parents to join.

In its first month the group grew to include 2,500 members. By the second month it was up to more than 4,500 members. In addition, participation within the group has been strong.

Joining is easy and free. Just visit the page and click “Join Group." 

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More bright, low-income kids can study at CTY on scholarship, develop their interests in STEM fields, and expand their opportunities for college access, thanks to a generous grant from the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation. 

The $750,000 grant makes it possible for 30 academically talented, low-income, underrepresented minority students from Los Angeles, New York, and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. to become Toyota STEM CTY Scholars. Starting in 2015, these students will spend their high school years pursuing challenging CTY course work, working with a CTY educational advisor, and receiving guidance and support throughout the college admissions process.

The Toyota STEM CTY Scholars program is designed to narrow the achievement gap in science, math, and engineering fields and expand opportunities for academically advanced, low-income, underrepresented minority students. It is part of the successful CTY Scholars Program, which has enrolled 674 students nationally since 2004.

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Grit, which has been defined as "passion and perseverance for very long-term goals," has been getting a lot of attention in education circles.

Do academically advanced K-12 learners lack grit? Can grit be encouraged in young learners? If so, how? Elaine Tuttle Hansen, CTY's executive director, explored these questions in this essay published by The Baltimore Sun.

After consulting CTY faculty and staff with decades of experience, she discovered that grit and talent are mutually reinforcing, not innately opposed, and concluded that the methods used to encourage tenacious learning habits in bright students—methods that include combating boredom, building community, and asking the right questions—can benefit all students.

Read it here.