SPARK is a new talent development program in Grady County that stands for Sharpening Potential to Advance and Refine our Kindergartners.” Shortly after the new year, we selected kindergartners for this program based on the top scores from the Fall and Winter MAP Assessment data. This program was designed to provide learning opportunities to challenge our kindergartners with critical thinking activities, creativity lessons, and problem-solving skills. The kindergartners are being pulled once a week to participate in the opportunity. The SPARK talent development program classes are taught by a gifted-endorsed teacher to help all students reach their highest potential and introduce students to components of creativity such as fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. By offering a variety of exercises and activities each week that involve divergent and convergent thinking skills, the SPARK lessons provide students with a weekly outlet to develop cognitive and creative talent. A few items that are used weekly are creativity manipulatives, analogies, building challenges, cognitive ability lessons, drawing tasks, etc. 

One goal for the program is to reach and find gifted and talented students from underserved populations of lower socio-economic backgrounds. Currently in Grady County, kindergartners are currently not served within its ALPHA/Gifted program (Advancement in Learning and Performance for Higher Achievement), so this SPARK talent development program gives our kindergarten students an opportunity to shine and developQualifying students will be given a gifted referral if characteristics are noticed, and if the potential is there for a student to be tested for the gifted program. If some students are not tested, they will be deferred to the following year as a SPARK1 talent development student in 1st grade; thus, the process can further expand our talent development program to other grade levels during the following school year that we can serve and accelerate learning to push them the following school year. These 1st grade students would then become SPARK1 students and the K in SPARK would then stand for "Kids" instead of for Kindergartners. Mrs. Danielle Jones, who developed and created the program, stated, that "the SPARK ‌talent development program was developed to enhance and ‌increase‌ ‌our kindergarteners'‌ ‌critical thinking and cognitive skills along with boosting creativity to create a sense of ‌excitement‌ ‌about‌ ‌learning!‌" ‌ 

Northside SPARK students are working with GeoFlakes.

Southside SPARK students are working with tangrams.