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Talent Development Award Recipients


In 2012, the Foundation awarded the $500,000 Talent Development Award to the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut for its creation of the Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy serves approximately 110 students in grades 4-8 in Hartford, Connecticut. The Academy provides an advanced curriculum focused on creative productivity, leadership and character development based on Renzulli’s Schoolwide Enrichment Triad Model, considered one of the cornerstones in gifted education. The model has more than two decades of research and implementation demonstrating its effectiveness. Students are selected from across the city through a broader identification approach to find high potential students who would be overlooked through narrow test score assessments. Nearly all of the students come from low-income households.

The Academy’s student success has been unprecedented in Hartford. Between 2010 and 2012, Academy students scored the highest Connecticut Mastery Test scores in the Hartford Public Schools. In 2011, 95% of the student body scored either at goal or mastery level (both considered advanced). In 2012, Academy students outpaced state outcomes in reading and, when compared with statewide students on free and reduced meals, Renzulli seventh graders surpassed peers by 40 percentage points (100% to 60%).

With the Foundation’s grant, Dr. Renzulli will lead a team at the University of Connecticut to replicate the Renzulli Academy approach in at least three other schools districts over the next two years. All replication schools will be in urban areas with population demographics that are predominantly low income and minority.