For more than
35 years the Hardin-Simmons Department of Education has hosted a program called
Threshold geared toward encouraging creative thinking and development in
students from kindergarten to the tenth grade.
students must either be currently enrolled in a Gifted and Talented program at
their school, or take a test in order to participate in the Threshold program.
This year Threshold has 375 participating students.
Kristina Alexander, senior education major from
Coppell, Texas, said, “I think this environment allows kids to express
themselves freely and think outside the box. It gives them a chance to be
creative without limitations of a normal school day.”
For students in kindergarten through the fifth grade
a half-day program is available and students from sixth to tenth can
participate in the full-day program.
Activities for K-1 include Kidgenius: Inventions and
inventors, 2-3 Under the Sea, and 4-5 Design Squad. Students 6-10 participate in
activities such as Get a Clue, Designing Tomorrow and Full Story at 10.
Dr. Mary Christopher, Director of Threshold and of
the Master of Gifted Education, said, “I think it benefits both undergrad and
graduate students to understand the needs of gifted children in the classroom.”
Threshold also benefits Hardin-Simmons students. The
program serves as a practicum experience for the Master of Education in Gifted
Education students at HSU, and also involves undergrad students from HSU and
teachers from across the state.
Amy Boone, graduate student working on her master’s
degree in gifted education from Abilene, said, “Threshold is a
great practicum experience. The program is a well-oiled machine and has a huge
following in the Big Country. This piece of the graduate program at HSU is a
very important real world experience.”
This year Threshold added a service project for all of the students
to participate in that taught them how to recognize opportunities to give back
or help others. Students were asked to
collect books that were either new or gently used to donate for children in
need or that do not have access to books during the summer.
25 Mabel Winton Scholarships through the Abilene Community
Foundation were awarded to help financially support students’ involvement.
information about the Threshold program visit http://www.hsutx.edu/academics/irvin/educationalstudies/threshold/information/.