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Best List of Gifted & Summer Programs for Kids

Gifted Programs for 3 yos through 12th Grade

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

“Our core mission is to serve bright learners and their families through our renowned programs, research, counseling services, and advocacy. Because in identifying and developing the talents of advanced pre-university students to better our world today, we hope to improve it for generations to come.


CTY is dedicated to identifying and developing the talents of academically advanced pre-college students around the world.

Our educational programs offer young scholars an opportunity to join a learning community like no other. Led by world-class educators, students engage with rigorous academic work alongside peers who share their exceptional abilities and love of learning.

      • Learning pathways for grades 2–12
      • Online courses available worldwide
      • Summer sites across the U.S. and Hong Kong
      • Scholarships and financial aid available

Online Programs

Grades 2–12

      • Tackle exciting subjects with students from around the globe
      • Earn school credit through AP, Honors, and other accredited courses
      • Available year-round in formats to fit your schedule”

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies (formerly EPGY)

“Their programs serve kids from the 1st through 12th grades.

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies was inaugurated by the Provost in 2012 under the banner of Stanford Continuing Studies, serving as a home for Stanford’s pre-collegiate efforts.

Our programs provide pre-collegiate students from the U.S. and around the world the chance to explore their passions and dive deep into a single topic beyond what is typically taught in a school curriculum.”

Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development

“Serving students as young as 3 years old through the 12th grade.

CTD is dedicated to helping academically talented students, age 3 through grade 12, realize their full potential.

No student is born with a set destination, and talent development takes many forms. We know that talents, passions, and goals are discovered through exploration, challenge, dedication, and mentorship. When a student finds their desired path, Center for Talent Development (CTD) is there to provide guidance and support.

Our History and Mission

Since 1982, CTD has evolved from a single focus on talent identification to a multi-faceted research and service organization with four central goals:

      • Talent identification,
      • Talent development,
      • Research, and
      • Advocacy.

By continually assessing programs, conducting new research, and surveying participants, CTD remains at the forefront of gifted education and talent development. Today, CTD offers hundreds of enrichment and accelerated courses for students age 3 to grade 12, parent and educator learning communities, and program development for schools.

CTD Research

CTD programs are informed by the vast amount of research conducted by director Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and other members of the CTD staff and faculty. As a long-standing leader in the fields of talent development and gifted education, CTD strives to advocate for students, their families, and educators.

CTD Staff

All CTD staff share a commitment to education, a passion for excellence, and enthusiasm for helping students reach their potential. Their diverse backgrounds and areas of study allow staff members to contribute to the center through unique individual skill sets, while collaborating to best serve the overall CTD mission.

CTD Leadership

CTD director Paula Olszewski-Kubilius is a renowned scholar in the field of gifted education. Her commitment to the gifted education community is widely recognized and inspires each member of the leadership team.  The CTD leadership team brings extensive experience, research, and dedication to their roles within the center.


CTD has been accredited as a Nonpublic-Supplementary school by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) since April 1, 1994. Accreditation not only means CTD adheres to high quality standards; it also means CTD can grant academic credit for the rigorous high school courses offered through its various programs.

In-Person Summer Programs for Summer 2021

Due to the ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the majority of our summer programming will be offered online. However, we are pleased to announce that a select number of in-person summer programs is available for students in grades 2-8 in Evanston, Illinois. The courses will be commuter-only and are offered through CTD’s Leapfrog-Spark, Solstice, and Spectrum programs. You can find all course offerings on our Explore Courses page!

Please visit the In-Person Summer Programs page for more details.

Summer Programs that Teach Beyond the Classroom

The summer programs at the Center for Talent Development are designed to help students advance academically in engaging, hands-on ways; connect with peers and expert educators; and develop skills beyond the classroom. Our program options include:

      • Enrichment and accelerated, credit-bearing courses
      • Leadership and service-learning programs
      • Full-day, half-day, and online classes
      • Residential options on Northwestern’s Evanston campus (Not available in Summer 2021)
      • Before- and after-care options
      • Incredible teachers who encourage true learning

Online and Hybrid Programs

Engaging and Personalized Online Learning That Offers Challenge and Choice

A Student-Centered Online Classroom

You have a lot of choices for online learning. You want an experience that sparks interest and curiosity and helps students build their skills as independent learners. The Center for Talent Development (CTD) Online Program provides an experience that offers challenge and choice, and lets students explore subjects or move at a pace that isn’t always available in a traditional school environment.

Intentional Course Design. Expert Instruction.

Unlike so-called “click and next” online classes, CTD’s Online Program courses are designed and led by expert instructors who provide personalized guidance, feedback, and one-on-one attention. Learn more about our approach to online learning, and our various online program models.

The CTD Online Program offers:

      • A wide variety of enrichment and accelerated courses
      • Flexible pacing, which allows students to fit course work into their busy schedules
      • Opportunities to collaborate and connect with other advanced learners from around the world

Weekend Programs

Academic enrichment for students age 3 through grade 12, ranging from single-day to multi-week sessions.

Weekends are Made for Exploration

CTD has an array of high-quality, captivating online and in-person enrichment courses available for students on Saturdays and Sundays. Our courses focus on high-interest topics and are led by expert instructors who demonstrate the joy in learning. CTD’s Weekend Enrichment Programs:

      • Offer a community of like-minded peers
      • Introduce advanced learners to high interest topics not typically encountered during their school day
      • Present opportunities to delve deeper into a single topic and to develop an advantage in one’s area of strength

Leadership and Service-Learning Programs

Award-winning Programs and Educator Resources from Center for Talent Development’s Civic Education Project

Learn. Serve. Lead.

Through innovative school-year and summer programs and online courses, the Civic Education Project (CEP) offers promising young people opportunities to learn and serve in communities across the country, developing the knowledge, experience, and leadership skills they need to make a positive impact on the world.

Inspiring Students and Educators Since 1997

Davidson Institute

“In 2000 former educational software entrepreneurs, the Davidsons, founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nonprofit operating foundation, out of a concern that our nation’s most gifted and talented young people are largely neglected and underserved.  The mission of the Davidson Institute is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.

      • Young Scholars: An individualized, family-oriented program that supports the educational and developmental needs of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18. This program assists parents and students with academic support and educational advocacy, child and adolescent development, and talent development.
      • Fellows: Fellows scholarships recognize young people 18 and under for completing a significant piece of work that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society in one of the following areas: science, technology, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy, or any other college graduate-level work considered outside the box. Fellow Laureates are awarded $50,000 scholarships, and Davidson Fellows are awarded either a $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.
      • Summer Programs:
        • STARS Summer Camp: A five day residential summer program focused on supporting the academic and social needs of Young Scholars, ages 8 – 11.
        • REACH Summer Seminar: An academically challenging 10-day residential experience among intellectually peers for our Young Scholars, ages 11 – 13.
        • THINK Summer Institute: A three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno for 13- to 16-year-old students. These students are enrolled in university-level courses taught by University faculty and earn college credits that may be transferable.”

Cornell SCE

“Fun & educational
summer programs for youth

Enjoy Ivy League academic programs that feature the best of opportunities at Cornell University

A smart way to explore what Cornell has to offer

Cornell CAU’s programs offers youth a wide range of entertaining and educational activities. Register for one or more online, weeklong session.

Top 3 reasons to attend summer camp at Cornell

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