CTY in Central Europe

The idea to start a program for talented Czech and Slovak youth dates to September 2010. Messrs. Henry Kallan, President, and Jiří Kejval, Vice President, (AF) proposed to support talented and ambitious Czech and Slovak gymnasia students. The Board agreed and asked Mr. Martin Herman, AFCSLS Board Member, to develop a program for this purpose.

Following a few weeks of research, Mr. Herman decided to approach the Center for Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins University, recognized leader in education for the gifted. CTY and AF agreed to start with a two-year pilot program and if successful establish CTY Central Europe.

Meeting in Bartislava
Martin Herman, Csilla Fuszek, Jeanne Bocková,
Miroslava Rusnoková, Péter Grosschmid

The pilot program has been a great success. Students, teachers, and parents find the CTY system of talent development terrific and would like to see it continued and expanded. Starting in February 2011, the pilot focused on top gymnasia students two to three years before graduation. It provided scholarships for

  1. CTY Summer Programs in the United States and other centres in the CTY global network and
  2. online courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and English during the school year.

Most students in the pilot take demanding Advanced Placement (AP) online courses covering over seven months material spread over four years in Czech gymnasia schools.

Since talent development calls for starting with little children, a weekend pilot program “Discovery Saturdays” to cover 5 – 15 year olds was added in September 2013 with 80 children in the program in the 2013 fall semester. Overall, well over 600 students have participated in some way in the pilot, many achieving great results on an international scale. Comments from students and their American, Czech and Slovak teachers are on AF Facebook page and on www.uptoyou.cz.

AF has invested over $700,000 into the program during 2011 - 2013. CTY has invested $240,000 by agreeing to reduce tuition for online courses from about $1,200 to $500. AF agreed to provide scholarships while at the same time testing local ability to pay. Initially a few students paid $500. This school year (2013/14) 60% of students pay, while AF provides scholarships for 40%. The number of participating schools has expanded from five at inception to 24 today.

In Central Europe, CTY CE will cooperate to develop a regional talent network working with universities, schools, and research institutions to take advantage of local know-how and existing programs, competitions, and activities for talented children. In addition to the Czech Republic, it will have exclusive rights to offer CTY programs in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania. Slovakia has been in the program from inception.

Programs in Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan have a strategic partnerships status. The demand for CTY know-how is expanding steadily. CTY is currently negotiating with potential partners in Brazil, Turkey, Macedonia, and Singapore.

You can read more about the first European Centre in Ireland (CTYI) at our Best Practices page.

Talent is a special kind of natural resource that is available in every country.