skola: (Default)
Dear Friend,

If you're reading this letter, then you either are or have been a gifted student, a parent of a gifted student, or know or have known a gifted student at some point. No matter which of these categories you fall into, you probably know very well some of the trials and tribulations gifted students face, even in the best of schools. Many of you also probably know some of the extracurricular programs developed for gifted students within the schools, as well as some of the summer programs. Unfortunately, in this economy, many of these programs are drastically underfunded, many of the summer programs find themselves needing to cut corners wherever possible, and overall, the quality of education is not as high as we all might like it to be.

While we cannot fix everything at once, we would urge you to consider making a tax-deductible donation to SPARC, the Summer Project for Academic Reach and Creativity. As a 501(c)3 organization, SPARC is aiming to create a summer enrichment program to serve gifted students not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. Our goal is to use charitable contributions to help us attain the best faculty and staff, as well as campus rental, all without having to be so expensive that it becomes difficult for most families that currently have gifted children, i.e, the ones who need it most, to afford it. Any and all contributions to add up, and will have the effect of improving not only the academics of the students, but helping to enrich the lives of all involved.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Rebecca Robare, President

Gil Cnaan, Vice President

SPARC INC 501 (C)3
111 N. 9th St #300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
http://www.SPARCSummer.org
becky@sparcsummer.org
gil@sparcsummer.org
skola: (Default)
Hey all,

So as many of you know, I've got this project known as SPARC (If you don't know what it is, I'll attach a brief synopsis at the bottom). However, this has been going much more slowly than we'd like. The problems have been many, but we're through the worst of it. However, there's still a lot to do, and we can't do it all ourselves. Our problems in the past have been that we'd either farm out a specific task, and it would probably not get done, or not be done on time, or we'd get fed up with waiting and try to do it ourselves, on top of our already crazy lives. However, Google has given us our answer! We are setting up a big to-do list for SPARC on Google Wave. If you'd like to be involved, or even just watch as things are going along, leave a comment with your Google Wave ID and we'll add you. If you want to be involved but don't have Google Wave, let us know, and we'll try to get you an invite.

For those of you who don't know about SPARC, it's a non-profit academic residential summer camp started by Rebecca Robare and myself. The idea behind it is that it will be a camp aimed at doing its best for the students, and non-profit so that we can focus on the students, and attain funding beyond just admission. For more details, feel free to contact us.
skola: (Default)
For the last few weeks, I have been on the phone and fax several times a day with either our case manager in the IRS or the state of New Jersey, trying to get SPARC its tax exempt status. In the process, I realized I'd forgotten to post about a good deed that I'd like all of you to join me in. For those of you not aware, there is a lovely program called BOINC (http://boinc.berkeley.edu/) that uses your spare CPU cycles and your screensaver to help do big things. For those of you old enough to remember those halcyon days shortly after Al Gore, blessings be upon him, created the internet, you saw it in its early form, when it was used as SETI, which helped us search for alien intelligence. Now we can use it for things like helping cure forms of cancer, finding new drugs, etc. I personally am connected to the World Community Grid (http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/) in order to try to do good things. I ask all of you to consider downloading BOINC, and, if you can find it in your hearts, connect to the World Community Grid, which seems to be doing a lot of good work. If you don't feel comfortable creating a new account there, I will temporarily lend you my account information long enough to connect you to them. If you do feel comfortable joining, and wish to go a step beyond being an individual user, I have set up a team page for SPARC, which I invite you to join. Most people I know use their computers fairly often (and hey, if you're reading this, chances are you're on a computer right now). You can easily set the program to use a very minimal amount of CPU cycles if you're worried about it slowing down your computer at all, but every little bit helps. Even if you don't do it, thank you for at least taking the time to read this.

~Gil

ETA: If you've signed up already, http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/team/viewTeamInfo.do?teamId=72SGXRKKNV1 is the link to the team, and if you haven't, and are curious, http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/reg/viewRegister.do?teamID=72SGXRKKNV1 will let you sign up and automatically enter you into the team.
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