Gifted Kids Get SAVY


The Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young raises the bar for top students. Photo by Rusty Russell

Not every child would want to spend Saturdays in school. But these aren’t your average kids, and SAVY isn’t your average school. Beginning in January and continuing through early March, gifted students in kindergarten through eighth grade had the chance to expand their academic horizons in a new program created by Vanderbilt and held at the nearby University School of Nashville.

To qualify for the Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young–SAVY–students had to test at the 95th percentile and above on either verbal or quantitative reasoning sections of academic achievement tests or IQ tests.

Each class was limited to 12 students, led by teachers trained and experienced in working with the gifted. Classes ranged from “The Deep: The Wonderful, Watery World of the Oceans” for kindergartners to “Going Nuclear: The Solution for Our Energy Needs?” for seventh- and eighth-graders.

Moms and dads also got in on the act. “Parents are among the most important forces in the development of special talents while also fostering balance and healthfulness,” says Elizabeth Schoenfeld, director of the Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth. “We are offering classes for SAVY parents while their children are in class.”

To learn more about Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth, including SAVY, Weekend Academy at Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Summer Academy, and the new Med School 101, visit or call 615/322-8261.

Explore Story Topics