I have yet to see anyone bring up that many of the "gifted" children do not do well in a traditional classroom because they are seen as different — as strange little nerds who think differently — and frequently have difficulties because of this ("Keeping Baltimore afloat," May 6). This changes when they are in a class with others like them. They discover that they are not alone in the world. Lasting friendships blossom and school is no longer hated. These children are bonded across economic and ethnic lines because of what's in their heads.

Both my son (who was in the old GATE program) and my grandson (Ingenuity) were lucky enough to benefit from Baltimore City's programs beginning in grade school where they should begin. I don't know if either would be able to be where they are now were it not for these programs. Both are Poly graduates. My son is an engineer who was responsible for much of the mechanical engineering on the recent Mars rover. My grandson is a sophomore at Cornell University.

Judy Rhoades

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