Ricks Center for Gifted Children fosters a community of thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators through a dynamic and challenging gifted educational environment, and offers programs for children age 3 through 8th grade. Supported by a dedicated faculty and staff that honor the individual and tailor the curriculum to the advanced capabilities of gifted children, students at Ricks Center are empowered to embrace their creativity and curiosity, to explore their talents and passions and to elevate each other at an accelerated learning pace in this student-led culture. 


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Why Ricks

play based learning

Play-Based Learning

Our all-encompassing curriculum is delivered within a play-based format and integrates all areas of development including social-emotional, physical, cognitive, literacy, language, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and the arts within the daily classroom routine and structure.

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Inclusive Community

At Ricks, we cultivate an empathetic, inclusive, and equitable school community that values and encourages respect, voice, and agency for all students. 

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field study

DU Connection

As part of the University of Denver, a University community dedicated to life-long learning, Ricks Center students are granted access to DU resources and scholars addressing their distinct intellectual, social, and emotional needs as gifted students and equipping them with the necessary tools and confidence for self-expression and success.

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Early Childhood

Gifted young children blossom and grow cognitively, intellectually, socially, and emotionally when placed in a supportive, stimulating learning environment where they are challenged and encouraged to build on their strengths, and inspired to cultivate new skills. Ricks Center has created a nationally recognized program for our youngest students with their unique characteristics and accelerated learning needs at the core.

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Primary School

The goal of Ricks Center Primary program is to ensure that all of our students develop essential academic skills while engaging fully in their learning. We want children to learn to take intellectual risks, explore ideas, and expand their horizons.

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Middle School

Students in 5th through 8th grade are taught by content specialists in the core subjects areas of math, language arts, science, and social studies. Middle School students participate in small group and whole class instruction, allowing for passionate discussions, high-level thinking, and in-depth exploration of relevant topics.

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15 Average Class Size

$750k Amount awarded in financial aid each year

15+ Partnerships with Denver University

"Teachers are so amazing. They help you with everything. I love the curriculum. Ricks is open to all types of learners and levels."

Vanessa, student, age 13

Everyone here is so nice. Everyone here is friendly and open. I get to socialize. I like being around everyone. It makes me happy.

Ethan, student, age 13

"They help me feel proud because they help me through the work that I need to do, and it just makes me feel proud of myself--like I can do anything."

Tilly, student, age 8

The Benefits of Getting Children into Nature

“ I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in tune once more” -John Burroughs

Nature is the very best sensory modality we have access to that has multiple benefits for all people no matter their age, but especially children. Children are constantly linking the outside world with their internal feelings/emotions and expanding their thoughts and understanding of the world.

Here at Ricks, we provide opportunities for our students to explore and play within the natural world using their own ideas and self-direction. These experiences are essential for the healthy development of an internal sense of wellbeing in children.

When allowed space to self-direct their play, children test themselves by interacting with the natural environment.  They not only imagine, but they act in alternative ways to move and create given what is available to them in their surroundings. 

There is emerging evidence that exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health and that exposure to nature may reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, when children are routinely interacting in nature, there are improvements in cognitive abilities and resistance to negative stresses and depression. 

If you're curious about ways to get your child outside in nature more often, go with them! 

Click HERE for more information on the benefits of nature and the healthy development of children.

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