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Chicago Gifted Community Center

Creating connections - Creating community

In Chicago and the suburbs            

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Welcome to our blog.   Please note that this page is open to the public, so any comments made by members will be visible to the general public also.  At this time, only members can make comments to the posts. 

  • April 07, 2018 11:23 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Many people join CGCC thinking of us as you might think of the Center for Talent Development, an organization providing gifted programming that might be interesting to the kids. But honestly, we are not competing with all the fantastic groups who provide resources and services for gifted children and their families. We are trying to bring those organizations to light for everyone in the gifted community, through our professional member program. Additionally, it is our hope that people who are inspired to create reasonably-priced opportunities for their children or for parents of gifted children will do so using our framework.

    So what does that mean? For starters, it means that we curate an area-wide calendar of events of interest to gifted families. Our focus is generally on affordable, high quality events. Have you looked at our calendar lately? Area Events Calendar (Be sure you are logged on to take advantage of this feature of our website!)

    More importantly, it means that CGCC is set up to handle member-initiated events, since we hope to see many of these! We are a 501(c)(3) so we can rent space in many libraries and community center at little to no cost. It means we carry insurance, so those venue and many schools and churches are able to accommodate us. It means that we have a website that can handle registration and receive payment to cover rent and other expenses. It means we have an established communications network to get the word out about events that you plan. CGCC does not aspire to create great programming, but rather to allow you to create great programming for one another.

    So where do you begin? Let’s say your son absolutely loves origami, and could use a little more social time with like-minded peers? Great – let’s create a monthly origami club. We can have kids take turns teaching their favorite folded animal, we can watch videos on the history of origami, we can read origami books and report back to the group, we can bring in instructors to get us going. Contact your regional coordinator to discuss your ideas! Let’s find a venue that works and a timeframe that is convenient and get this program set up!

    Or perhaps we need a makers club or a programming club or a mindfulness program or a kids speaker on healthy sleeping habits or … You get the idea.

    We have several member-initiated programs running at CGCC today. Check out our CGCC Event Calendar for upcoming events. Any of these events could be modified to run in your community. Or better yet, let’s organize something that is perfect for your family. The organizer selects the venue and the meeting dates and times! If you are looking to just dip a toe in the water, how about organizing a gifted parent supper? You choose a restaurant and make a reservation; we post it and meet you there! Please contact your regional coordinator for help getting the ball rolling:

    • Far North Ann Marie Tate
    • North Sarah Alexander
    • Chicago Rhonda Stern
    • Western and southern Suburbs Newenka DuMont

    What kinds of community building are we focusing on at the moment?

    • We continue our focus on regional communities. We have a robust set of offerings in the western suburbs, because we have a fair sized base of members there. Since we run programs there we get more members there. We would like to see this same robustness in the far west, in the far north and on the south side. If you are interested in helping us out with this, please contact me!
    • We are working on gifted special interest groups. Today there are two groups that are meeting.
      • We have a homeschoolers coop in Skokie – LOGYC - which attracts members from all over! And they are an excellent source of information about homeschooling, even if you are not able to attend the homeschool.
      • We have a homeschoolers support organization – HSGS – that runs monthly speakers also in the near north. Their next program is on April 14 and is about Program-based learning. 
      • We have a new board member, Carole Jones, who runs the SOS for 2E program in Naperville, for those raising 2E children this is a fantastic program, and again it attracts people from far and wide! The next SOS for 2E program is scheduled for April 16 – Dr. Nick Costakis speaker in Naperville. 

  • April 04, 2018 8:26 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)


    Northwestern University's ETOPiA and University of Chicago's STAGE present:


    A play by Michael Frayn
    Directed by Maureen Payne-Hahner
    With Dori Erwin Collins, Matthew Grayson, and James Lashly

    Copenhagen is set during World War II, when the friendship of two Nobel Prize-winning physicists is tested by the prospect of providing Nazi Germany with the atomic bomb. A mysterious visit by Werner Heisenberg to Niels Bohr's home in Copenhagen in 1941 brings these renowned physicists and dear friends together under trying circumstances and leads to an argument whose consequences may determine the fate of nations. Uncertainty, the quantum mechanical principle discovered by Heisenberg, lies at every turn as he, Bohr, and Bohr's wife, Margrethe, attempt to reconstruct this fateful conversation and unravel their misunderstanding once and for all. This Tony Award-winning play (2000, Best Play) is based on historical characters and events.

    Reserve Tickets

    Reserve your seat now. Admission is free, but tickets are required to guarantee seating.

    MARCH 30 - APRIL 15, 2018 

    Note: March 30 performance is SOLD OUT


    APRIL 20 - APRIL 29, 2018

    Learn more about STAGE



    This event is supported by Northwestern University through the Barry and Mary Ann MacLean Fund for Art & Engineering, the James F. and Mary L. Gibbons Art and Technology Fund, the Materials Research Center NSF-MRSEC grant, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

  • March 22, 2018 3:52 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    This last month my oldest daughter landed a cabin on the JoCo Cruise and invited me to come along!  “Sure, honey, I’d love to.  What is the JoCo Cruise?” I learned it is also known as the Nerd Cruise.  It is a whole boat filled with nerds and nerdy things.  There were nerd musicians, comic writers, comedians, podcasters, novelists (mostly of speculative fiction), tabletop game creators, computer game developers, puzzle hunt makers, scriptwriters, actors and more.  These folks made music, did stand-up, gave presentations, read their latest drafts, recorded live podcasts, sat on panels, held office hours, taught their craft, led music circles or monster sewing workshops, designed puzzles to be solved during the cruise, and taught their games at the 24-hour table-top game library. And the eclectic nature of the celebs on board attracted eclectic cruisers who were also unabashedly nerdy.

    This is a cruise where formal night means wearing a fez (like Dr. Who) and a mustache, no one really cares about ports of call, and day 7 is always pajama day, “‘cause who still has clean clothes?”  This is Comic Con meets Gen Con, and don’t forget your cos-play, which could mean the green unitard, or perhaps a 1860 period Victorian ball gown, or not!  The group is welcoming and encouraging.  Dinner conversation is spirited, funny and intellectual. Truly a fun time was had by all! 

    This experience brought home yet again that being among people who can understand you and will accept you for who you are is so affirming! Where have you found your tribe?  Share your experiences here: Finding Your Tribe.

  • February 26, 2018 7:59 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    My children are now grown and most of the issues of raising gifted children are behind me. My parenting journey was made easier by those who went ahead of me, but paused occasionally to reach back and lend me a hand or pass on some advice.  Having been the recipient of so much wisdom in my time, I pause now and reach back to help those who are following behind me.  Won’t you please pause for a moment to do the same? Are there parents with younger children who could benefit from your “been there, tried that” moments?  

    My journey has been fascinating and made so much easier and more enjoyable by the small group of parents with whom I had the pleasure of traveling it. We read and discussed parenting books and gifted books; we attended lectures on underachievement and anxiety; we organized outings for our kids to the Chicago Fed and local museums; we agonized over gifted programming in our local schools; and when the time came we helped each other through our children’s college application processes.

    I wish for each of you a cohort of parents who understand what you are going through and make your travels a little bit easier and a little bit more fun!  Won’t you consider organizing or joining a CGCC event or group and finding or building a cohort of your own?

    As always, if you have suggestions or questions, please be in touch:

  • February 26, 2018 7:53 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)
    Are you homeschooling and looking for some Science Programming?  Have you heard about IlluminatED?  They have offerings that cover elementary through high school.  Find more information here


  • January 15, 2018 7:00 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    It is a time of change in my family.  My oldest has been working as a computational chemist in New York City, a job she is now leaving. She is looking to move into something a little more outdoorsy, like leading kayaking excursions in Alaska!  She is calling it her gap year and viewing herself as a late bloomer. Her younger sister has decided to major in economics and can draw in charts and explain in $20 words how crazy her sister is.  The fun of parenting never ends! 

    Welcome to 2018!  January seems to be Focus on Parenting Month at the Chicago Gifted Community Center!  This is good news for all of you who resolved to take an occasional break from the kids and work on your own needs this year.  Please take a moment to sign up for something! We all look forward to meeting a few new, interesting people this month! 

    As always, if you have suggestions or questions, please be in touch:

  • January 14, 2018 10:56 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    For nine days in January, the city's top museums are joining together to celebrate Museum Week. Take advantage of discounted admissions, special exhibits, giveaways and more at each of the participating museums. Illinois residents will receive up to 25% off admissions at all museums. From culture to constellations, art to animals, this is your chance to experience Chicago’s most beloved institutions in a whole new way!

    Complete details on web site:

  • January 06, 2018 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    Does homeschooling work for gifted kids? Can a homeschooled student get into his or her first-choice college? How well does homeschooling prepare gifted students for college or business?

    Over the winter break, my college-aged sons and I talked about these very topics. Both boys homeschooled all four years of high school. Their homeschooling consisted of online classes, independent study, project-based learning, homeschool group classes and many community college classes taken as dual-enrolled high school students.Their unique experiences allowed them to stand out in the college admissions process, and both were accepted to their selective, first-choice schools in early admission. Once in college, both quickly found their social "tribes." They also found that college life was a lot like homeschooling in terms of student independence. Their transition to college was much smoother than that of some of their brick-and-mortar peers. According to one son: "Some of these kids were still figuring out that they had to go to class" at the end of first semester, freshman year at a highly selective, East Coast university. Both of my sons are cultivating long-lasting, intellectual friendships with their professors, and are actively planning for life after college. They are both deeply grateful for their homeschool years.

    On Tuesday, Jan. 9, a panel of college-aged, homeschool graduates will discuss how homeschooling boosted them into college or business and share their tips and advice to younger students. I hope you will join us as these accomplished, articulate young adults share their thoughts and experiences on homeschooling the high school years.

  • December 06, 2017 12:23 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    International Museum of Surgical Science - NASA Saturday Camp 

    One-Day Sessions beginning December 30th 2017 and running every Saturday until March 3rd 2018 from 8:30am-4:30pm. 

    Limited to current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. $10 fee to participate.

    The International Museum of Surgical Science is proud to offer this NASA Saturday Camp program to serve those currently underrepresented and underserved in STEM education or fields. This program aims to achieve NASA science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education goals. 

    This content includes the NASA Glenn Engineering Design Challenge (EDC): Powered and Pumped Up, through which students have the opportunity to work on real-world challenges in a collaborative, team-based environment. Students will apply lessons learned to solve problems that STEM professionals face while gaining a deeper knowledge of how NASA is a part of their everyday lives.

    Educator led team-based projects will include:

     Solar S'Mores - Build a solar powered oven to learn about reflecting solar energy to heat up a tasty treat. 

     How Intense Are You? - Learn how light intensity changes as you move away from the source. 

     What's the Point? - Explore how lenses can be used to manipulate light. 

     Powered and Pumped Up - design, build, and improve a stand-alone solar-powered pumping system to move water as quickly as possible between two containers.

    Click here for details and application.

  • October 27, 2017 3:41 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Their mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.


    Davidson Academy News –

    The Davidson Academy offers two educational options specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted students – an Online High School for those living anywhere in the U.S. and a day school on the University of Nevada, Reno campus for local residents. The full-time Online High School further strengthens the Davidson Academy’s commitment to the profoundly gifted population by bringing the Davidson Academy experience to students whose families are unable to relocate to Reno. Both options are centered on a rigorous academic environment where students can thrive among their intellectual peers. Classes are grouped by ability level, rather than by age-based grades, thereby providing profoundly gifted young people an educational opportunity matched to their abilities, strengths and interests.


    Davidson Academy’s Online High School

    Starting with eighth grade, the Davidson Academy Online High School is for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the United States. Applicants must be 12 years old as of Sept. 30, 2018, submit appropriate test scores according to the Online High School Qualification Criteria and commit to being full-time students. Please visit the Online High School’s How to Apply page for details. The 2018-2019 application deadline is Feb. 28, 2018.


    Davidson Academy’s Reno Campus

    The Academy's free, public day school is located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus for profoundly gifted middle and high school students living in the Reno area. To attend the Davidson Academy in Reno, students must be at the middle or high school level across all subject areas and score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the ACT or SAT. Please visit the Reno school’s Qualification Criteria and How to Apply pages. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis with a final application deadline of Jan. 15, 2018. 


    Davidson Institute News –

    2018 THINK Summer Institute – Three-Week Academic Residential Program

    The Davidson Institute is seeking gifted teens to attend the 2018 Davidson THINK Summer Institute.  THINK is a three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno where students can earn up to six college credits by completing two university courses. The 2018 THINK Summer Institute will run from July 14 through August 4. Tuition is $3,800 and covers course credits, books and materials, room and board, and the cost of planned activities. Need-based scholarships are available. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK and must submit a SAT or an ACT score report.  The application deadline is March 30, 2018.


    2018 Davidson Fellows $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

    The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2018 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. Applicants must submit an original piece of work that is recognized as significant by experts in the field and that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university. The deadline to apply is Feb. 14, 2018.


    Davidson Young Scholars Program 

    The national Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people.  Families can choose from a range of opportunities and services available exclusively to Young Scholars and their parents.  Collaborate with a team of knowledgeable Family Consultants who provide individualized support based on each family’s unique needs, in the areas of educational advocacy and planning, social and emotional development, and identifying opportunities to nurture the Young Scholar’s talents and interests.  Connect with other Young Scholar families online through a dynamic private website offering discussion forums, personal profiles, online seminars, and more!  Meet other families in-person through parent-planned regional events or the annual conference-style event hosted by the Davidson Institute.  Encourage your Young Scholar to participate in programs designed specifically for them, such as online middle school courses taught by Davidson Academy faculty, the STARS summer program for 8 to 12 year olds, or the Ambassador Program, which fosters learning and civic engagement through community service, volunteerism and leadership.  Apply for the Young Scholars program today!  The application deadline is the first of each month. 

About cgcc

The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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We  are an all volunteer-based organization that relies on annual memberships from parents, professionals, and supporters to provide organizers with web site operations, a registration system, event insurance, background checks, etc. 

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