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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. 

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  • November 01, 2012 2:36 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The Gifted Education Cooperative (GECO) is sponsoring a discussion group for parents, facilitated by our own Newenka DuMont.


    Meet with a group of parents for 8 consecutive weeks beginning Thursday, January 24th, 2013 ending March 14th, 2013 to discuss issues of giftedness. We will meet from approximately 9:15 – 10:45 am. The location for these discussions will be in the Hinsdale area.


    Each week we will read one or two chapters of the book A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children and discuss them as a group.  Additional readings from the gifted press will be provided.  We will cover a variety of topics relevant to raising gifted children, such as maintaining motivation and enthusiasm, avoiding underachievement, coping with intensity, perfectionism, stress, idealism, and depression, making and keeping friends, handling siblings, and more. 


    The cost for participation will be $50, which will be used to pay for materials and facilities.  Additionally, each participant will need to acquire a copy of the book.


    The guided reading will be facilitated by GECO volunteer Newenka DuMont, the mother of two gifted teenagers.  She is the founding president of the Gifted Education Cooperative and on the board of the Chicago Gifted Community Center.  Newenka is the Illinois SENG (Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Liaison and a certified SENG Model Parent Group facilitator.  She has been leading guided reading groups in our area since 2003. 

    If you are interested in participating or in receiving more information, please email Newenka at by November 30, 2012. (Don’t like Thursdays?  Let her know you are interested but have a conflict.) The group size will be limited to 12 people, on a first come, first served basis.  Like most GECO functions, there is no need to be a GECO member or to reside in our communities to participate. We will need at least 8 people to form a group. 

  • October 23, 2012 2:10 PM | Anonymous
    This past Sunday the 21st the CGCC hosted its first northern region event. Held at C&A Robot Factory in Libertyville, it was a fun-filled afternoon of Legos and science. We had a great turnout, with some families traveling as long as an hour to meet up with other gifted families. The seventeen Lego builders built and programmed a drumming monkey (who doesn't love a Lego drumming monkey?), as well as built and tested a race car. The creativity and curiosity in the room was awesome to see. Photos from the event can be seen on our CGCC Facebook page.

    We hope to have another Lego event at C&A Robot Factory in the spring, but there will surely be other activities and gatherings before then. If there is something you would like to see in your area, please contact one of the board members.

    Many thanks to C&A Robot Factory for their help in setting up this event! 

  • October 11, 2012 10:43 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Board member Lauren Callaway was interviewed recently for an article entitled, "Smarty pants:  Social, emotional and cerebral educuation for gifted children" by Wendy Altschuler for Sun-Times Media.  Read the entire article here. 

  • October 10, 2012 7:45 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Nearparkers Family Workshop is the working title of a community tinkerer, maker, hacker, creator space being planned near Oak Park and Forest Park.  The goal is to have equipemtn and a family friendly space to share and to feed off of each other's creative juices.  They are looking for people to follow along as progress updates come out and also for people to help drive the creation of the space.  The space will have members who pay a monthly fee to have 24 hour access and it also will have set meetings or workshops open to the public.  Contact Cathy Theys for more information:

  • October 07, 2012 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    The Chicago Gifted Community Center website is one of the ways we strive to serve the Chicago area gifted community.  After listening to the responses of over 75 area gifted families who participated in our initial survey, we designed a site we believe will help families make the connections they desire.  Members of the Chicago Gifted Community Center have access to:

    •  Full Event Calendars:  which include upcoming CGCC events, as well as free or low cost local events of interest to families of gifted, events in the area gifted community, and interesting free online courses.
    • Family Directory:  This is a useful tool for families to find others who share common interests to create personal networks.  Families can tailor what information is visible.
    • Professional Directory:  We have started accepting professional members who understand gifted to the Professional Directory.  We are hoping this will begin to serve as a “Gifted Yellow Pages” for the Chicago area gifted community.
    • Mentor Directory: This is still under development, but we have the capability of creating a directory of area mentors who are interested in working with gifted families.
    We are a nonprofit, all volunteer site, however we do ask for a suggested annual donation of $25 to help support the cost of the site and insurance and because we believe that most families desire to support the growth of services for the gifted community.  If you have questions about our site, or are a gifted family who would benefit from membership but can’t afford the donation, please contact us.  
  • August 04, 2012 9:16 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Exciting news from our North Suburban Coordinator, Jen Merrill.  Her book, "If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?  Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional," has just been released by GHF Press.  When is life like a prize fight, a garden, and a quiz show, all hurtling down the road on an office chair, wrapped in a song?  When you're living in the land of the gifted and twice exceptional.  Join Jen on her journey through discovery, understaning, and acceptance, as she copes with the challenges that only the gifted and twice exceptional can create. 

  • July 25, 2012 2:05 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Conducted nationwide, the VFW sponsored Patriot's Pen essay competition gives sutdents an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy with the prospect of winning money for college.  The program is open to students in grades 6-8, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the United States and its territories.  The deadline for the 2012-2013 program is November 1, 2012.  The theme for this year is "What I Would Tell America's Founding Fathers." The first place award is $5,000 plus an all expense padi trip to Washington, DC for the winner and a parent/guardian.


  • July 25, 2012 12:18 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)
    To encourage the joy of reading, the Mensa Foundation has developed the Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Award Program.  Acknowledging the value of the National Endowment for the Humanities' appreciation of classic literature for young people, the Mensa Foundation is providing a year-round challenge to kids of all ages based on the National Endowment for the Humanities Summertime Reading  list.  Kids who complete the reading list receive an award certificate and a t-shirt.

  • June 26, 2012 6:47 PM | Anonymous
    When my son was younger, he really loved taking part in projects that made him feel he was part of the world of science.  I still have fond memories of our time spent collecting rock samples, sending our names into space, and classifying galaxies.  There are even more citizen science programs around these days, so if you think your kids might also enjoy this, you can take a closer look.
    observe and report weather data
    collect and send in a local rock sample and receive a certificate of participation
    search through signals for signs of extraterrestrial life with the seti project
    document wildlife
    classify astronomical features
    Finally, here is a searchable database loaded with citizen science programs in many different categories:
    Happy Science!

  • June 20, 2012 2:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The first annual CGCC picnic will be held at Schiller Woods, Site 12 on July 22, 2012 from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm.  It is an opportunity to meet members of the CGCC Board and other gifted families from all over Chicagoland.  We would love to get to know you and to share our story with you.  You do not need to be a member of CGCC or to register for the event.  It is open to all families of gifted in Chicagoland.


    Please bring a picnic for your family.  You also can bring a dessert to share if you would like.  There will be some activities to enjoy such as paper airplanes, Legos, bubbles and a treasure hunt.


    Schiller Woods is located at 8400 West Irving Park Road (west of Cumberland Ave.), near to O'hare Airport.  It can be accessed off of East River Road or Cumberland.  Click here for a map of Schiller Woods.

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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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