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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. 

  • October 26, 2019 3:02 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Excerpt from the 36th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival web site.

    The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival aims to set an internationally-recognized standard of excellence in film for children and youth.

    We strive to support the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers by showcasing international films of the highest quality and awarding prizes in multiple categories of production formats and genres. The film experiences of young viewers are deepened through a broad range of programs which extend Festival film viewing into discussion and learning.

    The Festival is the oldest children’s film festival in the Western Hemisphere and is the largest and first Oscar-qualifying children’s film festival in the world.

    The 36th annual Festival runs from November 1—November 10, 2019 at multiple Chicago-area venues and presents on average 250 new films from 40 countries along with workshops, director presentations, and seminars.

    The Festival is presented by Facets, a nonprofit that connects people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences.

  • October 19, 2019 11:23 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the 'Continuing and Community Education' section of the Columbia College  web site . . .

    New Saturday Pre-College Program Announced

    Beginning in February 2020, Columbia College Chicago will be introducing its new Semester at Columbia pre-college program for creative high schoolers. Taking place on Saturdays over 8 weeks, Semester at Columbia will give Chicago-area teens the opportunity to explore their creativity and earn college credit that can be used toward their degree. All courses will be taught by our industry-active faculty. More details coming soon.

  • October 05, 2019 9:23 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    At 2 Days of 2e Virtual Conference learn about:

    • emotion regulation
    • classroom strategies
    • looking at 2e through a trauma informed lens
    • why gifted brains differ from neurotypical brains
    • asynchronous development
    • overexcitabilities
    • learning and teaching strategies
    • social awareness for tweens and teens
    • racial and cultural considerations, and...
    2 Days of 2e Speaker Sessions


    Watch anytime, anywhere! We are on-line.
    Gain access to amazing 2e Resources in our VIRTUAL Exhibitor Hall.
    Connect with others like you - parents, educators and clinicians - in our Discussion Forums.

    Groups of 5+ enjoy 10% off!

    Click here for complete details and registration.
  • September 24, 2019 12:15 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Get a taste of their Fall enrichment courses for free from September 30th-October 6th.

    They have after school, weekend, and homeschool options at 1164 N. Milwaukee, right off the 90/94 in Chicago.

    Gifted-specific programs:

    • Gifted Social Skills group for grades 1-6, for just $90 for 9 weeks. 
    • 2E Language Arts weekly class with a teacher that has 45 years of SPED experience - it may be the 1st of it's kind in the state?

    Other Enrichment: 

    The Math Circle for Grades 1-4 is always free. You will find the rest of the programs reasonably priced. They have Latin, experimental archaeology, a private math team that will let you drop in for your AMC8, an experimental outdoor math education class. A lego/robotics team, a family American Folk class, 4H, and Art and Science Experiential learning through field trip and class work. 

    Learn more here:

  • September 19, 2019 11:01 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    CGCC is co-sponsoring a Kids Climate Summit to be held at the Illinois Math and Science Academy on May 2, 2020.  

    The Kids Climate Summit is an opportunity for students to explore issues pertaining to climate change; formulate ideas, suggestions, approaches and perhaps even solutions, and then present these to those concerned about climate issues! Learn more here.

    We are accepting group pre-registrations now. Proposals will be due December 10. Get your groups together today. We are also actively seeking sponsors, climate visionaries and influencers, and summit volunteers. Contact us if you have any leads or are interested:

  • September 15, 2019 9:26 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    News on a new CPS selective enrollment school . . .

    Sor Juana is an exciting new public elementary school located on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Offering PreK-4th grade in the year 2020, Sor Juana will grow a grade every year, eventually reaching PreK-8th in 2025. Sor Juana offers both selective enrollment Classical and STEAM Magnet curricula, which provide focused and accelerated academic programming to our students. Sor Juana is a one-of-a-kind school community that strives to provide rigorous, engaging instruction that supports the unique talents, skills, and interests of each student. We focus on teaching the whole child in an academically advanced environment and aim to build a community that promotes collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity while celebrating the diversity of the students, families, staff, and community. The selective enrollment application process opens September 30th: More details on Sor Juana Elementary can be found here: Please reach out to Principal Kehr with questions:

  • September 12, 2019 11:11 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    IAGC has 5 different scholarships for teachers and other educators  which provide either a day at the annual conference at no charge, or a cash reward.  Won't you take a moment to nominate the fantastic teachers in your life?

  • September 07, 2019 3:20 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Gifted families in Chicago have a fierce advocate in Irene Gottlieb, who has mounted an intense push in the last two years for Chicago Public Schools to meet the needs of their gifted student population. “This is a matter of equity, and it’s huge,” she said in a recent interview. “People need to band together to achieve change. It’s not going to come from small numbers.”

    Motivated by the frustrating experience her daughter, now 10, had with her public school’s reluctance to provide instruction at her level, Gottlieb began attending CPS board meetings, researching education policy, filing Freedom of Information requests (most of which were denied) and advocating for gifted students in CPS.  Her frustrations also led her to found MAGE, Midwest Academy for Gifted Education (MAGE), a non-profit private school. MAGE has been blogging about CPS and State policies toward the gifted.

    The bulk of her work has focused on pushing CPS to implement a policy as required by the 2017 Accelerated Placement Act, which requires all public schools in the state to provide early entry to kindergarten and first grade if the parent or a teacher request it, and to allow students who are able to skip a whole  grade or skip a grade in a particular subject. CPS had no district-wide policy to address gifted children. A year after the state required schools to have a written policy, CPS had deferred implementing the law, Gottlieb said. One of her successes was to contribute to mobilize the gifted community to attend the two hearings CPS scheduled on drafting a policy for the law. “The South Side really brought it,” she said of one of the hearings, which was held at a CPS office on the South Side. “We had at least 50 people there.”

    Gottlieb counts as victories the fact that CPS finally wrote a policy, even if it’s partial; expanding their policy for early kindergarten to match the early first grade policy; to allow for acceleration in any school, including the selective enrollment schools, and cutting the number of qualifying tests and GPA required to apply for grade skipping. Much work remains to be done, and people can sign up to stay informed or to help with the advocacy at

    She encourages more gifted families to get involved, and she urges gifted families from outside Chicago to attend public hearings: “If CPS balks on this, then other school districts will balk, too. It creates a precedent for the whole country as this is the 3rd largest district,” she warned.

    “The gifted are a minority. We like to keep our heads down,” Gottlieb said. “I get it—two years ago I was like that. But if you don’t speak up, no one else will.”

  • September 05, 2019 10:14 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Catherine Gruener, one of our professional members, has pointed out this free resource for anyone struggling with discipline issues. She says:

    For your out-of-the-box training for the next 10 days with my friend Dayna D Abraham. For all of my parents and friends who support differently wired want this free training. So, I'm going to tag you in this really really want to see this and share this! 

  • September 02, 2019 7:39 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    This is an interesting discussion on the role that a college, particularly a community college, can plan in the life of a high school student.

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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