Follow Us

Chicago Gifted Community Center

Creating connections - Creating community

In Chicago and the suburbs            

Log in


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. 

  • 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.

  • August 22, 2019 9:19 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    You know it, you love it, you had better buy early!  Don’t miss the highlight of the Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series where multiple scientists each try their hardest to impress and dazzle you in just 10 minutes as they compete for the title of Slam Champion!  Previous contenders have used Elvis impersonations, claymation, rap, and Dr. Who references to make the most compelling case.  Who will be this year’s winner? (Fermilab website)

    Fermilab's Physics Slam VIII takes place on November 15, 2019, but tickets for this popular event usually sell out in August each year. As of today, tickets still are available, but make your purchase soon. Complete details here.

  • August 19, 2019 9:27 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Do you have a fourth grader this year?  Have you heard about the National Parks Foundation initiative called "Every Kid in a Park?"  All fourth graders receive a free pass to all national parks and monuments for the entire school year (and the following summer)!  Learn more here:

  • July 06, 2019 6:49 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From filmmaker Tom Ropelewski:

    Happy Summer! I'm excited to announce that I'm partnering with Debbie Steinberg Kuntz of to host the very first FREE ONLINE SCREENING OF "2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL." The film will be available for viewing from July 11-18, followed by an online Panel Discussion with myself and Special Guests on Thursday July 18 at 10 AM PST.

    To sign up and receive your FREE MOVIE ACCESS CODE please visit here:

    This should be fun! I hope you'll join us!

    Best wishes,


  • June 21, 2019 8:45 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    This morning I read the Belin Blank Institute's Visions Newsletter.  Belin Blank,  a part of the University of Iowa, is dedicated to the advancement of gifted children. They are the ones who published A Nation Deceived 15 years ago and it's followup A Nation Empowered more recently.  This was a study of the use and effectiveness of acceleration as an approach for educating gifted children.  It was eye-opening as their research proved the the common wisdom prevalent in the educational community - that acceleration was harmful to children - was unfounded. While acceleration is not necessarily the best way to support all gifted students, it is certainly one of the most cost effective and thus one of the most accessible.  Gifted programs for all children would still be preferable, but not readily achievable.  

    Belin Blank created the Iowa Acceleration Scale years ago. This instrument is still in use. It helps educators and parents evaluate whether a a student is a good candidate for whole grade acceleration. They have now formed The Acceleration Institute,  to further their research into this area, and look at alternative types of acceleration. They have a page on their website which explains the 20 types of acceleration that could be useful to gifted students that I think could be helpful to parents evaluating how to address their child's educational needs:

  • June 12, 2019 10:05 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Founding CGCC board member Lauren Callaway has a lovely blog that is worth a read!  She calls it "Zebras not Horses." Her latest post is about team sports and the gifted kid.

  • June 10, 2019 8:32 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    News from our professional member, Greenfields Academy:

    All ages are invited to join us at Greenfields on Saturday morning, June 15, for this free concert!

    Animal Farm is a group of musician-educators who perform original songs and sketches for children and families. Inspired by the challenges and triumphs of the children they have taught, David Ladon (Farmer Dave) and Seth Adams (The Sheriff) write songs exploring themes of social and emotional learning, community, and self-expression through the eyes of our furry, feathered, scaly, and shell-dwelling friends. Blending music, educational comedy, and audience participation, they bring their energetic live performances to libraries, parks, schools, and other cultural institutions throughout Illinois.

    They are recording their new video live at this show, so bring your best energy and you might be the next music video superstar. Doors open at 10:30 am, concert starts at 11 am. Media waivers will be provided at the door.

    Never heard of Animal Farm?

    Check out their most recent video, The Abyss, which just happens to star three Greenfields staff members. Farmer Dave, aka our After School Coordinator, is an obvious one, but can you spot the other two?

    Watch the Video

    Fall Admissions @ Greenfields

    Know someone who's still deciding about schooling for the fall? Invite them to attend this concert -- we will have staff members on hand to give tours and talk about Greenfields! A few spaces remain for Fall 2019.

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. 

Become a member

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. 

Contact us

© Chicago Gifted Community Center

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software