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Chicago Gifted Community Center

Creating connections - Creating community

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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. 

  • 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.

  • June 10, 2019 7:07 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Announcement from June 10, 2019 Argonne email . . .

    With its complexity, power, and ability to change quickly (especially in Illinois), the weather is something that captivates us all. Scientists rely heavily on computation, including supercomputers at Argonne, for the challenging task of understanding and predicting the weather. Surprisingly, the same process by which scientists attempt to model and predict the weather is a skill that can be learned by middle school students.

    As part of a curriculum project funded by the National Science Foundation, Argonne's Educational Programs will host a five-day camp on weather and computational thinking for middle school students.The camp is open to students entering 8th or 9th grade this coming school year. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the weather from the perspective of a computational scientist. They will work with data and computer models in a setting that offers insight into the unique problem-solving approach that is computational thinking

    August 5-9, 2019

    Argonne National Laboratory
    Learning Center, Bldg. 360
    9700 S. Cass Ave.
    Lemont, IL 60439

    Click here for complete details and to apply.

  • June 09, 2019 3:44 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Chicago Philharmonic web site:

    This program, presented through the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” initiative, brings side-by-side symphonic concerts to Chicago parks in local communities. Students and community members are invited to bring their instruments and collaborate with Chicago Philharmonic musicians in rehearsing and performing free concerts for members of the community and the general public. This initiative launched in 2015 with events at Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown and the Columbus Park Refectory in the Austin community. Since then we have expanded to perform at Humboldt Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, and South Shore Cultural Center.

    We are excited to bring FIVE side-by-side concerts to Chicago in the summer of 2019!

    June 21 – Humboldt Park Boathouse (with Make Music Chicago!)

    June 29 – Ping Tom Memorial Park

    July 28 – Columbus Park Refectory

    August 3 – Hamilton Park

    August 17 – Pottawatomie Park


    Schedule for each concert:

    Side by Side rehearsal – 3:00-5:00pm

    Side by Side concert – 6:00pm

  • June 05, 2019 11:12 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Interesting article out of the UK.  The independent, nearly obsessive pursuit of extreme mastery at an early age is what the author has defined as giftedness and her explanation of how that looks and feels is ever so approachable.  

    The Curse of Genius in 1843
  • May 23, 2019 6:40 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From StoryStudio Chicago 5/23/2019 email blast . . .

    Want 50% off? If you register for more than one Summer Camp, we're offering half-off the second camp!


    If you refer a young writer, the referred purchaser can also get 50% off their camp purchase. Camp is more fun when you're writing with friends.

    Register now:

    Grades 9-12: June 24-28
    Grades 5-8: July 8-12
    Grades 6-10 (Sci-Fi/Fantasy Focused): July 15-19 

  • May 09, 2019 8:29 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Thanks to our professional member, Susan Goodkin, for introducing us to  a  
    new international literary journal run by teens, Epifany Magazine. They are taking submissions now for their second issue. 

    Susan encourages all teen writers to submit their work. Susan runs the California Learning Strategies Center which provides college counseling, particularly for gifted students aiming for selective colleges. She offers webinars throughout the year discussing the college admissions process. On May 19 and 25 she is offering her First Steps: What Parents of 8th, 9th and 10th Graders Need To Know Now About Getting Into Selective Colleges seminar. See details on the Calendar.

  • May 05, 2019 7:48 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    This multi-week program is designed to engage teens ages 15-18 in place-based research. Participants will dive into the rich history of Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, practice public speaking and interview techniques, and serve as onsite interpreters during Chicago Architecture Center's annual Open House Chicago in October.

    The 2019 summer program will include visits to historic buildings and culturally-important sites throughout Bronzeville. Ambassadors will interview community members about changes in the neighborhood over time, and will write, produce and edit their own audio stories focused on these interviews.

    An application, brief interview and attendance at one of our information sessions (see dates below) are required. Space is limited and your application does not guarantee acceptance. Applications are due by Monday, June 10 at 9am.

    PRICE FREE (student who complete the program are eligible for a $500 stipend and qualify for service learning credit)

    HOURS 9am—3pm (unless otherwise noted)

    LOCATION Robert Morris University: 401 S. State St. Chicago, IL 60605


    Sunday, June 2 at 9am OR Thursday, June 6 at 6pm (information session) at CAC, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

    Wednesday, July 10—Friday, July 19 (summer sessions; class does not meet on the weekend)

    Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 2:30pm (Teen summer celebration)

    Saturday, Oct. 12 (Open House Chicago training)

    Saturday—Sunday, Oct. 19-20 (Open House Chicago weekend)

    Saturday, Oct. 26 (digital check-in, as needed)

    Saturday, December (teen programs showcase) date and time TBD

    Click here for complete details on the CAC web site.

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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