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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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  • July 22, 2021 8:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Story Studio Chicago web site:

    Full scholarships available.

    Do you want to create your own magical world similar to Children of Blood and Bone or Harry Potter? Does the futuristic technology in Ender’s Game inspire you to write your own sci-fi novel? If so, you belong in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writing Club!

    Over the course of eight weeks, students will generate science fiction and fantasy pieces and workshop them with the help of their peers. They will learn the differences between the genres and read the works of notable authors. Our adventure will culminate in a party where students will have the opportunity to read their works aloud.

    Each class will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central Time on Saturdays, and the course will run from August 21st through October 9th. Short readings or writing exercises may be assigned between classes.   



    • Mentor Readings: Students will read at least one piece of published creative work each class and discuss how it relates to craft and genre. 
    • Writing: Writing prompts will spark imagination, help break through blocks, and encourage new heights of creativity. After each class, Zac will have students send their work to him, and he will read, make comments, and return the work with feedback by the following class.
    • Workshopping: Students will share work and give feedback on what’s working well and what opportunities they can find in each piece. We’ll talk about where we can extend scenes and dialogue to push the narrative, how word choice can affect the piece as a whole, how to enhance the science fiction or fantasy elements, and how writers can find—and trust—their own amazing original voice. 
    • Showcase: Campers will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform their written work via Zoom. A link can be shared with friends and family members from around the globe; anyone who wants to tune in is welcome.

  • June 01, 2021 1:38 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Institute for Educational Advancement June 1, 2021 email newsletter . . .

    Please join us for an exciting Summer Spotlight as we highlight IEA youth from across the nation in a virtual talent show! Students of all ages are invited to showcase their creativity, talent and innovation through short video clips. Acts may include musical performances (instrumental or voice), dancing, skits, poetry readings, original artwork presentations, magic, science experiments, fashion design, cooking or baking, athletic feats or anything else that ignites our students’ passion. Participants may submit their talent as a solo act, or join together for a group submission. We can’t wait to applaud our talented IEA stars! Parents, grandparents and other family and friends are invited to join in the fun as audience members for the premiere of IEA’s Summer Spotlight Talent Show on Wednesday, July 14 at 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time / 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. All participants will receive a small gift.

    All registrations/submissions are due by June 30, 2021.
    Click here to register!

    Invite your family and friends to the show! Send them the following link:
    Click here for invitations!

    Please show your pride in our IEA students with a donation in support of IEA’s programs and services for gifted youth.
    Donate today!

    Questions? Please contact us at
  • April 30, 2021 12:43 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the April 30, 2021 Illinois Association for Gifted Children Quarterly Newsletter:

     2021 IAGC Scholarships:

    Applications Due June 18, 2021

    Funds and recognition available

    for Students and Educators!


    Nominate a Student or Colleague for a Scholarship Today!

    Each year, the IAGC provides 2 $1000 student scholarships and 5 awards for educators and  community members with outstanding service or outstanding contributions to the field of gifted and advanced education. All award winners are recognized at the annual IAGC Conference.

    Of special note this year is our new Promising Projects Equity Award. This award provides up to $500 to support an educator project designed with an equity lens in mind and differentiated to meet the needs of underrepresented gifted students. Award funds may be used to purchase materials or pay for field trips and project-related expenses. 

    Student Awards:

    The Carol Morreale Scholarship: This $1,000 award is given to a student in grade 1 through 8 who has demonstrated excellence in language arts or math. 

    Distinguished Student Scholarship: This scholarship provides up to $1,000 to support a student in grade 9 through 12 in an academic endeavor. 

    Educators and Community Member Awards

    Promising Projects Equity Award: This award is given to support an educator with a project/projects specifically designed with an equity lens in mind and differentiated to meet the needs of underrepresented gifted students and may be used to purchase materials or pay for field trips and project-related expenses. One award will be given each year, not to exceed a total of $500.

    Mary Ann Paradise IAGC Conference Scholarship: One scholarship is awarded each year to parents, educators or other school staff members who work with gifted children. The award provides a complimentary one-day registration to the IAGC Conference.

    Ruth Wright Professional Development Scholarship: This award was established in 1996 to provide financial support to members of IAGC who currently work in the area of gifted education. Named for early founder and first IAGC president, Ruth Wright, the award provides a complimentary one-day registration to the IAGC Conference.

    Sally Walker Distinguished Service Award: This award is given to an individual who has been in the field for more than ten years and/or IAGC for at least four years and has shown evidence of making major contributions with lasting impact on the field of gifted education. 

    Bonnie Park Leadership Legacy Award: This award recognizes an individual who works tirelessly as an advocate for gifted students. Nominees should demonstrate service excellence, going above and beyond to make a significant impact on the lives of gifted students. Application Deadline: June 18, 2021

    For more information and to apply, visit the IAGC website!

    Scholarships and Awards Webpage

  • April 25, 2021 8:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ChiTeen Lit Fest is a for-teens-by-teens gathering that aims to provide a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voice through literary arts. ChiTeen Lit Fest seeks to bring together young people from across Chicago and celebrate their talents as they express themselves through exceptional and honest art. The festival is a virtual event, for teens 13-19, and it will take place the week of May 16-22, 2021. For more details, please see here and for registration, please go here

  • April 25, 2021 6:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cinema Chicago has just announced the most expansive CineYouth Festival lineup yet with 102 international short films streaming virtually from May 6-13! Plus, for the first time ever, CineYouth will be open to audiences around the world. Tickets remain free and open to the public, so join them for the 16th CineYouth Festival!

    This year's selection spans 14 short film programs presenting a range of genres and themes including family-friendly animation in Playtime, international comedies in You Havin' a Laugh?, and Lights, Camera, Lockdown, a selection of films made during and responding to the pandemic as experienced around the world. Watch the CineYouth 2021 trailer to preview more of the program!

    For more details about this free event, please see here

  • March 02, 2021 1:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    March's issue of Symmetry, dimensions of particle physics magazine contains an article on DIY physics demos.

    From the article,

    Missing visits to the museum? Or in need of some home-school activities? Check out these five do-it-yourself physics demos!

    Read the article here.

  • February 18, 2021 11:18 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    World Science Scholars, an initiative of the World Science Festival, is a two-year program that fosters and sustains a vibrant community of outstanding math students, esteemed professors, and dedicated teaching fellows. Together, they grapple with challenging ideas and explore new disciplines in which to apply their abilities. Scholars have the unparalleled opportunity to interact directly with leading experts and join a long-lasting community of peers and mentors. 

    This program is free and open to students aged 14 - 16.  Applications are due by April 15, 2021.  


  • February 12, 2021 1:52 PM | Pamela Shaw (Administrator)

    The No Malice Film Contest - The No Malice Film Contest creates a platform for Illinois youth and young adults, ages 11-21, to explore the topic of racial healing using the medium of film. The competition is co-hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. Deadline for entries is April 30, 2021.

    The New York Times 2nd Annual STEM Writing Contest - Ages 11-19 attending middle or high school can participate. Students choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health, then write an engaging 500-word explanation. Contest Dates: Jan. 19-March 2, 2021.

    CyberStart America - A national program of online challenges that allow high school students to act as cyber protection agents, solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and exploring related topics such as code breaking, programming,networking, and digital forensics. March 8, 2021 is the cutoff date to qualify for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition through CyberStart Game - participants need to complete at least 20% of Game to qualify.

  • February 11, 2021 6:23 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    An announcement from the Chicago Philharmonic via an email on February 10, 2021 . . .

    Introducing our new Music Paths video series!

    Today, we're launching a FREE seven-part video series providing career information to young aspiring musicians. Chicago Philharmonic clarinetist and UIC educator Gene Collerd leads curious students through the many career and higher educator options connected to music. It's not just limited to music performance - the world needs passionate music producers, engineers, administrators, composers, conductors, teachers, therapists, and more!

    Check out the first video here, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for the rest of the videos!

  • February 08, 2021 11:42 AM | Pamela Shaw (Administrator)

    Guest post by Vicki Custer of the Long Grove Center, a CGCC Professional Member

    If the young people in your life seem more stressed and anxious than usual, take them seriously: Out of all age groups, Gen Z is the most stressed out by the events of the past year. School is stressful enough and adding on a once-in-a-century pandemic surely doesn’t help. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, an annual survey on stress is raising the alarm over a mental health crisis that’s gotten worse because of the pandemic and social unrest.

    Gen-Zers reported the highest levels of stress out of all age groups, with half of respondents saying that they can’t imagine planning for the future — understandably so, the survey noted, given their development stage. The survey also found that both the young and old have mentally suffered because of multiple sources of stress, among them: COVID-19′s impact, lockdowns, isolation, and the tanking economy.

    This reality has led many parents to ask: How can I support my teen’s mental health?  

    • Encourage them to share their feeling with you. It is important when they do open up to you to display empathy by using phrases like “I understand” or “that makes sense.” Many times, teens are not looking to you to solve the problem, but rather it’s enough to know you are listening and understand what they are experiencing.

    • Provide positive feedback. During this time of constant togetherness, it may be easy to notice things you may not like from your young person. Now, more than ever, it is important to practice the Praise-to-Criticism ratio. Meaning, for every negative comment, provide praise as well. This will help teens feel that you are not just criticizing their every move. 

    • Avoid power struggles. With the world so unpredictable, they might be struggling to be in control. As difficult as it may be, empathize with their desire to assert control in a scary time, rather than attempting to fight back or overpower it. 

    • Care for yourself. Showing self-care is a good way of modeling the practice for your teen. 

    Destressing Has Never Been More Convenient 

    It is more important than ever for you and your teen to engage in activities that help your brain move from a state of stress to a state of relaxation. With both parents and their teens home a lot more often due to the pandemic, taking time to relax has become easier and more convenient with commutes to physical workplaces and school out of the way. With your extra time, try some of these brain hacks:

    Deep Breathing – Practicing deep, natural breathing several times a day. When we are anxious, we are most likely shallow breathing. To improve your breathing, try this: 

    • 4-6-8 Breathing: Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of six. Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight. Repeat for two or three times.

    Journaling – Journaling about your anxiety and stress can soothe your nerves. In addition, writing leads to clear thinking and this often helps with clearer communication. Not sure where to start? Try this:  

    • Write down the factor contributing to your stress and anxiety. Remove the page from your journal. Using deep breathing, breathe out those stressors. Then throw those pages away!

    Listening to Music - Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet music. Music can act as a distraction while also helping in exploring emotions. It can be a great aid to meditation, helping the mind from wandering. Need a song recommendation? Try this: 

    • “Weightless” by Marconi Union. This track was constructed in a way to reduce heart rates and induce a feeling of calm in listeners. 

    Use of essential oils – Essential oils are scented liquids that manufacturers derive from plants, flowers, and fruits. Research shows that aromatherapy with some essential oils may help promote relaxation and relieve anxiety. Try my favorite essential oils to relieve stress: 

    • Bergamot Orange, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli Rose, Ylang-yiag. They will have you feeling relaxed in no time. 

    Yoga – Studies show that yoga is a very effective stress reliever by lifting your moods, allowing for increased mindfulness and increasing self-compassion. Want a free Yoga resource? Try this: 

    • Yoga Journal – a resource for free online videos to get you started.

    Life May be Different, but the Future is in Your Hands! 

    There’s no question that there will be a time when life will get back to normal for you and your Gen Zer. For now, taking time to manage your stress and anxiety daily is the most important thing you can do to support both yourself and your teen.

    If you, your teen or young adult are struggling with managing your anxiety, therapy may help. Give me a call at 847.821.1450

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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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