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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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  • 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.  

    Website

  • 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

  • February 08, 2021 7:47 AM | Katherine Peterson (Administrator)

    Mindfulness starts with self-care, especially for parents of gifted children.  Self-care is what one needs as a unique individual to stay calm, centered and working from the useful cognitive zone of your brain.  Staying out of the “too muchness” of parenting gifted children is an art and science that starts with nurturing ourselves with the qualities unique to our own personal needs.

    You may think you have to rush through dinner preparation to get to that nagging assignment that is torturing your 10-year-old.  Or perhaps, skip a needed break to fold a load of laundry.  Or even get to bed later than is good for you in order to conduct research into summer programs for your gifted children.  These small acts add up.  Do we ever catch up?  Are we ever not looking at potential schools, programs, summer plans and ideas that suit our gifted learners?  It seems we never will catch up when our attention is almost exclusively devoted to the betterment of our gifted children, yet…..  Are we present when we’re with them?  Do we negate our own needs to get that next thing done, only to find ourselves feeling overtired, stretched thin, even resentful?  Who are we serving when we attend to everything else but our own holistic needs?  

    Where to start?  There are many suggestions good for both our children and ourselves as their caregivers.  Starting with ourselves allows us to work from a place of strength, and model the qualities we like to see in our children.  Our bodies are a treasure trove of valuable information.  You might even say there are messages, such as that ache in the low back that says, “I feel vulnerable.  Take it easy today.”   Or notice that the aura of a potential headache that declares, “Too much!  I need space and some quiet.”  Or even chronic jaw tension that seems to beg, “I’m stretched too thin!”  Every person’s body declares these messages uniquely.  What are yours?  For many of us these messages can occur quietly, (like our intuition!) and are easily overlooked.  Just like that quiet feeling you had about the movie you suspected would be too scary for your sensitive child.   And was….  Your body's messages might even be overlooked at difficult demanding times, later leading to overwhelm.  If this is a common theme for you, consider taking a short break of quiet reflection to turn inward, check in, be reminded of the soothing peace that always resides within when we take time to seek it.  Skeptical?  Experiment with what works for you.  Self care needs are unique.  Just like your gifted child.

    Life can appear to demand so much of us when we are parenting children who are often a hot mess of overachievement, deeply intense, or maddeningly perfectionistic.  Maybe you too carry some of these themes common to the gifted child?  How might we help ourselves?  Does operating on overdrive support these needs?  How do we prevent ourselves from falling off the cliff of too muchness?  Would we treat a good friend the same way we treat ourselves?  Would we ignore a friend’s cry for rest, quiet, or a moment of reflection?

    These and so many other questions will be addressed and discussed with other parents of gifted children at the CGCC Books & Virtual Coffee conversation.  Our guest speaker Michele Kane, Ed.D., is a beloved CGCC mentor, educator and co-author of our current read, “Planting Seeds of Mindfulness; Creating the Conditions to Help Gifted Kids to Flourish and Bloom Intellectually, Emotionally, and Spiritually.”  You might be surprised to learn that when you model the behavior you hope to inspire in your children you are incorporating an element of mindfulness.  This modeling is an invitation that can occur gradually and naturally over time, as you emphasize the things you need to be the calm center point of your home, who supports the balance of so many of the challenges and joys of parenting gifted children.  Please join us on Thursday, February 11 at 9 am for what is sure to be a valuable conversation on Zoom.  Sign up through the CGCC website.  

  • February 06, 2021 8:18 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    The AAAS has a Periodic Table of the Elements that contains a haiku for every element!  Point them here.

  • January 30, 2021 5:47 PM | Pamela Shaw (Administrator)

    The Illinois Association for Gifted Children offers scholarship opportunities for young people annually. In addition to receiving monetary awards up to $1000, students are also recognized at the IAGC annual conference and on the IAGC website.

    This year, the window to apply for student scholarships is open between  February 5 through June 18, 2021.

    There are two scholarships for which students can apply:

    The Carol Morreale Scholarship: This $1,000 award was established in memory of Carol Morreale, an educator, early IAGC member and tireless advocate for gifted children. Funded through memorial donations, this scholarship is given to a student in grade 1 through 8 who has demonstrated excellence in language arts or math. Financial need is a consideration.

    Distinguished Student Scholarship: This scholarship provides up to $1,000 to support a student in grade 9 through 12 in an academic endeavor. Applicants must demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following areas: visual or performing arts, academic achievement or service and leadership. Financial need is a consideration.

  • January 25, 2021 9:35 AM | Katherine Peterson (Administrator)

    The secret to mindfulness is making it your own.  While breath work, meditation or other ideas may not resonate for you there are a plethora of other ways to bring more spaciousness into gifted parenting.  This little piece is a short and sweet approach to the power of mindfulness.  During this time of epic challenge when nearly everything touching our lives is complicated by worry and change we can incorporate mindfulness to bring more beauty and purpose into our family lives.  Living mindfully also models the behavior that our children mirror, and allows us all to feel the full circle benefit of our best parenting selves. 

    As parents we find ourselves overwhelmed by the demands and the intensity of raising gifted children.  Integrating self care into that picture can be a challenge while tending young people who are intellectually energetic, asynchronous, perennially inquisitive, and perfectionistic.  Meeting the needs of gifted children takes time.  It may feel like we’re always “on.”  Our bodies and minds can feel the strain and demand even when we don’t consciously allow ourselves to connect with that fact.  Always being “on” creates disequilibrium, with effects that slow us down and create imbalance in our bodies and minds.

    Many of us parent to give our children the benefit of our knowledge and life experience, though we often overlook our own self care.  In short, this doesn’t help anyone, least of all ourselves.   We know this, yet we may still find ourselves in a spiral of disfunction.  Resentment can creep in when we’re overwhelmed with the demands and intensity of guiding gifted children.  Resentment was often the sign that my life was out of balance when my children were young.  It is helpful to remember that equilibrium is not a permanent condition, and the first step to achieving balance is to acknowledge that we’ve gone awry.  LESS is an acronym for light, easy, soft, and slow.  When we have things to do and problems to solve how can less be helpful?  As counterintuitive as it sounds LESS is really the answer to finding our sweet spot again. Let me elaborate.

    When we discover that chaos has infiltrated our lives we may respond feeling panicky, stressed and blame ourselves.  Consider taking the opposite approach.   Consider being easy with yourself taking a kinder more understanding approach—think light.  No one likes or plans on being overwrought.  Hold that uncomfortable moment in a container of lightness by inviting self compassion and forgiveness.  Lightening our lives with tenderness creates space, clears the air and in time allows you to remember your best intentions.  An intentional moment of lightness lifts the burden of self blame, and reorganizes us to be present in kindness, and in greater service to our family.

    The path to ease can seem like a mirage when we’re surrounded by challenges and disorder.  Resisting the pressure of “too muchness” that feels like the theme of the day is a path to freedom.  Taking a moment, even just standing at the kitchen counter to close your eyes and exhale the perceived obligations can literally ease the tension out of our body.  Better yet, quietly sitting with eyes closed can offer great relief.  Vision takes the vast majority of our sensory energy, and taking a moment to remove yourself visually, will punctuate the day with peace.  Use the minds eye to observe the subtle qualities of your breath, and take in this moment, allowing your body to relax into breathing.  Suspend judgment and in time the breath will respond by flowing easily, evenly, and kindly.  Take as much time as you can to discover the sense of ease.  It is always there with the element of time that will bring it forth. 

    When we’ve realized a lighter more easeful approach it is a natural progression to renew our ability to be soft.  Yielding to what is may sound like an avoidant approach, but is really about being with what is in a more accepting, loving way.  The long list of things that require attention will not be shorter, but our approach can be made easier.  Finding ease in the demands of the day reminds us to prioritize and create an approach that encourages rather than disheartens.  A softer approach can really remind us of the power of what’s in our heart.  The heart yields naturally to softening (and it’s central to cardiovascular health!), and responds with warmth and intentional energy.  Feel the difference of softening throughout the day.

    The daily demands of gifted children are often conducted in hurry, and pressure.  We lose a great deal in the rush.  Of all the things that happen during demanding times, hurry may be the most challenging.  Hurry blunts our sensory input.   We tend to overlook the cues that tell us our energy is draining, overlook the suggestion that may help us be the parent we intend to be, feel disconnected from those we love, and become detached from the insight of our heart. Even when there’s much to do, and emotions are elevated, slowing down simplifies our lives, and reminds us of the power of our true presence.    Slowing down reminds us of our purpose as a parent, the commitment to model loving behavior, and to feel a more caring path toward our daily work.  Notice when you take a moment to breath you’ll naturally slow down, and the body, mind and senses are once more in sync with our purpose.  Slowing down, even when you don’t have to, is a heart warming, welcoming break from daily demands.

    Want to breath more sighs of relief?  Join co-host Violeta Balan and I on Zoom Thursday, January 28 and Thursday, February 11 with guest speaker Michele Kane, Ed.D., to enjoy in depth conversation, guided imagery and discussion about our current read for gifted parents and mindfulness for all of us.  Details on the CGCC calendar.


    Katherine Peterson

    CGCC Board Member

    Human Potential Coach

    agingpotential@me.com

  • January 07, 2021 2:06 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) announces Virtual PROMISE, a program to address the unique challenges of culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse students pursuing STEM fields at low or no cost! This program is for 7th and 8th graders, weeks weekly on Saturday mornings starting February 20th, and provides students with the opportunity to work with IMSA faculty, staff, and student mentors while exploring IMSA’s unique learning laboratory. Admission is competitive. Apply before January 15, 2021.  

    imsa.edu/admissions/promise-program

  • January 06, 2021 10:08 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Information from Argonne . . .

    Argonne’s ​IGED ​gives ​young ​female ​students ​a ​unique ​opportunity ​to ​discover ​engineering ​careers ​alongside ​world-class ​scientists ​and ​engineers. ​Participants ​will ​enjoy ​motivational ​presentations ​by ​female ​Argonne employees, ​tour ​Argonne’s ​cutting-edge ​research ​facilities, ​connect ​with ​a ​mentor, ​engage ​in ​hands-on ​engineering ​experiments, ​and ​compete ​in ​a ​team ​challenge – all designed specifically for 8th grade girls.

    While we continue to maintain everyone's safety and wellness, we will be moving the 2021 IGED to a virtual experience. Students will still be paired with mentors. Throughout the day, the students will be encouraged to participate in large and small group activities that provide them opportunities to learn about a number of STEAM careers.

    While we continue to maintain everyone's safety and wellness, we will be moving the 2021 IGED to a virtual experience. Students will still be paired with mentors. Throughout the day, the students will be encouraged to participate in large and small group activities that provide them opportunities to learn about several STEAM careers.

    Interested students need to register online by January 15, 2021. A lottery process will be used to identify the selected students. All applicants will be notified via email by January 20, 2021.

    For questions or more information about IGED email iged@anl.gov.

    Takes place: February 18, 2021

    Register by: January 15, 2021 11:59 PM

    Click here for complete details and registration.

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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. 

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

info@chicagogiftedcommunity.org

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