Social Interaction & Intellectual Engagement with Like-Minded Peers, Guided by Expert Mentors Who Get Bright & Quirky Kids

Catalyst is an all-inclusive online social enrichment club for twice exceptional kids and teens

Enrollment is now closed. Join the waitlist and we will notify you when enrollment reopens.

Parents, if your child faces these challenges, you're in the right place...

  • Difficulty finding intellectually compatible peers who share similar interests
  • Difficulty finding teachers who 'get' twice exceptional kids
  • Difficulty feeling engaged or motivated
  • Difficulty finding highly qualified and inspiring mentors
  • Craving social connection and productive use of time while sheltering in place
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Introducing Catalyst!

Structured social engagement, intellectual stimulation, and experienced 2e mentors for bright & quirky kids ages 8-18. 

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Think of Catalyst as an online social enrichment club where your bright & quirky child learns really cool things, explores new interests, connects with their tribe, and gets mentoring from the best 2e teachers around! Our instructors understand that your child needs intellectual engagement and certain supports at the same time.

Check out all that's on offer below.

Enrollment is now closed. Join the waitlist and we will notify you when enrollment reopens.

Your search for like-minded 2e peers and mentors is over!

These one-of-a-kind weekly, ongoing clubs are included in your membership:

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Minecraft 2e Special Interest Group (SIG)

Lead Instructor: Mark Henkels, Ages 8-18. Meets Tuesdays at 3:15pm Seattle/6:15pm New York/Wed 8:15am Sydney.

Does your child like playing Minecraft? If so, they'll fit right in our Minecraft Special Interest Group. Your child will receive a weekly challenge to build in their own world and then come share and learn in a Zoom breakout session with new friends. Each session has an adult moderator and teen Minecraft mentor. Once kids present their creation, other kids naturally have questions and want to learn how they did it. What results is a passionate discussion among kids who all enjoy Minecraft. This is a fabulous way to make friends through shared interests, work on presentation skills, give and receive feedback, and up-level Minecraft skills.

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Mathorama with Ms. Math

Instructor: Rachel McAnallen, PhD. Ages 8-13. Meets Fridays at 3:15pm Seattle/6:15pm New York/Sat 8:15am Sydney. 

Has your child every done 'math art?' It's a unique combination of math and art, taught by an amazing teacher of gifted and 2e kids. Enjoy monthly units, made of 4 lessons each that increase in complexity throughout the month. Make origami out of paper plates, create your own hands-on math puzzles, and create intricate line designs using a pencil and protractor. Kids will hardly notice learning math concepts while they create their designs! There will be a simple materials list for each month's unit. Stay after class and connect with Ms. Math and classmates.

 

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Speech & Debate Club

Instructor: Samuel Young. Ages 13-18. Meets Wednesdays at 4:15pm Seattle/7:15pm New York/Thurs 9:15am Sydney.

Students, have you ever thought about how to persuade or convince someone to agree with your line of thinking? It's a powerful life skill! Learn how to create a sound argument, use active listening, logic and address objections to develop your speech and debate skills!  Join 2e educator Samuel Young, who has coached debate students at both State and National levels. This club will focus on both skill development and social interaction with bright and quirky peers. Join us to develop your powers of persuasion! They may just come in handy when advocating for yourself in life and school.

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Let's Talk! and Let's Talk for Teens! Weekly Conversation Groups

Instructors: Mike Cantlon, MEd and Ava Sharifi.

Ages 8-12 meet Mondays at 3:15pm Seattle/6:15pm New York/Tuesday 8:15am Sydney.

Ages 13-18 meet Thursdays at 4:15pm Seattle/7:15pm New York/Friday 9:15am Sydney.

What would it be like to just be accepted as yourself, find like-minded friends, and discuss meaningful topics, all at the same time? Find out in this weekly conversation group with Mike Cantlon, of Satori camp fame, and Ava Sharifi. This is a weekly check-in for deep thinking and social connection. So important, especially during social distancing! Join anytime, we can't wait to see you! 

 

Little girl playing with her homemade planetarium as she holds an astronaut and spacecraft. Arms raised as she flies them over the planets.

STEM Club 

Instructor: Chris Kobus, PhD. All ages. Meets Thursdays at 3:15pm Seattle/6:15pm New York/Friday 8:15am Sydney.

Many bright and quirky kids are naturally inclined towards STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and math, yet very few schools offer a dedicated STEM program. Join instructor Chris Kobus for a weekly STEM learn and challenge in which students learn key STEM concepts, design their own creations, complete tasks, run simulations, and share them with a like-minded community of 2e peers. Chris is not only a university STEM professor, but also a Dad to 7 kids!

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Remarkable Mentors: Conversations for Bright & Quirky Kids & Teens

Various experts. All ages. Monthly, ongoing. Included in Catalyst membership.

Many of you have been waiting and it's finally here! Introducing monthly conversations with the amazing roster of Bright & Quirky experts, geared specifically to 2e kids and teens.  It's so inspiring to hear from bright & quirky adults who have made sense of their journey and have important messages to share with those growing into their unique selves. Our first talks include some 2e rock stars like Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD and Jonathan Mooney. So inspiring!

Your bright & quirky tribe awaits!

Join for less than the cost of one piano or sports lesson per week.

Money Back Guarantee

Your child would be lucky to get any one of these amazing 2e mentors. With Catalyst, they can be mentored by the whole team!  

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Mike Cantlon, MEd

Mike Cantlon has dedicated his career to improving the learning environment of gifted and talented students and to helping people better understand the unique needs of highly capable children. He created a college campus residential summer camp for gifted students grades 6-12 called Satori. In Spokane Public Schools, Cantlon was instrumental in the identification of highly capable students, he taught in the Tessera Program, and was also the chair of a gifted education task force resulting in the Odyssey Program. He has been an adjunct instructor at Eastern Washington University and works collaboratively with the Gifted Education Center at Whitworth University.
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Mark Henkels

Mark has been and continues to be a middle school math teacher for over 20 years in New York state. He's been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 5 years and a Minecraft Global Mentor for 2 years. He lives with his wife, middle school age daughter, and elementary age son in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

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Chris Kobus, PhD

Professor Krzysztof (Chris) Kobus has been teaching full-time at Oakland University since 1998. His field of interest is in the thermal-fluid sciences including topics like conventional and alternative energy, energy conservation, phase change phenomena, and experimental and theoretical techniques associated with fluid thermal processes. As the Director of Outreach, Recruitment and Retention for the OU School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS), he hosts K-12 summer STEM camps and STEM field trips and Saturday workshops during the academic year. He has been doing K-12 outreach in addition to his faculty duties for almost 12 years. He and his wife are raising their 7 children including one on the spectrum.

Jonathan

Jonathan Mooney

I’m a dyslexic writer, speaker, and do-gooder who did not lean to read until 12 years old.  I faced a number of low expectations growing up—was told I would flip burgers, be a high school dropped out and end up in jail. Needless to say there hopeful prophecies didn’t come to pass. Opposed to being a high school drop out I became a college graduate from Brown university with an honors degree in English lit; instead of flipping burgers I ended up writing books, the first of which I wrote at the end of the 23 as an undergrad; And instead of becoming an inmate I become an advocate creating organizations and initiatives that help people who get the short end of the stick.

I’ve won many awards for all of this —The Harry S. Truman fellowship for public services, Finalist for a Roads Scholarship, LA Achievement award from The Lab school of Washington where I shared the stage with Vice President Joe Biden—and been featured in/on HBO, NPR, The New York Times, NBC, Fast company, and many other media outlets.  But what I’m most proud of is not that I proved some people how doubted me wrong—but that I proved the many people—my mom, a teacher named Mr. R, my wife Rebecca—right, not just about my potential but about the potential for all of us who live and learn differently.

Rachel

Rachel McAnallen, PhD

Known simply as Ms. Math to children across the country, Dr. Rachel McAnallen has devoted her life to sharing the joy and beauty of mathematics with learners of all ages. A professional educator for more than 60 years, she travels the globe teaching her subject at every grade level. Recently Rachel has co-authored with Carol Williams, children’s math books and teaching manuals that accompany the books. A life-long learner, Rachel approaches the world around her with a boundless curiosity and a playful sense of humor that is reflected in her teaching style. She believes that mathematics is a language to be spoken, a music to be heard, an art to be seen, and a dance to be performed.

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Ava Sharifi

Ava Sharifi is a recent Political Science graduate from the University of Washington and progressive youth activist. Since a young age, she has been passionate about politics, law, activism, and academia, her first experience being the Occupy Wallstreet movement while still in middle school. Later on, she was deeply involved with speech and debate competitions, consistently ranking top three in Washington state four years in a row. In college, she took a quarter off to work for Bernie Sanders in Washington D.C. as a legislative intern, forever marking her desire to work in politics. Overall, her passions revolve around criminal justice, immigration, income inequality, human rights, civil justice, and environmental policy.

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Jessica Sudler

Jessica Sudler is Bright & Quirky's children's program coordinator and is the 'air traffic controller' who keeps the Catalyst program humming along. In addition to all the magic she does behind the scenes, you might see Jess running tech on a class, facilitating, or answering your emails. Before joining Bright & Quirky, Jess worked for a global education technology company in China. She's also working on her masters degree in Project Management. Jess lives in Florida, loves coffee and travel.

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Samuel Young

Samuel Young is a growth-minded, two-time Fulbright scholar with a decade of educational leadership experience. He is the founder, 2e educator and director of Young Scholars Academy LA, a Santa Monica based enrichment center. He has a tremendous understanding of, experience in, and respect for all things related to education.

Enrollment is now closed. Join the waitlist and we will notify you when enrollment reopens.

What People are Saying...

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Catalyst includes:

Weekly, ongoing enrichment clubs designed with twice exceptional kids in mind:

  • Minecraft Special Interest Group
  • Mathorama with Ms. Math
  • Speech & Debate Club
  • STEM Club
  • Let's Talk! Conversation Groups
  • Monthly Remarkable Mentor Talks

Ready for an adventure?

Let's create a magical oasis, with amazing mentors, friendship, and lightbulb moments for our 2e kids!

Hi Friends,

When I started Bright & Quirky, I only had parent education in mind. It's been my absolute joy getting to know our member families around the globe and learning more about your needs, from Nashville to Norway. I am moved by your stories and want to use Bright & Quirky's connections and know how to tailor unique programming for your kids and teens.

When Coronavirus hit, we knew we had to rise to the challenge. We tried a number of different kids classes, and ran a number of experiments, some successful and some not so much.

The result is the unique program we're introducing here: Catalyst, a one-of-a-kind social enrichment community for bright and quirky kids and teens, crafted with your unique child's needs in mind.

Catalyst is a bold experiment, just like our flourishing IdeaLab was over a year ago.

The families who join Catalyst now will help us co-create it. You'll be invited to share your thoughts and insights in our monthly brainstorm coffee. Our parent community is incredible!

It's exciting! We have the opportunity to create a magical oasis for our kids where they're accepted for who they are and their minds will be sparked with new possibilities by some of the most enthusiastic and competent 2e mentors I have ever met.

So what's on offer? We're offering a collection of enrichment clubs, guided by a dream team of master 2e instructors. (Can I just say, I love my job? It's been a blast designing this child and teen program with these soulful sages and our brilliant community).

When you enroll, your child can access all of the clubs that are appropriate to their age and stage.

I hope you give Catalyst a try. The membership fee will never be this low again and you can cancel it at any time.

Just click the button to join and I’ll see you on the inside!

Warmly,

Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Founder, Bright & Quirky

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catalyst Kids & Teen Program?

Think of Catalyst like an all-inclusive collection of afterschool clubs, geared specifically for twice exceptional kids; bright kids with social, emotional and/or learning challenges. We've hand-picked the best instructors who are lauded for their engaging style and expertise in our uniquely wired kids. They will help your child identify his or her own budding potential.

Is Catalyst membership per family or per child?

Each Catalyst membership is per child. 

Are we able to use insurance, a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Spending Account?

While Bright & Quirky does not handle billing for any insurance, HSA's or FSA's, please check with your specific plan to see if you can get reimbursement or coverage. We have members who ARE getting reimbursed by their healthcare plans for this social recreation program.

What is your cancellation policy?

You can cancel your monthly Catalyst subscription anytime and your card will not be charged again. Simply reach out to support@brightandquirky.com and we are happy to help!

How do I become a member of Catalyst?

To become a member of Catalyst, simply click the button below to join. We can't wait to see you on the inside!

What if I have more questions?

We're happy to help! Just email support@brightandquirky.com.

Enrollment is now closed. Join the waitlist and we will notify you when enrollment reopens.

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