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
Introducing Catalyst: A Program for 2e Kids, Ages 7-18!
Catalyst classes are designed especially with bright and quirky kids in mind. We've searched high and low for the best instructors who really 'get' our twice exceptional (2e) kids. Our instructors understand that your child needs intellectual engagement and certain supports at the same time.
The Catalyst program is designed with the following guidelines in mind: Be kind, be respectful, show your integrity, and ask for help when you need it.
Check out all that's on offer below.
Your bright & quirky tribe awaits!
Browse the listing below and enroll your child in the online class(es) they find most intriguing:
Improv for Interaction
I need an occupation... a place... and two different types of aquatic mammals. Sound strange? Not in Improv! Improvisational acting (or Improv) games are a fun and effective way to teach and shape social engagement. These games rely on quick thinking, verbal skill, creativity, and enthusiasm. Research indicates that Improv games are effective in teaching prosocial behavior, emotional resilience, cognitive flexibility, self-expression, and creativity. In past sessions, 80% of parents reported an increase in their child's confidence and social initiative as a result of participating in this class.
AGES: 7-10, 10-12, 13-18
Dungeons & dragons
Is your child interested in fantasy, storytelling, or adventure? Dungeons & Dragons fosters peer connections and the development of social skills, mathematical thinking, executive function, and problem-solving skills. Kids who play D&D get to exercise their creativity while collaborating with others in an immersive, engaging environment. In this class, your child will be guided through the basic rules of the game, create their first character and play in a small-group campaign led by experienced game masters. Let’s roll!
No prior experience required.
AGES: 8-18. We will do our best to organize campaigns within each class by age and skill level.
Minecraft Innovation Team
Is your Minecraft player chomping at the bit to build cool creations on a private Bright & Quirky server? Students will be coached by Minecraft educators who understand twice exceptional students. Your child will work cooperatively and collaboratively with other participants on the same Java Minecraft server in 1.5 hour sessions in this 10-week class. Each day they will build different challenges and create unique mini-games to complete together. The innovation team is a fabulous way to make friends through shared interests, learn to work together and compromise, and give and receive feedback, while increasing Minecraft skills.
AGES: 8-18. We will do our best to organize breakout groups within each class by age and skill level.
Executive Function Skills & Tools
Do you ever feel like your bright child is brimming with potential but their executive function challenges hold them back? Start the school year strong by teaching them essential life skills that will serve them well in their academic career and beyond. Executive function lags may present as inconsistent grades, difficulty planning, organizing and turning in homework, difficulty managing and estimating time, and/or trouble completing tasks. Our friends at Beyond BookSmart have curated the exact tools needed to build the skills of executive function. This ten-week program is an introduction to several of the most important tools and skills twice exceptional students need to be successful in their transition to the new school year. Meetings will be 60 minutes of engaging, useful, practical executive function tools and skill-building that will aid in their success.
AGES: 10-13, 14-18
Is your child a "creative" who shines on stage? Or is your child shy, looking for a safe space to dabble in self expression? Either way, join this creative expression group to enhance flexibility, spontaneity, and self-confidence through physical activity, vocal exercises, mindfulness, and group acting activities. Brought to you in partnership with our friends at The Miracle Project.
Meet the people behind Bright & Quirky's children's program!
Michael Delman, MEd
Maina has been teaching 6th grade for over six years in Kent, Washington. He has a passion for community involvement, so you can usually catch him helping out at after-school events. Maina runs an annual Minecraft Club using Minecraft: Education Edition for the last three years in Kent, focusing on collaborative play and Game-Based Learning. He also is a Professional Learning Specialist for Insight 2 Execution (i2e). Additionally, he is a Graduate student at the University of Washington's iSchool, working towards a Master's of Library and Information Science degree. Maina hopes to make gaming more prevalent in education as a mode of learning, not just entertainment. Maina lives with his partner and puppy in Seattle, loving learning, games, and the outdoors.
Elaine Hall, The Miracle Project's Founder & Executive Artistic Director, has been referenced by The New York Times as “the child whisperer” and is a pioneer in using theater and movement practices as a portal for connection among individuals with autism and related disabilities. Elaine was a top Hollywood acting coach when her adopted son was diagnosed with autism. When traditional behavioral therapies did not work for him, she developed an innovative methodology combining mindfulness and the expressive arts with what she was learning from autism experts, Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Dr. Ricki Robinson, and Dr. Barry Prizant. The 2008 Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, AUTISM: The Musical profiles Elaine’s early work with The Miracle Project, which has since been deemed evidence-based and is now being replicated nationally and internationally.
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.
Jen Lott, MS
Jen is a Mental Health Counselor who works with university students in Spokane, Washington. She has been an instructor and counselor at Satori Summer Camp since 2003, and prior to that was a Satori camper herself. She began playing Dungeons & Dragons over ten years ago after meeting her husband David, and now she runs and plays D&D games both as part of her counseling work and as a personal hobby.
What People are Saying...
"The teachers were very good. They were able to tune into the intellectual level of the kids and then engage the learning in a way that challenged the kids. Also the teachers were extremely encouraging and understood the importance of specific and honest feedback. I believe the kids opened up more due to them feeling a connection with the teachers."
— Parent of an Improv for Interaction Student
"It is a safe environment where one is surrounded by others with the same interest and same struggles. Something very hard to find."
— Parent of a Minecraft Innovation Team Student
"This class is a wonderful introduction to various aspects of executive function with corresponding lessons and breathing techniques. The lessons are spot-on, the environment is non-judgmental and extremely supportive. Reluctant participants are given time to get comfortable. Kids participate when they are ready."
— Parent of an Executive Function Student
"The class has a good program that encourages children to participate. It is designed to make children just be happy, feel accepted while they express their creativity. They do not feel judged and even when the children share their vulnerabilities, the teachers try to make them feel heard."
— Parent of a Creative Expression Student
Ready for an adventure?
Let's create a magical oasis, with amazing mentors, friendship, and lightbulb moments for our 2e kids!
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 continue to iterate here: Catalyst, a one-of-a-kind program 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.
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. The instructors are simply a dream team.
I look forward to meeting you and seeing the sparkle in your child's eyes, as we learn together.
Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Founder, Bright & Quirky
Frequently Asked Questions
Think of the Catalyst program like online after school classes 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.