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

Welcome to Catalyst, Bright & Quirky's online program for twice exceptional kids and teens

The Catalyst program is currently on pause for Summer 2022 quarter.

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
Schoolboy playing online game on laptop at home sitting table, teenage free time

Introducing Catalyst: A Program for 2e Kids, Ages 7-15!

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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 practice social engagement, creativity and flexibility. With the support and encouragement of expert instructors, kids come out of their shell. As a result, parents report that their kids are funnier, more confident, more playful, more agreeable and spontaneous, with better social skills. The class structure lends itself to the students becoming comfortable in putting themselves out there in something new and unfamiliar. Best of all, you can’t fail in Improv. This evidence-based social interaction class is brought to you by our friends at The Miracle Project.

AGES: 7-10, 10-13

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: 10-12, 13-15. We will do our best to organize campaigns within each class by age and skill level.

Minecraft Innovation Team

At Bright & Quirky, we talk about the importance of kids connecting with others through their strengths and interests. This engaging class accomplishes exactly that, helping kids to interact with each other while doing something they enjoy. Kids on the Minecraft Innovation Team build different challenges and create unique mini-games to complete together on our private Minecraft Java server, under the supervision of high tech, innovative educators who are patient, kind and who “get” twice exceptional kids. Parents report that their kids love this class, enjoying the conversation as much as the gameplay. They say that that their kids’ sense of confidence and connection blossoms, learning new things, getting to develop their STEM skills and creativity, without overwhelm.

AGES: 8-12, 13-15. We will do our best to organize breakout groups within each class by age and skill level.

Creative Expression Lab

Bright and quirky kids can be highly creative, but it’s hard to find a safe space in which to develop that creativity. The Creative Expression Lab is a fun-filled safe space, where kids can experiment and engage in various creative development activities including music, movement, singing, composing and acting. The Lab is a place where kids feel included and accepted, with a teaching team who exudes warmth, kindness, support and encouragement. As a result, kids feel seen and heard. They don’t feel judged, even when taking creative risks and sharing their vulnerabilities. Kids learn to be supportive of each others’ self-expression, ie celebrating, complimenting, active listening, and experimenting with new ways of being flexible and innovative. This evidence-based class gets rave reviews and is brought to you by our friends at The Miracle Project.

AGES: 7-10

Executive Function Skills & Tools 1

The key to helping bright and quirky kids thrive is letting them soar with their strengths and getting support for their struggles. If your child struggles with Executive Function (EF) – time management, organization, planning, follow through or self-regulation, this engaging class is a great fit. EF Skills & Tools 1 is the perfect introduction to tools and support that will help your child develop EF skills for life. Kids participate in well-designed weekly group coaching sessions and parents receive valuable resources, giving you the language to talk about the tools and incorporate strategies into your daily routine.

Positive reinforcement from someone other than parents can bring more calm at home, and more productive conversations, as your child takes incremental steps toward independent self-management. As a result of the class, parents report seeing better organization of school work, prepping for activities in advance, more willingness to do chores, waking up on time, less resistance, and their child's increased awareness and acceptance of how their brain is uniquely wired. This impactful class is brought to you by our friends at Beyond BookSmart.

AGES: 10-12, 13-15

Meet the people behind Bright & Quirky's children's program! 

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Michael Delman, MEd

Michael Delman is an author, school founder, award-winning educator, and a pioneer and leader in the area of Executive Function coaching. He has served as CEO and founder of Beyond BookSmart, the nation’s largest Executive Function coaching company, since 2006. He has been featured in The Times of London, CBS Boston affiliate WBZ TV, and dozens of media outlets across the country. In 2018, he published his first book Your Kid’s Gonna Be Okay: Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs in the Age of Attention.
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Maina Gachugu

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.

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Elaine Hall

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.

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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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David Lott

David began playing Dungeons and Dragons over 35 years ago, and was immediately taken by the storytelling and game mechanics. Over the years, tabletop gaming has been the foundation of many of his most enduring friendships, including with his wife Jen. David has organized and run many simultaneous D&D campaigns, including one group which has played continuously for over ten years. When not running and playing in his numerous D&D campaigns, David spends his time developing fuel cell power systems for Plug Power. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and has been awarded over 20 patents covering all aspects of fuel cell technology. David has been an instructor at Satori Summer Camp teaching about fuel cells and alternative energy since 2014.

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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...

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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 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.

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.

Warmly,

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.

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

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