Giftedness Finds a Home
by Abby Daniels, Director of Development & Communications
“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” -Benjamin Franklin
In August of 2017, IEA’s long search to find a permanent physical space to offer our classes, workshops and meetings came to an end. By September, we opened the doors to 540 S. Marengo Avenue in Pasadena, welcoming excited students, parents and teachers into the new IEA facility.
A gorgeous craftsman structure on the historic registry, the house saw its public debut as a learning environment with an IEA Academy teacher training and a few days later, students in our Fall Academy session arrived for classes. We hosted our Gifted Support Group for the first time at the house in November and in December, nearly 50 children and parents joined us for an Open House and Tree Trimming event to celebrate the season.
IEA Academy teachers gathered for training at 540 S. Marengo.
With help from IEA team members, kids enjoy holiday craft-making at December’s Tree Trimming and Open House.
As with IEA’s programs and services, our recently acquired home is intended to provide an exploratory space to feed the minds of young intellects and nurture their personal growth as individuals. Based on the enthusiastic reception from children and parents alike, 540 S. Marengo is indeed providing that “food and fire” Benjamin Franklin said a home requires.
This enthusiasm has manifested in an outpouring of not just support but also in-kind donations of books for the library, children’s furniture, plants and flowers, office furniture and more. Students are eagerly displaying their class and personal projects to share with others and one student is even hosting his podcast series at the house.
In addition to outfitting IEA with three classroom spaces and a conference room/library, 540 S. Marengo provides office space for our program team. With high ceilings and plenty of windows offering a lot of light, the house is comfortable and airy. Parents often congregate in the library or on the porch while their children are in class, sharing resources and ideas on how best to support their gifted child.
Eager young scientists in Academy’s Brain Anatomy class are prepared for learning with their safety gear.
A student in Academy’s STEM Building class observes the results of their design, using the open space of the house to carry out her experiment.
As wonderful as 540 S. Marengo is as a learning space for our community, IEA envisions an even greater space. With the support of local foundation funders, we are planning to turn the kitchen into a science lab, complete with equipment and safety features that would allow for deep scientific and exploratory learning. Anticipated technology upgrades will enable rich, interactive discovery and allow our teachers and program team to add even more rigor to our courses.
The doors of 540 S. Marengo are always open to our gifted community. If you’re interested in a tour or looking for summer enrichment opportunities for your gifted child, we invite you to join us for our upcoming Open House on April 13th. Swing by for class demonstrations, to meet Academy teachers and for your kids to enjoy craft-making.
Have ideas for IEA’s new home? Tell us in the comments section below or email us at IEAgifted@educationaladvancement.org.