Dance Marathon ALI

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District 219 Dance Marathon: An Incredible Success!!

On behalf of SGT Staff, Parents, Students, Mentors, Board of Directors and all of our Stakeholders a heartfelt thank you goes out to District 219 (Niles North and Niles West High Schools) for their incredible fundraising efforts all year long to benefit SGT programming!!  We have had the privilege to work with some of the most amazing students and faculty that believed in our mission, experienced our program first hand and accepted, supported and encouraged every student and mentor in our program.  The bond between SGT and District 219 continued to grow throughout the year!

The students of District 219 embraced SGT from the very beginning.  Fundraising efforts immediately were underway with such activities as the Skokie Bash, Silent Art Auction, canning, candy sales, corporate donations and other creative ways to raise money throughout the year.  It was amazing to see the entire school join together in these incredible efforts!! The SGT students and mentors were also very pleased to participate in a number of these activities and had the opportunity to share their own talents through several performances from our very own Traveling Troupe.

All these efforts culminated in an all night Dance Marathon that is a collective effort of students, teachers and the entire community surrounding District 219 to raise funds for SGT.  We are astounded with a record-breaking $84,909.82 raised for our programming!  We continue to hear the chanting and screams of “SGT! SGT! SGT!” as this group of very special kids from District 219 truly opens our doors to new possibilities!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH DISTRICT 219.

To express your gratitude to District 219, please visit our Facebook Page by visiting the Special Gifts Theatre page and write your own note of thanks for these dedicated students to see!

Below you will find a wonderful article featuring this event and some great pictures we wanted to share with you of the Dance Marathon!






SGT Introduces First Summer Program  “Creativity in Motion”!

Students bring stories to life through movement and music.  This class will enhance personal growth for children and teens with special needs on multiple levels. To view the full pdf of this brochure go to the home page and click on “Join the Cast”.










“The Wizard of Neverland” Sprinkles  Magic!

What a fabulous show displayed by our Creative Drama students and buddies! We had over 130 audience members in attendance, several appearances from the media and a performance that warmed the hearts of all our guests.  It has been a wonderful journey, as we all learned that dreams can become realities and magic can happen everyday! Below are some pictures from this show and watch for more to come!









Pinstripes a Success!

Thank you to all of our students, mentors, parents, staff, families and friends that made this event a success!  We had over 100 attendees and raised over $2,000 for SGT programs!  A special thank you to our Corporate Sponsors: Von Tobel Family, Studio 41 and BMO-Harris Bank. Your support is greatly appreciated!  Be sure to check back as we add more pictures and try to add a video of the wonderful performance by our SGT Traveling Troupe!

Pinstripes Corporate Sponsors


(Buddy Level $500)



(Pals Level $250)





















































Congratulations to our own, Peter tenBrink! Peter what a fabulous “hallmark” performance! You will always be a star in our hearts and remind us of the value and difference we make at SGT each and everyday!



Peter tenBrink, as Mike TeaVee, in SGT’s production of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory


SUNDAY, JAN. 29TH  9:00pm/8:00pm CENTRAL ON ABC
John Corbett (“Sex and the City,” the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “November Christmas”) stars in the inspiring story of a high school football coach and special-education teacher who worked to achieve an impossible dream — to take a class of special-education students to NASA’s Space Camp — in the new Hallmark Hall of Fame film, “A Smile as Big as the Moon,” premiering SUNDAY, JAN. 29 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. The movie is based on the memoir of the same title, written by teacher Mike Kersjes with Joe Layden.

In the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, many of the special-ed students were played by young actors who are, indeed, “special,” with Down syndrome, autism and learning disabilities. The film was shot in Wilmington, NC and at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

This Hallmark movie features Peter tenBrink. UpS for DownS ran an article about Peter’s desire to become an actor back in January 2010. Read it at the link below on p. 7. Libraries/Documents/Jan_10_ Newsletter.sflb.ashx