… that he didn’t, didn’t already have. These lyrics from Tin Man by America are the perfect analogy for Deep Root Center’s daily interactions and philosophy. Many students come to us believing they are failures, are dumb, and don’t have a bright future, simply, because they don’t fit into the straight edged, inflexible little boxes society has been, unsuccessfully, trying to force them into.
Most of our new student members, as a result, are often bewildered and lost, and, unable to articulate — what makes them happy, the subjects or themes they are interested in learning about, or, for that matter, a defined goal they would like to pursue. They do not immediately comprehend that their dreams and desires, intellect, natural empathy, intrinsic talents, and spunk, are, simply, hidden in plain view, waiting to be revealed to themselves and the world.
Eventually, this safe space, where mentors and peers are willing to listen closely, without judgement, and, offer suggestions, focus on their strengths, as well as recognize accomplishments, and, thank them for their contributions, is where they are able to build confidence and allow their brilliantly authentic selves to shine through for all to see.
DRC NEWS DRC will be back in session Monday, February 27, after our Mid-Winter break. Seedlings Program Our Seedlings will be focusing on the world of science during the month of March. If you are looking for a dynamic educational setting for your young elementary aged child, where they are encouraged to ask questions and seek out answers, where play is at the center of every learning experience, and where each child is accepted for who they are, please get in touch. Spring-Break Workshops – April 17-21 DRC staff and volunteers are offering Spring Break programing. We will provide days filled with music, art, creative play, as well as cooperative games, and outside activities (dependent on weather). Please get in touch to register your child for the whole week or for individual days. We are limited to twelve kids each day. OPT OUT Deep Root Center offers a safe space to Public School students who would like to Opt-Out of state testing. We charge a small fee of $5/day to cover resources and materials available to your child while they are here. Please get in touch. You can also learn more about the Opt Out movement here.
… at the DRC Caribbean inspired fundraising event this past Thursday. As the date grew closer, my anxiety allowed for a handful of simple goals --- raising a few dollars, eating some exotic food, and enjoying good company. It would not be hyperbole to say, those unambitious expectations were, in fact, exceeded beyond my wildest imagination.
I am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of generosity from our guests, who purchased tickets to the meal, and, then, bid liberally on the silent auction items. I am grateful for the commitment of the DRC students and their families who spent time organizing, taking photos, and setting up the venue. Thank you to Peggy Sue Levato, at SUNY Canton, for placing the Alumni House and her services at our disposal. As always, I am indebted to the dedication and phenomenal energy of the DRC Board who ushered this kernel of an idea, they had back in August, to fruition.
We raised over $1700.00 --- most definitely more than a few dollars. This is due, in large part, to the success of our silent auction. Board member, Karen Gagne, has earned my deep gratitude for her intrepid leadership and gentile persistence in coordinating the donations. Thank you to all of the businesses and individualswho said, “yes”, to her requests for contributions.
Thanks to the immensely talented Chef Deborah, from Trinisoul/Simply Caribbean of NYC, and her bevy of hastily recruited sous chefs, the cuisine was absolutely sublime!
The tone of the evening was enriched by heartfelt and meaningful conversations, as well as genuine and sincere camaraderie.
Our student members, as I mentioned at the dinner, guide everything we do. DRC is the junction where self-determination and true learning are born, as a result of their interests, needs, and passions being met with kindness, respect, trust, encouragement, advice, and, simple affirmations. I am delighted to have the opportunity, such as this (event and blog), to celebrate their successes and share their stories and experiences with you, our greater community, who are deeply engaged and invested in our mission.
Thank you – all.
DRC NEWS DRC is on mid-winter break. We will be back in session Monday, February 27th.
… is another one of those deceptively simple words that literally encompasses the foundational philosophy of the Deep Root Center community. The first questions I ask every new member, by their very nature, invite each of us to share our true selves --- our talents, interests, passions, hopes and dreams, as well as our fears and disappointments. Our respect for each other is fostered by our appreciation for everyone’s strengths and challenges. This reciprocal regard holds true for the full spectrum of members, our youngest Seedling to the oldest teen, as well as, the newbies and our veterans.
Our mutual admiration fest may sound fairly hokey, unrealistic, or new age, but it works. DRC students are free (encouraged) to focus on the positives --- the things they are good at, as well as those interactions that will lead to personal growth, resiliency, and learning. When these young people slowly become unencumbered by the negative impact of the criticism and coercion they have endured, they are able to recognize their own value and are ready to explore new challenges, and, share their personal resources with others. This may take weeks or years, because we are all unique individuals. We, however, are all here to support each other through the process, no matter how long it takes.
In sharing this space, our ideas, gifts, and acts of kindness, we are building a safe, comfortable, dynamic, and inspiring educational community --- where “I” and “me” are replaced by “us” and “we” --- a place that we can all be proud of.
A shout of gratitude to the many businesses and individuals who donated items to the “Feel the Heat” silent auction. The complete list can be found on our website and we will be highlighting each of them in daily FB posts. I will send out a finalized follow-up report about this fundraising event next week.
Thank you, also, to the folks who have purchased tickets to the event. We look forward to a fun evening.
If your child is interested in checking us out, please contact us today to schedule a visit.
. . . is one of the words we use, frequently, to explain what we do at DRC. At first glance, this term may appear fairly simple, mundane, and uninspiring. It is, however, the only one that truly encompasses everything, of importance, that happens here on a daily basis.
We celebrate spontaneity, creativity, imagination, innovation, intellect, and originality. DRC is the educational facility, as our students can attest, where the staff say, “yes” to most requests. They discover, in time, that taking charge of their education means that they don’t have to ask permission to explore their ideas or take on any project, activity, or task. As long as it follows our one rule of respect for self, others, and the space, they are free to investigate any inspiration that pops into their heads. This freedom may be disconcerting, and, frankly, uncomfortable to some, at first, and it may take a while to adjust, however, those that succeed here learn how to ask for help when they need it, and, in the process, become accustomed (unafraid) to making mistakes.
At DRC, carrots and sticks are not used, nor are they needed, because every person here comes to understand, on a deep level, that personal motivation occurs from within. Daily interactions are positively charged with encouragement and appreciation, in recognition that validating and affirming relationships are the key to fostering growth, profound learning, unbiased receptiveness to new ideas and change, as well as, the ability to reflect on (learn from) successes along with errors or challenges.
Our students bring their unique ideas, passion, hopes, and dreams to this place; therefore, we are deeply honored, and, yes, obligated to listen to their individual thoughts and opinions, and, support their efforts in every way we can.
Feel the Heat Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction
We are looking forward to a fun evening with fantastic food and good company, all to support our work and continue our efforts to build community.
Purchase your tickets before February 9th. They are available through the website or by contacting Maria at the Center.
We are in the midst of what seems to be our annual membership explosion. If you are looking for a new educational program, one which recognizes your distinctive talents and notions, please contact us today.