Gratitude and thanksgiving have become an integral part of the November theme. Everywhere from facebook to the multiple newsletters from different organizations in my in-box, the message is very clear, everyone has something to be grateful for, this month.
My vow is to seek out the beauty and graciousness in every moment of every day. Living fearlessly, compassionately and with love is my goal, throughout the year.
This morning I opened my email to find a perfect example of how this attitude towards life creates positive energy and good will. Several years ago, a national organization that I work with found itself on the receiving end of a crime. This issue was just recently resolved in a Michigan courtroom; we (specifically a founding member of our group) worked tirelessly to make sure empathy and compassion were our response. She recently received a grateful phone call from the person accused of the crime, thanking her for all we had done to ensure that she was treated justly.
Because of the holiday, this has been a slow week for getting things accomplished.
Our directors met on Monday evening for the first time as an official board. They are thrilled by the energy surrounding this whole project and are wading in to the “to do” list with vigor and excitement.
Our business plan is “done”. I think it will always be a work in progress, but as of now we are seeking donors and granting agencies to submit it to. Fund-raising is one of our top priorities in the ensuing months. If you know of any foundation or person who would be a possible source of funding, please let me know. Our main goal is raising money towards a scholarship fund; we have stated very clearly and it is our commitment that no one will be turned away from Deep Root Center because of an inability to pay the full membership fee.
We are an official project of Seedcorn! An agreement has been signed and filed at the their office. That means the above mentioned fund-raising can begin in the next couple weeks.
I have been spending some time at the Center getting things organized. However, to accomplish the multiple items on my list, I still need to use the Canton Free Library or my table at SLU for internet.
I have spoken to a Rep from SLIC and he is working on getting us up and running in the next week or so.
If you would like to see the space, shoot me an email and I can meet you there.
We will be hosting another open house December 11th. I am hoping some college admission counselors will be there to discuss negotiating the admission process as an independent learner. This will be heavily advertised. Please pass it on to anyone you think may be interested.
As always, Thank you!!!
What a phenomenal week! Thank you to everyone who came out to the Open House on Tuesday. We had a good crowd who had many fantastic questions. I am so proud to be part of this amazingly, awesome community.
- The space we will be using on the second floor of Main Street has fewer rooms available for our use than I originally understood. We have one very large room that will function as the main classroom, hangout space, library, art space, etc... and a smaller room that is set up as an office and private meeting space. We will also have access to another room, across a hallway, that will be used as a small classroom or one on one area.
-It is cleaned! MacKenzie and I cleaned the walls and vacuumed on Thursday. Yesterday, thanks to my Mom-in law, Bonnie, the carpets have been cleaned! That made a huge difference.
-Today my Stepdad in-law and MacKenzie's boyfriend, Miguel, helped move some tables, chairs and supplies in. It is beginning to look less empty.
-Several folks from the Open House have expressed interest in joining the Center.
-I have had several encounters with curious folks in the community as well. The message I keep hearing over and over is "this is coming at the perfect time." "Our kids are miserable." "Common Core is stressing the teachers, parents and the kids out."
-The board will be meeting on Monday to get some important items into motion.
-We will be scheduling another open house in the next few weeks. Look for the date and time.
-Furnishings are coming along. I would like to find a couple more area rugs, bookcases, large pillows and couch pillows.
-Please continue to talk this up. If you hear of a child who is desperately unhappy, please pass along Deep Root Center's contact info.
-I am starting to look at creating a calendar of potential classes for January. If there is something you would like to offer, let me know.
Thank You!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Oh, and if you haven't heard it, go to NCPR.org to hear my interview with Todd.
Another blink, another week--gone. Unbelievable! I was reflecting on the last couple months and realized that all of the progress has occurred since the beginning of September. Again, unbelievable. It is amazing what can be accomplished when you are motivated and have an awesome group of people supporting and cheering you on.
I am very happy to announce, our support group has increased this past week; we have two new board members. Susan Griskonis has been deeply involved from the very beginning. She has taken on the legal stuff and I am so grateful. Paul Hetzler has been part of the team from the beginning as well, but just formalized his status as a board member. He brings a calm, steadiness and a propensity for thinking outside the box. Kara McCluckie just joined our efforts this week. She is a professor at SLU and is very ready to push up her sleeves and get to work. I look forward to getting to know her better in the next few months as we get up and running. Check out the Staff and Board page on the website to see their bios. The board is rounded out with Mike and me, however the two of us will resign, as soon as we recruit new members.
Happy November in the North Country
A dusting of snow covered the ground when we woke up Wednesday morning, reminding me that January 6th is not that far away! At times I feel frantic, trying to get everything together and at other moments, I am relaxed and know deep in my bones this will happen. Thank you to everyone who responded to my angst ridden message last week. There is more news about place and incorporation "stuff" later in this missive.
The Real News:
The website www.deeprootcenter.org after the initial flurry of 129 visits on the first day has settled down to about 35 individual visits per day. I am still working on getting search engines to prioritize it. I have done several of the recommended things, but it still isn't coming up. If anyone that understands this, has time to sit and help me, I would appreciate it.
An OPEN HOUSE is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19th at 7:00PM in the Paige Room at the Canton Free Library. Ken and his crew from North Star will be here. Please plan on attending. If you are interested in hanging posters in your neighborhood, let me know and I will send a digital version to you.
An article about Deep Root Center will appear prominently (at least that is what I asked for) in next week's NCTW.
Letters to area guidance counselors and school psychologists are being sent out through school email addresses. No responses, yet.
In an hour or so, I am meeting with Mary Ann Ashley, the mayoral candidate in Canton, and Carol Pynchon, a Trustee candidate, to discuss a location for the center. I am hoping they have some ideas that we have not thought of. I have also contacted the Canton Chamber of Commerce; they replied asking for a list of our needs. I have not heard back from them since supplying that list.
The Canton Day Care sent a message earlier this week saying that if we decide to rent the undeveloped space on their second floor, we will need to cover the cost of building the firewall between us and the Yoga Loft.
I met with Michelle at the SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center on Tuesday. She offered some valuable feedback on the business plan that I am writing. She also has access to a research dept. that can find data and facts about kids in St Lawrence County. As soon as we have a location, I will have more concrete info for a budget and our business plan, with Michelle's help will be completed.
Now the icky stuff: our Articles of Incorporation were returned to us. Our Purposes paragraph was too vague and we need to file with the NYS Dept. of Education, despite the fact that none of the other centers have had to do that in other states and we are explicitly NOT A SCHOOL. One of our board members is working on all this and should have some news for us, soon.
Talk This UP... PLEASE!
I am serious, we need to get the word out. I have information packets ready to go (well almost, living off-grid, I am waiting for a really sunny day so I can print them!)