DRC is a member of the Liberated Learner Network. Ken Danford co-founded North Star in Amherst, MA, the model for fourteen learning centers in the Liberated Learner Network, in 1996.
Since then, hundreds of students have left school and successfully taken their education into their own hands. They have gone on to attend college, become entrepreneurs, get meaningful employment, join the military, and train as apprentices. Anything a young person is able to do after graduating from high school is, in fact, an option for self-directed students.
School is not the right place for everyone.
Many people who hear about DRC, say, “I wish there was a place like Deep Root Center when I was in school.
DRC is here, now, for real kids who have the courage to expand their vision of what education can be, seek real world learning opportunities, and yearn to be surrounded by people who trust them explicitly to make good decisions.
You can now sponsor one of those students for an entire year, semester, or month.
Deep Root Center students attend the Center at their own volition – they show-up, simply, because they understand that we are assembling a community, together, and that each of their voices is an essential thread woven into the Deep Root Center story.
When you trust young people to make good decisions - they will. In other words, amazing transformations occur, when you remove the obstacles of coercion, authority, and competition.
At DRC, “yes”, is the most frequent answer to any question that begins, “can I …?”.
No two students have the same experience at DRC. Deep Root Center student members continuously create their own unique learning plan, with direct assistance and support from the staff during weekly mentoring sessions, based on their ever-changing individual interests and aspirations.
Most of the classes at DRC are seminars because our students learn best in a give and take - conversation based environment. The students instigate and outline most of these classes, with support from the staff and volunteers.
Experiential (active) learning is at the heart of DRC. We expect our students to ask the big questions, make mistakes, and get messy. In return, they have unrestricted access to resources, supplies, and equipment and are all encouraged to play, use their imaginations, engage in independent exploration, and create to their hearts content.
Kids feel free to express themselves, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed. DRC is a safe and supportive space.
DRC has one rule: Respect yourself, each other, and this space.
Learning is completely natural and school is entirely optional. The corroborating research and evidence is exhaustive. Humans are innately curious; given the opportunity – space, time, and resources – children and teens will joyfully ask questions and seek answers about anything and everything that interests and motivates them.
DRC has never refused a child because their family cannot afford the full tuition fee.
Without DRC, many of our students would otherwise leave school, as soon as possible, with no academic or mentoring support. In the North Country - this is a big deal!
This year 100% of our students receive varying amounts of scholarship aid - totaling more than $50,000.
You can be an important part of Deep Root Center by making sure we are here for the kids who need us now.
You can invest in our student’s futures by contributing a one-time donation to our annual appealor by setting up a monthly donation via the donate button on the DRC website.
You can help to identify and write grants.
You can volunteer to mentor or share your talents with our students.
You can offer to assist the board in their fundraising efforts.
You can tell a child who is unhappy, bored, disenfranchised, and dissatisfied with their school that there is another option.
DRC is here, now, for any child who needs our encouragement, trust, compassion, kindness, academic support, project-based programs, mentoring support, and safe, affirmative space. Or, simply needs to hear, “yes, go for it”, whispered in their ear.