Oliver bursts into the Center every day with an impish, devil may care grin and announces, “well, ya know …” his voice fading as he races to the computer in the Seedlings room to log in his twenty minutes of daily allotted MineCraft time. This particular lead in, along with an eloquent shrug, tipped head, and open handed gesture, precedes Oliver’s many tales. The child has stories tell, some true, most --- not, therefore, it is up to the listener to determine the veracity of each individual account. Not an easy task, as you are drawn in by his animated, spirited, and mesmerizing gaze to the depths of his ingenuity.
Last week, Oliver was sitting on the couch after listening to a storybook and asked me, “what is non-fiction?” He was earnestly trying to understand the difference between real and made-up, because for him all of his narratives are, in some sense, true. His reality is based upon being completely immersed in the fanciful world of the many characters he plays throughout the day with his friend Christian.
I first met Oliver this past summer, when he and his parents came to DRC to learn more about our, brand new, Seedlings Program. He was immediately comfortable in the space, and, I was instantly smitten with his openness, intellect, vibrancy, and joyful delight with the world. He exuded confidence and enthusiasm, and, was not afraid to explore the many treasures of Deep Root Center.
His proclamation, “I love art” is an understatement. He adores directing other people (adults and kids) in creating his visions to his specifications. He and Chris, the Seedlings Facilitator, have made multiple cardboard box robots, and, we have sewn (he controls the pedal) a couple stuffed animals together (Carlos the bat and a turtle). Last week we designed and sewed a whole costume – a shirt with a lightning bolt insignia, cape, and hat. This garb transformed him into his Super Villain alter ego – Ghost Boy and later into another persona he and Christian had envisioned.
Oliver is another prime example of self-directed learning in action. He is a 6-year-old totally in charge of his learning plan. His “lessons,” centered around imaginary play, are multi-layered, multi-sensorial, multi-modality, and completely inter-disciplinary. Reading readiness is blended with social studies, science, and math; social skills and creativity are woven into every single interaction and conversation throughout the day, and, everything is based on his unrestricted originality.
Oliver lives fully with curiosity and intense feeling. He brings no small amount of child-like wonder, fun, and innocence to this place, which infects us all and inspires us to live wholly within each moment in delight and awe.
DRC NEWS The DRC Band - If you were not able to attend our concert last week --- here is the full video. We are so very proud of our young musicians and their mentors. Stay tuned as they continue to add new members, build their skill levels, and increase their already impressive repertoire. Fundraising – Have these DRC member spotlights inspired you? Do you wish DRC had been around when you were struggling through school? Are you committed to providing equitable opportunities for every child in the NoCo? Your financial support of Deep Root Center through the DRC Annual Appeal, the #TwoDegreeChallenge, or a donation to our Silent Auction at the Feel the Heat fundraising dinner during WinterFest, makes all of our work possible. Visit the donation page to make your contribution today. Schedule - Deep Root Center follows the public school Holiday Break – we will be back in session January 3rd. If you would like to schedule an appointment to visit and discuss the possibilities for your child – please get in touch –