The ancient school yard taunt, “sticks and stones … but words will never hurt me”, is a stinking pile of fiction (bull sh*t) that, for some reason, has transcended the ages. Labels, quite plainly, hurt. Beyond that, these denigrating tags initiate a downward spiral of consequences for the labeled, as well as, anyone or anything associated with them.
Every “trouble maker” has dreams and aspirations that are often either buried deeply or shattered by an adult’s judgement disguised as good intentions.
Yes, the so-called hooligans, delinquents, and resistors are all welcome and celebrated at DRC. Indeed, some of these teens have unsavory reputations that precede them, however, if I believed (or, for that matter, listened to) the labels, I would not have the privilege and honor of knowing these sweet, kind, funny, and smart (as hell) kids. I count myself beyond fortunate to be privy to their hopes and dreams and to have these shining stars in my life.
The fourth principle in the DRC philosophy says it best:
How people behave under one set of circumstances does not predict how they will behave under a very different set of circumstances.
School success or failure is not necessarily a predictor of a child’s potential for success or failure outside of school. An unmotivated student may become enthusiastic and committed after she’s left school. A student who doesn’t thrive in a classroom environment may become successful when allowed to learn through apprenticeships or in one-on-one tutorials. When we change the approach, the structure, and the assumptions, all kinds of other changes often follow. *used by permission of North Star
Simply stated, young people who act out are merely responding to their environment, people, and/or circumstances. They are not “bad”! I am sure someone who is a professional in the mental health field could (and would) explain this much more accurately and eloquently, however, this is what I, an untrained person who just happens to work with distressed and anxious kids, witnesses and intuits every time I meet another kid who is struggling in the traditional system.
At DRC, we believe that by providing time to decompress in a safe, supportive, non-coercive, dynamic, and caring environment, filled with empathetic, trusting, nurturing, and non-judgmental people, who listen closely, as well as an abundance of opportunities, we can, and, will, grow those defiant “hooligans” into healthy, engaged, respectful, and happy young adults.
DRCTrip I will be leaving early Tuesday morning with three teens (yay, we added one) to visit North Star in Sunderland, MA, as well as two other learning centers in CT and MA based on the North Star model.
Membership If your child is interested in joining us in September, please get in touch.
Summer Programming Deep Root Center will be offering Summer Programs the weeks of August 14, 21, and 28. DRC provides a safe, fun environment, which supports and encourages imaginative play and project based creativity, with an abundance of resources and materials, as well as a supportive staff, all in a comfortable and inviting air conditioned space. Register here: http://www.deeprootcenter.org/summer-programs.html or contact Maria - firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-714-4032.
Music Program Thank you to everyone who came out to the DRC Spring Concert last Tuesday. Our musicians exceeded expectations, once again. If you missed it, you can see the video here.
If you are inspired by what you read, see, or hear about Deep Root Center, please consider investing your dollars in our programs. We are an organization working hard to change the landscape of poverty and apathy in the North Country, through education of the young people who are the stakeholders of our future. Thank you!