Alternative school center to recruit Nov. 19 in Canton for pilot program beginning in January
Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 4:26 pm

A community resource center for youth ages 8 to 18 who want to explore options to the traditional school model will be launching a pilot program in January.

Maria Corse, founder and director of Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning, believes that North Country youth, especially those not thriving in a typical school setting, deserve access to more options for educational success.

Corse is recruiting members for the pilot program and is holding an open house at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Canton Free Library’s Paige Room. Ken Danford and a panel of teens from North Star, a self-directed learning center for teens in Hadley, Mass., will speak about “how North Star has changed their lives,” Corse said in her announcement.

Deep Root Center is a resource center rather than a school, and it seeks to make homeschooling a viable and exciting option in the North Country, according to Corse.

Families that employ the center will submit the required home schooling documents to their school district. Deep Root Center provides guidance and mentoring for the youth, as well as tutorials, classes, materials, and myriad opportunities to connect with community resources. Participants’ requests and personal interests, as well as ideas cultivated during advisement sessions, are what will determine which resources they incorporate into their learning plans, Corse said.

Corse holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from SUNY Potsdam and is a teacher with 10 years’ experience in a non-public school in Canton. She says she embraces the concept of self-directed learning and is “passionate about mentoring youth through their journeys to adulthood.” The North Country native has self-published a chapter book for children. She lives off-grid with her family in Pierrepont, and is an avid volunteer in the community.

More information can be found at the center's website: or by contacting Maria at [email protected].