Deep Root Center moving to new location in Canton
Sunday, August 5, 2018 - 5:08 pm

This house at 48 Riverside Drive will be the new home for Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning.

By ADAM ATKINSON

CANTON – The Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning has acquired a new building at 48 Riverside Drive and will soon set up shop at the new address.

“We needed more space and we need outdoor space, especially for little ones,” said Maria Corse, Deep Root executive director.

Deep Root’s current second floor rooms at 7 Main Street in downtown Canton are an active place with projects and subject-dedicated learning areas taking up literally every inch.

“I decided that we really needed to find something,” the director said.

Corse spent all spring looking for a new home for the center until finally finding the new location on Riverside Drive.

With Canton Planning Board approval last month, the center is in the process of relocating.

“It’s a great deal,” Corse said of the property. The building is in need of some renovation, including a new roof and some painting, but it supplies the space Deep Root needs to grow, Corse said.

The center is staging a “Raising the Roof” campaign to help pay for renovations. Donations are accepted through its website.

“A lot of people say ‘How can I help?’ and (the campaign) is a very tangible thing,” Corse said.

The building is 1,400 square feet and features a half-acre back yard, double stall garage and a full size kitchen.

Corse said the new center will allow Deep Root more programming options, including hands-on carpentry projects in the garage, gardening, and storage of project materials and projects.

“That piece is huge,” Corse said. Deep Root takes donations of project materials constantly and students are always working a variety of things to meet an academic goal. All of those things take up a good deal of room, said Corse.

Corse said the student roster is constantly changing at Deep Root. It is currently serving about 16 students as an alternative to a traditional school setting. “They are in school and it’s not working out for them. We accept kids all year long.”

The Deep Root Center is not a school technically speaking, but provides individual educational services to children from 5 to 19 who may not be fitting in at school, or those who are not thriving under the traditional government school model.

Tuition to the center is $5,130 annually or $570 monthly which covers a fall and spring semester. However, Deep Root does not refuse any children based solely on their family financial situations. Scholarships are available and the center works with every family requiring its services.

While Deep Root is a small non-profit, it supplies up to $60,000 in scholarships to students to help defray the tuition costs. “But that doesn’t mean we have a pot of money. It just means that I haven’t been paid in four years,” quips Corse.

The center offers several programs and services including a Seedlings program; Water, Woods and Wild Wonders; DRC Music; distance learning; summer programs; and individual consultations. In addition Deep Root offers collaborations with SUNY Canton, St. Lawrence University, the Canton Free Library and various businesses for internship-style programs.

Corse said Deep Root is always looking for volunteers, especially people who can teach math and science and those who can provide tech support for the center’s donated computer systems. Interested parties can visit www.deeprootcenter.org.

Volunteers interested in helping with renovations and the move can contact Corse at 315-714-4032 or [email protected].

Corse said she hopes to move into the new space in time for Deep Root’s summer programs in the last two weeks of August. A housewarming and open house at the new center will be held sometime in September.

“It’s been amazing to be part of this village,” said Corse. “The village has really supported us.”