Building Dreams Together
Team Member: Marlies Blackford
NCCS Parent Organization wrote -
" Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." ~ Nelson Mandela
While most people dream, far fewer actually do. This is the story of 2 doers. Ten years ago, 2 public school teachers decided that there must be more to teaching than just reading, writing and arithmetic. With a dream, five years of teaching experience between them, and their homes on the line, they set out on an uncharted course to create a learning experience without limits. In 2005, they opened the doors to North Carroll Community School with a humble 30 students. With their passion on fire, they built a curriculum that was designed to teach the whole child. Stepping outside of the box, they used the world around them to instill the love of learning in their students. They understood that all children learn differently and that in order to have them grow, they need to figure out what makes them tick.
This has inspired them to create a community involved learning space that takes each child and peers deep within him to find what makes him unique and special, and then cultivates that into an amazing, productive member of society. They work hard at instilling many of the core fundamentals that are sadly missing in society today. Fundamentals such as manners, kindness, integrity, responsibility, and care for the world and the people that live in it. They also take the time to peel back the layers of learning so that each subject and each lesson is taught with a deeper understanding of who, what, where, and why. An understanding that allows each student to feel connected with what he is learning and to find what sparks an interest in him. And when it really counts, they leave the walls of their institution, take students who are needing more than a classroom can teach, and become the emotional support they know has to be in place before anything else happens. This includes going to watch horse shows, taking a child to a baseball game because he doesn’t have the male role model that he needs, and having regular dinner outings with a student that is in foster care to confirm that he knows how special he is, among other countless, selfless acts that they take upon themselves to make sure that they are getting through to their students and making sure that they excel at life.
As this appealing learning style caught on and word spread, it took only 3 years before they had tripled in size. In 2011, they grew to the point where they needed more space than the previous building allowed. Today they sit in a modest 6300 square foot building. A building that is bursting at the seams with math, writing, science experiments, history, art, music, physical education and four times the number of students they started with. What happens when your dream grows bigger then you thought possible? You grow and you dream bigger. These same fundamentals that the teachers set out to instill in their students, now need to be applied to their own dream.
Scot and Diane set out with a dream. A dream realized in far fewer years than ever expected. Now there is a new dream. A dream to own a place that is home. A place created specifically with their school in mind. A place large enough to hold their dream inside while growing with the increasing number of families that believe in their mission. So what do 2 doers do? They figure out how to make it happen.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tau
North Carroll Community School, Scot and Diane, are working on taking the first step toward realizing their new dream. They are asking for support with the beginning stages to ready the property that one day, hopefully, will hold their dream school. This is a 19,000 square foot building that will allow each teacher to have his own classroom along with additional rooms for all the support staff. Currently they have a space picked out and a blue print designed but, because they never started out to make money off of their dream, they need the finances to back it. Scot and Diane firmly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. I am now asking that we show the same faith in them that they started out putting into their school and come together as a community and give what ever you can, big or small, we know from watching their example that doing just a little can have a huge ripple effect and build big dreams. If you believe that all children should not just be dreamers but doers, please carefully consider supporting these two doers and their mission to create learning without limits.