Childcare Center Opens at Reed

Growing Seeds to Care for Children of Students, Faculty and Staff.

By Lauren Cooper '16 | March 1, 2016

To the merry sound of shrieks and giggles, a childcare center opened on the Reed campus last semester, serving about 50 kids from infants to preschoolers, spread over five classrooms.

Located in the northwest corner of campus (near the site of the former Eastmoreland Hospital), the new center is operated by Growing Seeds, an independent provider that runs two other centers in Portland, and employs several Reed students as part-time teachers.

Professors, staff, and students have long lamented the shortage of affordable childcare in the neighborhood. In fact, the center is the result of almost 20 years of planning, led by a faculty/staff committee that included Prof. Gail Berkeley Sherman [English 1981–], Prof. Jennifer Corpus [psych 2000–], Prof. Elizabeth Drumm [Spanish 1995–], Prof. Kathryn Oleson [psych 1995–], Prof. Paul Silverstein [anthro 2000–], communications guru Stacey Kim, and stats master Mike Tamada.

“This started 20 years ago as a women’s issue,” says Vice President and Treasurer Lorraine Arvin. “It’s now a young parents’ issue.”

Children of faculty, staff, and students account for roughly half the center’s enrollment—the rest are drawn from the local neighborhood.

Psychology major Jacob Badger ’16 is currently writing a thesis on child development, specifically in regards to autonomous, intrinsically motivated learning. “Working in an environment where that is at the core of their philosophy is an invaluable experience,” he says.  

Anthro major Natalie Allen ’16 also finds working at Growing Seeds valuable. “The world I experience at Growing Seeds is radically different from my world at Reed, which is very refreshing,” she says. “It’s a reminder that there are a lot of important things going on outside, a provocation to consider how I might contribute to the world in a meaningful way.”

Tags: Campus Life, Institutional, Professors, Students