A note from Sahra Alizadeh,
Founder of Sweet River Bamboo Preschool & Nursery + Nourishing Earth Institute:
Hello, and thank you for stopping by and taking time to learn about my schools and offerings.
As you have explored this website, perhaps you have noticed that Sweet River Bamboo is not simply a childcare program. I am grateful to have found a way to unite holistic living principles, warmth, and beauty together with the childcare profession to create meaningful work for myself and my community. I am proud of the growth my program has experienced over the past decade and am looking forward, with great excitement, to our continued unfolding.
The vision for creating Sweet River Bamboo came out of a strong inquiry about what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to engage with the world. I could no longer bare the separation my life had from the natural rhythms of our planet and knew I wanted, needed, my work to support this reconnection process and be nourishing to myself as I served others. I always knew I would work with children but the capacity in which I would be doing so slowly emerged as I explored various skills and professions that served them. My journey to opening Sweet River Bamboo included continuous caring for children as a nanny, au-pair and teacher, international travels, and education at Pacific Northwest College of Art where I majored in film portraiture photography, mixed media and instillation. This diverse path led me to discover that creating warm and loving experiences for children and their families was where I was headed. I knew I wanted to focus on protecting the innocence of childhood, community, beauty, connection, ritual and nature and that my twenty plus years of working with children had well informed my knowledge about what today’s children were missing and needing. My Persian heritage, rich with its ancient seasonal traditions and focus on hospitality, set me up well to pay attention to detail and invite children into my kinships as though they were an extension of my own family. Sweet River Bamboo’s first kinship formed in 2009 in the heart of Multnomah Village in SW Portland.
My childhood, filled with hardship, created my dedication to forming safe and magical spaces for children. Helping raise little beings throughout my life has helped me raise myself with a richness and depth rooted in joyfulness, personal power and new beginnings. My time with children has taught me that letting your inner light shine and being worthy of love are everyone’s birthright. Being with children provides an opportunity to view experiences with renewed innocence and wonder and I encourage my teaching team to pay close attention to the opportunities that caring for children, within Sweet River Bamboo’s intentional container, can offer their own personal growth. My completion of The LifeWays Teacher Training, a Waldorf Inspired Early Childhood Education Program, focusing on the needs of children from birth through age seven, and about a dozen psychology courses and workshops have informed my background on what is truly important in the social-emotional development of young children.
“Forget not that the earth
delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play
with you hair.”
~ Khalil Girbran
Although I retired from teaching in our kinships in 2019, I continue to support Sweet River Bamboo by maintaining close and continuous contact with our administrative team and ensuring the heart and soul of SRB remain nourished by overseeing our seasonal celebrations, holistic curriculum and professional development program. When I am not supporting SRB’s administrative needs or visiting with our kinship kids, I enjoy hiking among waterfalls and wildflowers, traveling and speaking foreign languages and thinking up new business ventures in the health and wellness sector. I am a lover of the world and Earth’s many treasures and often immerse myself in her elements. Swimming in fresh and salty waters, soaking in therapeutic baths, blending herbs for cleansing rituals, and moving my body intuitively are all well-integrated into my routine. A camera often accompanies me wherever I go as photography is the modality I use to integrate and share the beauty I experience both within and all around me.
I believe the inner world of our body’s senses, emotions and innate wisdom is as rich as what is found in the outer world and that these worlds influence each other greatly. My introspection, curiosity and attention to detail inform how I staff my schools and train my teachers. Every single teacher who joins our community brings with them their own unique gifts and brings to life an aspect of our program’s core values, and so does every family and child as well. SRB is built on the belief that growth that happens from the inside out, from sending down deep roots before sprouting, is growth that you can count on for many years to come.
Above all, I see children as whole beings of love and light and deeply enjoy getting to know each and every little one who joins my path and shares their magic with me.
It is my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to welcome your child into a Sweet River Bamboo Kinship and I look forward to meeting you soon!