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Student-parents juggle family, study

Sept. 20, 1996

Student­parents juggle family, study

By Liberty Lay

Lariat Staff Writer

At 7:30 a.m., while many students are still sleeping soundly or running through Penland cafeteria with doughnut in hand, Baylor's daycare facility is opening its doors to the youngest members of the Baylor family.

Children ranging in age from six weeks to kindergarten, many of whom have parents who are either students or employed by Baylor, may be at the daycare center from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Paul and Katy Piper Center for Family Studies at Baylor University is a joint project of the School of Education and the department of Family and Consumer Sciences. It operates as a lab science for the university.

Center director Nancy Harlin said there are currently 80 children enrolled in the daycare program. Approximately 60 percent of those children have parents involved with Baylor.

'We have about 12 children whose parents are Baylor students,' Harlin said.

The center employs six workers with degrees in early childhood education, and also has work-study students on staff.

Parents who enroll their children at the center must pay a tuition fee.

Some students with children use other sources for their child care.

Ashley Crabb, a Paris sophomore, said a friend cares for her 19-month-old daughter, McKenzy.

'It's a different life from most students,' Crabb said. 'It's really hard.'

Crabb said she has morning classes until about 12 or 12:30 p.m., then works from 1 to 5:00 p.m.

When she arrives at home in the evenings, she has just a few hours to spend with her daughter.

'She goes to bed at about 9 p.m. and that's when I start studying,' Crabb said.

Crabb transferred to Baylor from East Texas State University, a school Crabb said had more students with children. She has found few fellow-parents at Baylor.

This lack of shared experience with other students, combined with her limited amount of free time, has made it hard for Crabb to be involved in school activities.

'You don't have much time for yourself,' she said.

Crabb tries to spend time with her family on weekends as frequently as possible. The time allows her to get in more hours of studying, which she says she needs. Because she's a biology/pre-med major and takes between 12 and 15 hours a semester, Crabb's class load is difficult.

But, she says, she works hard to maintain good grades. 'I like to make A's,' she said.

Crabb wants to go to medical school at Southwestern University in Dallas, and has a special reason to work hard and reach that goal.

'I have an extra motivation,' she said. 'I'm not just doing this for myself.'

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