Samira Khan from OneProsper Speaks at Hamlin

Grade 6 social studies students are studying the eastern hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. This spring our OneProsper partnership continued for a 3rd year with students doing individual fundraising to assist women and girls in India.

Samira Khan from OneProsper visited Thursday morning and presented to the 6th graders about their nonprofit work. She spoke about the holistic approach that OneProsper is taking to bring girls out of poverty. In Rajasthan, some girls can spend up to 7 hours a day collecting water, using up a lot of their time.  By building a tanka, a well that collects rainwater for communities, girls don’t have to spend their time and energy getting water. Clean water reduces challenges and has a number of benefits for girls and their communities, providing families with better health and sanitation. Also, having easy access to clean water means girls are able to have time to go to school. Clean water also allows families to grow and sell produce, providing another means to earn income.

To learn more about OneProsper, please visit: https://www.oneprosper.org/

 

Hamlin and Town Team Up To Explore Bias

On May 15, Wanda M. Holland Greene (Head of The Hamlin School) and Lorri Hamilton Durbin (Head of Town School), partnered with filmmaker Robin Hauser for a special screening and discussion of the film bias.

bias challenges us to confront our hidden biases and understand what we risk when we follow our gut. Through exposing her own biases, award-winning documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser (CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, Running for Jim) highlights the nature of implicit bias, the grip it holds on our social and professional lives, and what it will take to induce change.

The toxic effects of bias make headlines every day: sexual harassment, racial profiling, the pay gap. As humans, we are biased. Yet few of us are willing to admit it. We confidently make snap judgments, but we are shockingly unaware of the impact our assumptions have on those around us. The documentary feature bias follows filmmaker Robin Hauser on a journey to uncover her hidden biases and explore how unconscious bias defines relationships, workplaces, our justice system, and technology. bias contemplates the most pressing question: can we de-bias our brains?

After the screening Ms. Hauser and Linda Tong (a VP with AppDynamics) answered questions from the audience about the film and artificial intelligence.

Some of the topics covered in the film and discussion were:

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Native San Franciscans Share Stories with Grade 2

Tuesday morning six San Francisco natives gathered to speak with Grade 2 students. Our girls are learning about the history of San Francisco as part of their social studies curriculum. Speakers shared fond memories and favorite San Francisco places, while also describing how various neighborhoods have both changed and stayed the same. Throughout the session our students asked every panelist thoughtful and specific questions to gain more information.

Below are a few highlights from each panelist:

Juan Oseguera (Hamlin Parent):

When I was a child the Bayview neighborhood demographics were mostly Black, Irish, and Italian. We had some of the best in the City, when it came down to Delis, Bakeries, Donut shops, Cafes, Soul food, Barbecue, Dinners, Drive-ins, and also one of the most Legendary Stadiums (Candlestick), which housed the Giants and the 49ers.

Elizabeth Dawson (Hamlin Parent):

I was born and raised in Presidio Heights. Two of my favorite shops were Dottie Doolittle, which is still around, and the Land of Counterpane, which was a wonderful children’s bookshop that all of the neighborhood kids went to. The owner of the bookshop, Marilyn Welch, used to invite many of the leading children’s authors and illustrators of that era to come to the shop and read to us.

Randy Choy:

We tended to stay in our own neighborhoods, and I stayed near the Marina District, and Chinatown mostly, though sometimes we would go downtown to go shopping.  I would take my little brother and sister on the cable car, and buy Pizza and ice cream at Woolworths, which was like a giant mall. In fact, we took the bus everywhere we went – we could get on any bus or the cable car for 5 cents!

Jarrel Phillips (Hamlin Hub Teacher):

I was born and raised in San Francisco in the Fillmore district… just 4 blocks from City Hall. My parents were also born and raised in San Francisco as well. My neighborhood was always busy. It was once known as the “Harlem of the West” because it was a thriving community for black people, arts and culture.

Jocelyn Combs (Hamlin Class of ’67):

I was born and raised in the Richmond District and lived 3 homes away from the San Francisco Presidio, which was my playground when I was a child. My parents met at the Presidio during the Second World War and are both buried there. The Presidio looks the same as it did 70 years ago; it is one of the only parts of San Francisco that is the same as it was.

Marina Chan (Hamlin Parent):

I was born in the same hospital that I gave birth to my children in San Francisco. I grew up in the Outer Richmond District, a couple of blocks away from the Cliff House/Sutro Baths/Land’s End/Ocean Beach area. I went to school in the Inner Richmond at a Catholic school named Star of the Sea (which is closing down next month). My parents owned a chain of photo and video stores in San Francisco.

 

Plants to Pizza: Cooking in Grade 2

Guest post by Natalie in Grade 2 

For our last Living Wall project, Grade 2 planted herbs and cooked or baked with them. On Monday (5/6), Ms. Biale gave us a bunch of different recipes and each group used their herb as the main ingredient. We made lemon-verbena scones, peppermint lemonade, mini-pizzas with oregano, rosemary shortbread, and cucumber chive sandwiches. I was in the pizza group. Chopping up the oregano was pretty hard because we got the tomato sauce all over the place and it was slippery to cut. After the food was baked and cooked, we celebrated in our class by having a garden party and ate or drank everything we made. It was delicious! My favorite part was eating the food. From now on, I will make pizza at home with my oregano.

Grade 5 Creates Symbolic Totem Poles

Grade 5 students looked at the different styles of Totem Poles from Alaska, British Columbia, and the Northwest and discussed their cultural and visual significance. In addition, they observed and discussed various types of symbols that were both stereotypical and more unique in order to explore ideas about how symbols create meaning, understanding, and relay information without the use of words.

Using Google Draw, students designed a personal symbol that represented or expressed some aspect of their personality, their family, or something they are passionate about. Their original symbol was then mirrored in order to expand the design into a more complex symbol. Then their designs were cut out using the laser cutter, painted, and attached to the pole. Each pole represents one of the 5th grade art sections.

Grade 2 Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Day

Guest post by Annabelle, Grade 2 Student

Tuesday was Teacher Appreciation Day.  In class, we read two books about having teachers that make a difference: Because I Had a Teacher and A Letter to My Teacher. The books made us feel great about our Hamlin teachers and memories. We had an assembly and my dad was honored for being at Hamlin for 5 years. I’m really proud of him! Ms. McDonald also won a special award and got a standing ovation. The assembly was fun to see all the teachers celebrated! We ended the day with FaceTiming Ms. O’Brien’s Second Grade Teacher, Mrs. Dratch. We had a lot of fun and asked a lot of questions about Ms. O’Brien, like if she talked too much or asked too many questions when she was a kid. We got a good report on Ms. O’Brien as a student! Mrs. Dratch said she became a second grade teacher because of her second grade teacher. Ms. O’Brien did the same. Maybe one of us will do it too!

Kindergarteners Visit With Medical Doctors

Guest post by Ms. Jennifer Phillips, Kindergarten

As one of our final field trips for our emergent unit on bones, we visited Dr. Lane’s (Mackenzie’s mom) medical office where Dr. Jones (Kaia’s dad) joined us as we learned more about what they do and the tools they use to help people.

Kaia’s dad, an orthopedic surgeon, brought some actual pieces of bone for the girls to examine, as well as some models of bones, and hardware/tools he uses when repairing the bones of his patients.  Dr. Lane, a fertility specialist, gave each girl an ultrasound of their arm, pointing out the layers of their bones seen on the screen and how their bones connect.  Each girl left with a copy of her ultrasound.

Our study has been a cross-curricular endeavor, with Kate Roseman teaching the girls a song/rap about bones, Mrs. Gonzalez and Ms. Ray deepening the girls’ understanding of bones with their scientific expertise, and Mr. Witrak and Ms. Stevens lending us the bones from the Lascaux cave in McKinne lounge for our Georgia O’Keeffe inspired artwork.

Our culminating project will be a “Bones Bonanza” in June where the girls will be able to share their knowledge and work with their families.

Hamlin Alumnae Reflect On Their Education

On May 6, Hamlin welcomed back ten members of the class of 2015 who will soon be graduating from high school (two just did). These bright and articulate young women reflected on their Hamlin education in front of an audience of faculty members, staff and trustees. Wanda M. Holland Greene and Teebie Saunders led a vibrant and insightful discussion, asking the students about their time at Hamlin, exploring topics like: gender, core values, academic preparation, and their passions. Below are a few of the central themes that emerged.

-All the panelists spoke about how Hamlin prepared them to speak up and advocate for themselves in classes and at their high schools. Many cited the “confidence” that Hamlin instilled in them.

-Most of the panelists were involved in various forms of leadership at their high schools, including: being a peer advisor, participating in student government, being captains on sports teams, and leading clubs focused on art, inclusion, feminism, and politics.

-Panelists spoke about how they felt very prepared for high school. They cited the skills of time management and organization that they developed while at Hamlin. Many of the former students also mentioned the excellent education they received in math, science and technology.

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Hamlin Students Lead 4th Annual Film Festival

For the 4th year in a row, Hamlin students Caitlin and Maggie are leading the initiative to share great female-made films from around the world. There has always been a Hamlin presence in the Noe Valley Girls Film Festival, but this year even more students are avidly supporting this wonderful event.

The Noe Valley Girls Film Festival’s mission is to encourage young girls to make movies with the goals of creating a new generation of moviemakers, promoting Noe Valley, and having fun.  With today’s technology, anyone can learn to make a movie. The NVGFF is seeking short film submissions made by girls anywhere in the world in two age groups (ages 11-15 and age 10 and under).  Submissions are due by August 1, 2019, and the finalists are expected to be announced in late-August, 2019. The festival will be held at 4:00 pm on September 7, 2019, at the Noe Valley Ministry in Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA.  At the festival, we expect to show the top submissions, have a well-known local filmmaker present awards to the winners, and have a raffle.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.nvgff.com/

Immersive Technology Exploration: Grade 5 Maker Night

Each year, we host a Making/Tinkering event for all Grade 5 students and their families. Last night, students completed Catalyst challenges, built circuits using littleBits, showcased their Scratch games with Makey Makeys, and programmed Sphero robots! The Grade 5 teachers and the tech team worked together to create a wonderful learning experience and an engaging community event for our Grade 5 families.