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Celebrating Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, Lower School students attended an assembly last Friday led by ALANA (Asian, Latina, African, Native American) students. The assembly opened by highlighting the contributions of African Americans like Maya Angelou and Ruby Bridges. Girls focused on the theme that “Black History is Our History,” and therefore touches the lives of all Americans.

Later in the assembly Ms. Cardone showcased outstanding books about African Americans, and Ms. Roseman discussed the importance of gospel music in the history of African Americans. Students then concluded the assembly by singing “This Little Light of Mine” written in the 1920s by Harry Dixon Loes, and later sung during the Civil Rights Movement.

Below is the link to our library’s wonderful Black History Books for Grades K-4:

Grade 2 Makes A Newspaper

Students in Grade 2 recently created an original newspaper. The newspaper features eclectic offerings including the following sections: Book Reviews, Opinions, Travel, and Education.

Below is the text of an opinion piece by Sammie entitled, Saving Our Planet and Animals.

Dear My Saver,

Animals around the world have been having their habitats cut down or being destroyed. And to help i think we can not use plastic, stop cutting down trees, and try being less wasteful and compost. Just imagine one of your favorite animals being extinct! And what if many animals at once go extinct! Climate change is making our planet too hot! Our planet has not been treated properly and I think that there is a way that us people can help save our planet. You can help too! Help by using less plastic! Soon there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Now you go out and get a reusable water bottle and use less plastic!!

When asked about writing a newspaper, one student shared:

It feels good and exciting because I get to share my writing with everyone in the world and they get to learn about why I love writing.

Carnaval de Hamlin 2020

Last Wednesday night students, parents, and faculty members gathered to celebrate Latin American and Caribbean heritage. Guests tasted traditional foods while listening to a live musical performance by La Mixta Criolla. There was also a performance by Hamlin’s capoeira students and a student poetry reading.

Our PLAID parent group created Carnaval de Hamlin.

PLAID is a Hamlin Parent Association group focused on educating our community about diversity and promoting an inclusive environment. We seek to broaden perspectives and experiences via cultural events, dialogues and films, and deepen connections at Hamlin by fostering open dialogue and celebrating our commonalities and differences. 

Please join PLAID’s next event, a Middle East & North African Cultural Celebration on March 12.

To learn more about PLAID, please visit:

Doctors Visit Lower School Science

Dr. Kim Garfinkel (a Hamlin parent and OB/GYN) visited Grade 4 scientists at the end of their Human Life Cycle unit. Dr. Garfinkel answered questions from the Curiosity Box, shared pictures to deepen understanding, and peaked the students’ interest with anecdotes from her personal and professional experiences. Ms. Ray, Ms. Gonzalez, and the Grade 4 learners are so thankful to have hosted Dr. Garfinkel in their Science classes.

As a culmination of our Human Life Cycle Unit in Grade 3, students hosted two guest scientists and also Hamlin parents. Dr. Kim Newell and Dr. Lesley Meister visited the LS Science Lab to answer questions from our Curiosity Box. Dr. Newell, a pediatrician, covered the topic of puberty. Dr. Meister, an OB/GYN, discussed fetal growth/development, and childbirth. Ms. Ray, Ms. Gonzalez, and all of the Grade 3 learners are filled with gratitude to have had the opportunity to learn from these experts.

-Guest post by Ms. Irene Gonzalez


RTC: Community Field Work

Last Thursday, Grade 7 girls left campus to work at Alemany Farm and volunteer with the nonprofits Glide and City Hope. At the end of the day each group participated in reflective work, which allowed students to process their profound experiences.

The day was designed to help our students inquire as they prepare for their Rise to the Challenge (RTC) capstone project work (taking place in May). For RTC, girls will strive to identify challenges they feel passionate about, then develop action plans to address those challenges, using their knowledge, resources, and collaborative talents. Students will have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various local and global problems.

These excursions allowed our girls to investigate issues facing our environment and learn more about the intricacies of urban poverty.

Supporting Homeless Families: Harvest 2020

For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families.

Hamlin’s connection to Hamilton dates back to the late 1990s when Hamlin’s Lend-A-Hand started partnering with the center. Lend-A-Hand is Hamlin’s dynamic Parents Association service learning program. It is open to all families and offers service opportunities with San Francisco organizations that focus on hunger, homelessness, and literacy.

Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our pioneering homelessness prevention and housing subsidy programs are nationally recognized. In addition, we provide shelter and stability, and support the well-being of children experiencing homelessness.

Our largest event connected to Hamilton is our annual Harvest. This year numerous Hamlin students, parents, and faculty members prepared food for families currently experiencing homelessness. On Saturday (February 1), we made vegetable lasagnas, salads, garlic bread, and apple crisps. The following day a group of Hamlin Grade 8 students served the food at Hamilton Families. Altogether, Harvest provided nourishment for about 300 people.

The Saturday event took place between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and consisted of two work shifts. As part of the morning Rachel Kenemore (from Hamilton Families) addressed our volunteers.

Special thanks to faculty member Sheena Tart-Zelvin, and Hamlin parents Daisy Downs, Rachel Euretig, and Jennifer Lindh for helping to organize this wonderful event.

To learn more about Hamilton Families please visit:

Amazing Science: STEM Night 2020

During the month of January Grade 8 students followed their scientific passions, created their own experiments, and learned a ton in the process. All of the hard work and investigation concluded Thursday with STEM Night.

The days leading up to STEM Night were an opportunity to go through the science exploration process, consider multiple proposals, then practice failing and trying again through many iterations (in some cases 15+).

All the projects involved energy/force in some way, working in the realms of physics, chemistry, and engineering.

Grade 4 also presented “The Physics of Sound.” The big and little sisters were able to share their projects with each other earlier in January and both grades (8 and 4) presented on STEM Night together.

Our students delved into the following projects (among others):

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Women In Business: Conversation With A Female CEO

On Wednesday afternoon we welcomed writer and Hamlin parent Diana Kapp, and Megan Grassell, Founder and CEO of the clothing company Yellowberry. Ms. Kapp is the author of the recently released book Girls Who Run The World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business.

Part biography, part business how-to, and fully empowering, this book is the perfect gift for future entrepreneurs…because you’re never too young to dream BIG! With colorful portraits, fun interviews and DIY tips, Girls Who Run the World features the success stories of 31 leading ladies of companies like Rent the Runway, POPSUGAR, and SoulCycle.

Megan Grassell is one of the CEOs featured in Ms. Kapp’s book. Ms. Grassell (now 24 years old) launched her company Yellowberry while she was still in high school.

If no one else was going to make bras specifically for young girls, then I would find a way to do it myself. In the middle of my junior year of high school at 17, I founded Yellowberry.

Below are some of the key points from their conversation:

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Lava Mae Partnership 2020

We are in our 5th year partnering with Lava Mae, a compassionate and altruistic nonprofit working to alleviate the suffering of individuals experiencing homelessness.

Lava Mae believes:

It’s about treating those who often feel invisible and dehumanized with an extraordinary level of respect and care to restore dignity, and unlock the opportunities that come with being clean.

All Grade 7 students will be volunteering with Lava Mae this year. Yesterday our first group of Hamlin girls worked at Lava Mae’s monthly Pop-Up Care Village near the Civic Center.

The event provides a one-stop-shop for employment services for people experiencing homelessness, from free job preparedness advice, to hygiene kits, adult education opportunities, clothes, health services, food, books, and haircuts.

Our students served food and distributed donated clothing at the “Street Store.” Two more student groups will be volunteering with Lava Mae in the coming months.

To learn more about Lava Mae, please visit:

Creating Chilean Empanadas in Spanish Class

Spanish teacher Mr. Cáreces has a deep love for the cuisine and culture of his native Chile. As Grade 7 students read their first TPRS (Language Learning Books Online) novel Casi Se Muere, they began to explore various aspects of Chile, including food. To enrich this experience, girls spent a class period making empanadas and reflecting on Chilean culture. This morning the delicious empanadas were shared with the entire Grade 7 cohort.