On April 3, Grade 5 students were visited by Sharkmobile.
The Sharkmobile is a classroom program that focuses on the biology, natural history and conservation of sharks. The program has been underway since 2004, serving schools in eight counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and reaching over 10,000 students and teachers.
The Sharkmobile program is for grades 4 through 6. The program teaches students about sharks and their cousins—skates and rays. Topics include biology, natural history, evolution, adaptations and conservation. The program addresses common shark myths, including how sharks are portrayed in the media and popular culture, as well as ways we can all work together to protect sharks and their ocean habitat.
Earlier in the year, a representative (also from the Greater Farallones Visitor Center) visited Hamlin and taught about leatherback turtles. Students learned about the life cycle and migration patterns of the turtles through interactive games. Girls also watched footage of a leatherback turtle foraging for food, and learned about their anatomy and physiology.
Protecting Animals on Planet Earth is the focus of this year’s Earth Day, and this partnership has been a wonderful way to support that theme. In May our students will go to the Greater Farallones Visitor Center to learn about squid and seabirds.
On April 1, representatives from Kiva U. visited with Grade 7 students. Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization with a global reach. Kiva’s mission is to connect individual lenders with people around the world who need micro loans to improve their lives through small businesses, education, green energy, and a number of other projects.
Kiva relies on translators to communicate borrowers’ needs. Many seeking loans are from Spanish-speaking countries. Our Grade 7 students spent time in Spanish class learning about Kiva and using language skills to translate sample loan profiles from Spanish into English. This use of the Spanish language is profound and allows students to apply their understanding of vocabulary to real life situations.
The afternoon culminated with our students receiving codes in order to lend $25 to a borrower of their choice.
To learn more about Kiva, please visit: https://www.kiva.org/
Last Friday, Grade 7 students set out to address urban poverty on the streets of San Francisco. Our girls spent the first part of the morning in five different groups distributing toiletries, feminine hygiene products, clothing, 175 lunches, and listening to the stories of Tenderloin residents. Members of the Tenderloin-based nonprofit Faithful Fools facilitated intention setting and accompanied our students during this altruistic experience.
After an hour on the streets, students gathered at a nearby Unitarian church to reflect on their experience. They engaged in recreating street scenes through theater, sharing emotions and thoughts about the morning. The day was both powerful and life-enhancing, as girls had the opportunity to better understand the common humanity that connects all people.
To learn more about Faithful Fools, please visit: https://www.faithfulfools.org/
Last Friday, altruistic Grade 8 students helped out at Alemany Farm.
Ms. Tart-Zelvin shares:
“We partnered with San Francisco Recreation & Parks at Alemany Farm, which is the largest urban farm in San Francisco and generates some 26,000 pounds of produce annually. The girls got a tour of the farm and all the produce it grows, helped weed and mulch, and even harvested some vegetables for The Free Farm Stand. In keeping with both Hamlin’s mission and the creed, the girls jumped right in to the tasks delegated to them by the volunteers. They weren’t shy about getting dirty or schlepping wheelbarrows full of mulch; they worked well together, had a good time, and their impact was noticeable when we left in the afternoon. When we got back to Hamlin at the end of the day, the girls reported that they were tired, but good tired, and that weeding had been a lot of fun.”
Mission Statement for Alemany Farm:
Friends of Alemany Farm grows food security and educates local residents about how they can become their own food producers. We strive to increase ecological knowledge and habitat value, and to sow the seeds for economic and environmental justice. All of the food we grow is given away for free—to neighbors, volunteers, The Free Farm Stand, and other groups.
Earlier this week Grade 2 visited Chinatown. (This is a guest blog from Mattea, a student who went on the field trip).
Today was really, really fun! We got to go on a field trip to Chinatown. When we got there, we played on a playground until our tour guide, Ms. Lee, came. When she arrived, Ms. Lee gave us a little bit of history on how and why some Chinese people moved to California. She also told us about Chinese medicine and walked us through an herbal pharmacy. I liked all the interesting things that I saw. I never knew that something from a deer leg can help with joint pain!
Next, we saw a building that used to be a telephone company. We found out that Ms. Ching’s mom used to work there! She needed to speak many different dialects of Chinese to help people call or speak to others. She also needed to memorize over 2,000 phone numbers and addresses.
We then walked to the fortune cookie factory. I never knew that fortune cookies could be bought as flat cookies! We actually saw how the workers fold the cookies. I also learned that you only get fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants in America. It’s not really a Chinese tradition and was started by a Japanese man in America.
After, we went through the Stockton Street food markets. We saw a lot of interesting things people buy to eat including an armadillo! I would sort of want to try tasting an armadillo, but Ms. Lee explained that it could carry a disease called leprosy. That changed my mind!
Last, we explored a Chinese temple. The inside was really cool! I loved the decorations. Ms. Lee explained the meaning of the different things on the shrine. People pray to a doll that represents the goddess of the sea. Also, there were fruits that had different meanings. Outside, we found an address that was 20-A, so we took a 2OA class photo in front of it. We ended our day with having lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
During most of March, South African teacher, Ms. Nthabiseng Lizzy Matsetela will be sharing her talents with our Hamlin students and faculty as part of the program Teach With Africa. Ms. Matsetela is especially focused on instilling a love of math in her students. Ms. Matsetela is partnered with Hamlin teacher, Gillian Curran. Hamlin has participated with Teach With Africa for several years and always welcomes the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and friendship.
Teach With Africa is a non-profit organization empowering students and teachers in a reciprocal exchange of teaching and learning in Africa and the United States. Teach With Africa seeks to reduce the embedded inequities in our societies by working to provide access to quality education in order to transform children’s lives, schools and communities.
Ms. Matsetela shares:
My name is Nthabiseng Lizzy Matsetela; I was born and bred in Limpopo province, and currently live in Johannesburg. I’m studying for my B.Ed. with University of South Africa (UNISA) and am in my second year. I want to be a teacher because I believe I have all the qualities needed to be a teacher and a role model. I enjoy reading inspirational books. I also enjoy exercising and sharing information either by teaching or by having positive conversations.
To learn more about Teach With Africa, please visit: https://www.teachwithafrica.org/
On March 7, a group of eco-conscious students went to Cowell Theater (Fort Mason) to watch films from the 16th Annual International Ocean Film Festival. The films provided inspiration and crucial information about the need to preserve and take care of our oceans.
The International Ocean Film Festival is:
Dedicated to using film as a medium to increase public awareness of the environmental, social, and cultural importance of marine ecosystems and foster a spirit of ocean stewardship, IOFF is now the premier venue in North America for ocean-related films.
Every year, IOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public. Themes range from marine science and industry to sports and adventure. We look for films that entertain, educate, and encourage active participation in ocean conservation.
Students watched several films from all over the world. Highlights included learning about:
-The lives of wild dolphins
-How little plastic actually gets recycled
-How much plastic a blue whale ingests
-7 species of Sea turtles on the planet -all endangered
-Education about turtle conservation
The film festival runs through Sunday, to see the schedule, click here: http://intloceanfilmfest.org/2019-festival-schedule
A film made by Hamlin students will be shown on Sunday at 10 a.m., to learn more, please visit: http://www.hamlinblog.org/blog/2019/03/05/student-film-selected-for-international-ocean-film-festival/
A talented team of Hamlin girls created the film Our Ocean as part of their Grade 5 intensive work last spring. This coming Sunday the film will be shown at the Cowell Theater (10 a.m. at Fort Mason) as part of the International Ocean Film Festival.
Now in its 16th year, the IOFF is an acclaimed festival of independent ocean-related films from all over the world. Themes range from ocean adventure, science, and marine life to sports and coastal cultures. We look for films that not only entertain audiences but also educate and inspire people to participate in environmental efforts in and around the ocean, as well as promote better ocean stewardship.
The student film explores the importance of the ocean and delves into the crucial environmental threats that it currently faces. Our Ocean blends beauty and splendor, with a call to action, echoing Hamlin’s mission to meet the challenges of our time.
To learn more about the International Ocean Film Festival, please visit: http://intloceanfilmfest.org/
To watch the film, please click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VgRFi4lfxzs-aUhe9zVBvFoEnAw1T3Oo/view
Today, the Lower School celebrated Japanese Girls’ Day with a presentation by four of our students.
Celebrated on March 3 every year, Hinamatsuri (Japanese Girls’ Day) is one of Japan’s most beautiful unofficial holidays; a day on which Japanese households with young daughters decorate their homes with ornamental dolls (Hina dolls) on red-cloth covered platforms. The dolls are said to represent the emperor, empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period, and are used to pray for girls’ prosperity, and health.
Dressed in kimonos and holding decorative fans, our presenting girls performed a cherry blossom dance with traditional Japanese music playing. The students then spoke using a slideshow to explain various aspects of Japanese Girls’ Day, including information about the specific arrangement of Hina dolls and the eating of special foods like mochi.
After participating in last year’s Enough: National School Walkout our Hamlin School students were inspired to continue their work for gun control in the United States. This year, Grade 7 student Emma S. organized the Hamlin Association of Change. Today, the Association of Change brought together dozens of Middle School students to write letters urging our government officials to do more to control the use of guns in our society. Below is the template (written by Nicki G.) that students used to craft their handwritten letters:
Dear Government Official (Fill in Name)
I am a student at the Hamlin School for Girls in San Francisco, California. I am writing to you on the pressing topic of gun control. Gun control is a major problem in our world that needs a lot of improvement and work. Gun control is especially necessary as the rate of school shootings have drastically increased in the past years. Brief background checks allow suspected terrorists and people with known mental health diseases to buy guns, such as AR-15 rifles. There is no need for this extremely dangerous automatic rifle in the lives of Americans. These people pose a threat to everyone when they have these dangerous weapons in their possession.
INSERT OWN WRITING HERE
We need to end gun violence in our country and secure the safety of all Americans. I hope you will address this national security issue and do what is right for the people of (your state) and the United States. Thank you.
Thank you for your time,
- How security and safety can be improved
- How background checks can/need to be improved
- Problems guns cause in schools
- Problems guns cause in the world
These girls are bringing the mission of The Hamlin School to life and are indeed meeting one of the challenges of their time.