Category Archives: Global Citizenship

Hamlin Students Learn About Human Trafficking

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 21 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking around the world. Human trafficking and forced labor generate $150 billion dollars annually.

Today, Hamlin 6th graders listened to a panel discussion with the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The information they gained served to further their understanding of a topic that they are studying in social studies classes.

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Hamlin Kindergartener Supports Refugees

Hamlin kindergartner Lily and her sister Abby heard their parents discussing refugees and the recent travel ban. They became curious and wanted to understand why there were refugees. They wanted to know what makes someone a refugee? Their parents explained that many people had their homes destroyed by war and were looking for a safe place to start a new life. Immediately, Lily and Abby wanted to know how they could help.

Lily decided she wanted to have a bake sale for the refugees and donate all the money so they could come to United States and feel safe. This led into a longer discussion about other people who also needed help.

The girls selected three organizations to support with their bake sale based on their interests.

1. Helping the refugees (International Refugee Assistance Project)
2. Celebrating Love and people getting the support they need to be themselves (The Trevor Project)
3. Protecting the environment (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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Teach With Africa Coming to Hamlin

From March 6th-30th South African teacher, Nonhlanhla Ntshingila will be sharing her talents with our Hamlin students and faculty. Ms. Ntshingila will work closely with Social Studies teacher, Heather Smith, as they explore 6th grade curriculum that focuses on South Africa. Hamlin has participated with Teach With Africa in the past and we look forward to this year’s cross-cultural exchange.

Nonhlanhla Ntshingila is from Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, South Africa. She went to Minerva high school and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Education in intermediate and senior phase through Unisa (University of South Africa).

Nonhlanhla majors in Math and IsiZulu, one of the official languages in South Africa. She specifically chose to be a primary school teacher because she believes that it is the foundation for a quality education.

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.

For more information about Teach With Africa, please visit:

Hamlin Spanish Students Welcome La Cocina

On January 30th, Hamlin 7th graders welcomed Jessica Mataka from the nonprofit, La Cocina.

The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant and inclusive economic landscape.

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Hamlin Participates in the San Francisco Homeless Count

HomelessCountOn the evening of January 26th, Hamlin 8th graders Sophie and Mikayla joined a record number 768 volunteers as part of San Francisco’s 2017 Point-In-Time Homeless Count. The last homeless count in San Francisco was completed in 2015 and tallied 6,686 people living on the streets. Results from this year are expected to be slightly higher and will be made public in the coming weeks.

Point-In-Time Counts are unduplicated 1-night estimates of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The 1-night counts are conducted by Continuums of Care nationwide and occur during the last week in January of each year. The count helps us understand the issues and experience of homelessness and is meant to be a snapshot of homelessness on a single day. The Point in time Count is also required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The information gathered in this count directly affects the amount of funds each community receives from the Federal Government. 

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Hamlin Supports Simply the Basics

Today, four altruistic Hamlin 8th graders prepared 150 hygiene kits supporting the work of Simply the Basics.

The Mission of Simply the Basics is to provide for individuals, organizations, and communities their most basic needs with dignity so that they can focus on bigger goals. We simply remove barriers, allowing people to have the opportunity to achieve.

The goals of Simply the Basics include:

-improving the overall health and wellbeing of low income families and people experiencing homelessness

-facilitating the operations of nonprofit organizations by securing and managing their in-kind donation process, allowing them to focus their time on clients

Hamlin students worked diligently to make sure that each kit had toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, socks, razors,  tampons, and pads (among other items). The hygiene kits were then delivered to the Gubbio Project and St. Anthony’s.

Watch the video below to see the girls in action:

To learn more about Simply the Basics please visit:

Special thanks to the founder of Simply the Basics, Meghan Freebeck for her inspiration and time.

“Read With Me” A Hamlin and Hamilton Families Partnership

MayaPGuest post by Hamlin 8th grader, Maya P.

Recently, I had a chance to read with young children at Hamilton Families, a transitional housing center. At Hamilton, families looking for housing are provided with a living space and community while they are in search of a new place to live. Currently, there are 12 families living there, but that number changes frequently as families find new homes. The program “Read With Me” lets kids my age read with younger kids at the center.

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Hamlin Kindergartener Helps the Hungry

SaayaSometimes the youngest members of our Hamlin community show us the way to serve others and give to those with less financial resources.

Since the age of 4, Saaya has asked questions about homeless people. “How do they eat? Where do they sleep?” She began with these questions while searching for solutions. With an innate and intuitive understanding, Saaya felt empathy for homeless individuals observing, “people need food to eat.” Her first answer was to take food from her house directly to homeless people.

Given her desire to act, Saaya’s parents began searching for volunteer and service options. In 2015, they discovered the Bay Area chapter of the International Basket Brigade.

The altruistic work of the Basket Brigade is:

Inspired by the world renown Anthony Robbins’ “call to action” and motivated by the the efforts of our friends at the Anthony Robbins Foundation, our team is focused on bringing holiday meals full of hope to families in need in the San Francisco Peninsula area. Dedicated to creating positive change for hundreds of families during Thanksgiving, the SF Basket Brigade provides Thanksgiving Day gift baskets to local families in need.

This year Saaya was determined to help feed as many people as she could.  Her parents created a video where she explains what the Basket Brigade does and why people need food. Originally her parents thought Saaya would perhaps raise $500, but in just two weeks she obtained $2300 in donations for food baskets. The money will help 57 families enjoy Thanksgiving meals this holiday season. Saaya’s caring message clearly resonated with donors. The Hamlin community is very proud that she is addressing a challenge of our time by helping to alleviate hunger during the holidays.

You can watch Saaya’s video here:

To learn more about the SF Peninsula Basket Brigade, please visit:



Hamlin’s Autumn Book Drive


To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his (or her) country.    -George Washington

For many years the Hamlin School has worked to support literacy in San Francisco by conducting the Literary Lion Book Drive. Over the last couple of weeks a dedicated group of students and parents have been collecting, counting, and sorting books. The books will go to Hamilton Families, The San Francisco Education Fund, and the Children’s Book Project. Leading the charge are 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who work during lunch and recess and are supported by Hamlin parents Kana Muraki, Diana Young, and Kathy Shepherd.

Organizers anticipate that Hamlin will collect close to 3,000 gently used books. The donated books are received with great appreciation. In the past, Hamilton Families has gifted the books to individual children who are experiencing homelessness. The San Francisco Education Fund plans to distribute some of the books to teachers at Bessie Carmichael School for use during guided reading instruction. The Children’s Book Project maintains a warehouse full of books that are available for teachers, social workers and others who work directly with underserved children in San Francisco.

The book drive runs through November 18th. Please put your books for donation in the baskets near the reception areas of either McKinney or Stanwood.

Indigo speaks about why this work is so important:


To learn more about Hamilton Families, the San Francisco Education Fund, and the Children’s Book Project, please visit:

Hamlin Celebrates Diwali

DiwaliblogphotoOn October 26th we celebrated Diwali with joy and vibrant energy. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, and means “row of lights.” It is a time to rejoice in the triumph of light over darkness and is embraced by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. The holiday begins on October 30th and will last five days.

In honor of Diwali the entrances to Hamlin were decorated with rangolis as a sign of welcome with hopes of bringing good luck to visitors. Marigolds were also displayed to signify good over evil. For lunch our kitchen prepared a Diwali-inspired menu of lentil soup, chicken biryani, raita, and roasted cauliflower.

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