Category Archives: Global Citizenship

Hamlin Students Read Books at Hamilton Families

Wednesday evening, seven (Emma C. is not in the photo) altruistic Hamlin students went to the nonprofit Hamilton Families to read books to children experiencing homelessness. This was our first Read With Me visit of the school year. The girls read to the Hamilton kids, colored with them and even played blocks with a baby.

Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hamilton Families is nationally recognized for pioneering homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs.

For many, many years, the Hamlin School has worked to support homeless families in San Francisco through a profound partnership with the nonprofit Hamilton Families. Hamlin students promote literacy through this Read With Me program. Multiple times a year Hamlin students visit Hamilton and read to younger children in the center. Both Hamlin students and Hamilton children alike, treasure this very human exchange.

To learn more about Hamilton Families, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/

 

Hamlin Students Speak at Alliance for Girls Event

Thursday night four Grade 8 students and Ms. Wanda M. Holland Greene (Head of The Hamlin School) spoke at the A Day of the Girl Fundraiser and Celebration held by the nonprofit Alliance for Girls. The event took place at the Salesforce building in San Francisco.

The Hamlin School has been a member of Alliance for Girls for a number of years. The mission of Alliance for Girls is:

To ensure that girl-serving organizations are more connected, more effective and better able to prepare today’s girls to be the leaders, agents of change and thriving women of tomorrow.

Our students spoke about their work creating the film, “Strawbucks.”

Strawbucks is a short film that interweaves detailed information connecting the use of plastic straws (in businesses like Starbucks), to the growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The film utilizes interviews with Hamlin students to create a powerful narrative, urging viewers to replace their plastic straws with ones that are more environmentally friendly (metal, glass).

Dani shared the following in her remarks:

Girls and women have multiple stereotypes and negative connotations attached to them. We are often thought of as overly emotional. Well, we used that “emotion” to fuel and put our hearts into our film. When women are passionate about something, there is no stopping them. You push them down and we pop right back up. Investing in young women is investing in the future.

“Strawbucks,” was shown at the event, it can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H78u-Ne11Qc

 

Matter of Trust Speaks at Hamlin

In the spring, Grade 7 students will be participating in a active learning experience called Rise to the Challenge.

Rise to the Challenge is the intensive for our Grade 7 studentsIntensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. These intensives are designed with Hamlin’s mission in mind, as our students meet the challenges of their time.

Grade 7 students have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various problems.

To prepare and inspire our girls for Rise to the Challenge, we have had speakers sharing their altruistic passions with our students.

Yesterday, Lisa Craig Gautier, the founder of the nonprofit A Matter of Trust, spoke with students.

Matter of Trust provides systems for sorting recyclables and compostables into useful stockpiles. By focusing on convenience, we learn what households need most from community reuse programs. Gathering perspectives from global industries, we find motivations and new zero-waste opportunities. We are passionate about efficiency and deconstructable designs.

Ms. Gautier encouraged our students to discover their passion and make a difference in the world by thinking outside the box in creative ways.

Special thanks to Mr. Ditto (in the photo), who invited Ms. Gautier to Hamlin.

To learn more about Matter of Trust, please visit: https://matteroftrust.org/

 

 

Glide Minister Speaks at Hamlin

Wednesday afternoon, we welcomed Reverend Harry Louis Williams II. Reverend Williams has worked at Glide Memorial Church for the past 13 years. He spoke with Grade 7 students about his outreach ministry with people experiencing poverty on the streets of East Oakland and the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

Reverend Harry Louis Williams II, is a minister and social activist hailing from Oakland, CA. He is the author or co-author of eight books, ranging in genre from Black History to Urban Fiction. In 2015, the Oakland City Council awarded Williams a proclamation for his work in healing street-level violence in the Oakland, CA inner city, as well as his efforts to bring awareness to the epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation of children and comfort to its victims.

Reverend Williams spoke to students about the difficulties faced by children born into poverty. He asked audience members to visualize a recent excursion he took to East Oakland’s “Village Homeless Encampment.” He described a 4-year boy named Michael who lived in the encampment without parents, electricity, daily hygiene, and a regular source of food. He asked our Hamlin students how Michael would be treated when he started elementary school. Students responded with empathetic sentiments, expressing how alone and alienated Michael would likely feel.

Reverend Williams told our students, “you are fantastic, the future is yours, you are someone’s answer.” He closed by encouraging our girls to give back and volunteer to help others who are not as fortunate as they are.

 

Lava Mae Visits Hamlin

For the past two years, The Hamlin School has had a close partnership with the nonprofit Lava Mae.

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality™ – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service, Pop-Up Care Villages and buildIt toolkit.

Hamlin students have volunteered at Pop-Up Care Villages helping to distribute clothing and food to our unhoused San Francisco neighbors.

Jamie Ramirez and Kao Choua Vue from Lava Mae, visited with Grade 7 students yesterday. They shared videos, led students through simulations, and shared the following points (among others):

We deeply appreciate the warmth of Hamlin students who have volunteered with Lava Mae.

Lava Mae practices “Radical Hospitality,” a high level of care for our unhoused neighbors.

People on the streets rise to the level of care that they are given.

How you are treating people matters. Even just making eye contact and saying hello to someone makes a difference.

What if we all practiced “Radical Hospitality” to each other every day, what would our world be like?

To learn more about Lava Mae, please visit: https://lavamae.org/

 

 

Hamlin Student Works with Refugees in Bangladesh

This summer Cassidy, a Grade 8 student, led with her heart while working with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Prior to her journey Cassidy did extensive research, identifying the problem in the region with guidance from her social studies teacher, Heather Smith.

Myanmar’s Muslim minority, known as the Rohingya, have been attacked with impunity, driven from their homes through violence, murder and rape, and forced to seek refuge. The UN considers the Rohingya people to be the most persecuted people on earth. Starting in August of last year, their plight worsened when Myanmar’s military started systematically killing them and burning down their villages. Since then, over 900,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The UN has described the situation as a textbook case of “ethnic cleansing.”

Cassidy then created a plan of action to address this challenge of her time. Below is her plan, in her words.

I am passionate about ending Human Trafficking in the world and had already arranged to work against trafficking with activists in Dhaka.  As the refugee crisis developed and worsened, I knew we had to do something to help in the camps as well.  This summer, I will volunteer in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2 shelters that protect trafficking victims, I will put together survivor kits, give hugs, play with the children, and do whatever the organizations need me to do.  Then, we are traveling to Cox’s Bazar to provide aid and assistance in the refugee camps.  

I am working to bring awareness to this horrific event and the bigger problem of human trafficking and thought others would appreciate the opportunity to support these refugees in a very direct way. 100% of the funds donated would go straight to the refugees. There will be no overhead costs, no middle man, and no organization taking a cut. All funds raised will go directly to the refugees in need. We are providing all of our own travel costs and related expenses.

Determined to help out, Cassidy was able to raise over $12,000 in donations that went toward alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

Below is an excerpt from Cassidy’s blog about her volunteer experience:

Continue reading

Demonstrating Knowledge: Rise To the Challenge in Grade 7

Rise To the Challenge is the intensive for our Grade 7 students Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. These intensives are designed with Hamlin’s mission in mind, as our students meet the challenges of their time.

Grade 7 students have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various problems.

This year’s topics were: Technology and Well-being, LBGTQ+ Rights, Oceans and Plastics, Oceans and Overfishing, Cancer Prevention, Digital Privacy and Cybersecurity, Gun Violence and School Shootings, Stress Prevention, Post-Antibiotic Era, Mass Incarceration of People of Color, Access to Education for Rohingya Girls in Bangladesh.

Many teams used technology to generate awareness, including: videos, websites, blogs, Twitter, Change.org, and Instagram. One group made their own “zero waste” whipped lotion, mascara, toothpaste, and deodorant. Another group made wooden shark earrings to raise awareness about the unethical fishing for shark fins.

The Stress Prevention group explored meditation as a way to help solve their problem. In the video below students speak firsthand about stress and how meditation helps them.

Hamlin Student Visiting Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

A Grade 7 Hamlin student is visiting a refugee camp in Bangladesh this summer. Speaking to her classmates, Cassidy shared her passion to make a difference in another part of the world. Cassidy spoke about how child refugees often become victims of human trafficking, something she learned about in her Grade 6 social studies class.

The humanitarian crisis caused by escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State is causing suffering on a catastrophic scale. As of 24 May, there are an estimated 905,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazar. Not only has the pace of arrivals since 25 August made this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, the concentration of refugees in Cox’s Bazar is now amongst the densest in the world. Refugees arriving in Bangladesh—mostly women and children—are traumatized, and some have arrived with injuries caused by gunshots, shrapnel, fire and landmines. –United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

There are 500,000 children in the refugee camp that she will visit. “Most of the kids are not being educated and many do not have parents, they are orphans who are simply assigned a family to live with.”

Cassidy will bring an altruistic presence and help younger children practice their English during her time at the refugee camp.

After her presentation Cassidy distributed paper for Hamlin students to make cards for the refugee children.

“We are showing the children that they are not alone in the world and that we care about them.”

For more information about the refugee crisis, please visit: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-29/pregnant-rohingya-refugees-facing-monsoon-see-donor-funds-dry-up

 

Hamlin Picks Up Litter In San Francisco

This Friday students in Grade 3 walked to Lafayette Park picking up trash along the way. Maia Kolbeck from the Aquarium of the Bay spoke to the girls beforehand about the importance of keeping our city litter free. She emphasized that San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides and that trash on land often ends up in the Bay where it is ingested by fish and seals. Students filled multiple trash bags with everything from old party balloons, to glass bottles. Ms. Ray led this thoughtful environmental stewardship project.

Hamlin Visits Preschoolers in the Mission

On May 9, Hamlin Grade 8 students visited Holy Family Day Home in the Mission, a nonprofit organization that we have worked with for the past 14 years. The visit was led by our middle school Spanish department.

Holy Family Day Home’s goal is to provide affordable, high quality, early childhood education and family support services in a stable and nurturing environment, thereby providing the children of working families skills and hope for lifelong development.  

Hamlin students began the morning by singing the song Cada Semilla to the preschoolers and playing Simon Says, all in Spanish. Our students were then paired up with different children to read books. Our girls brought their very own self-created books written in Spanish with beautiful handmade illustrations. After sharing these fantastic stories, everyone went outside to play. The joy and energy between the younger and older students was palpable. One Hamlin student shared, “I loved how creative and caring they were, I got so many hugs.”

After playtime, Hamlin students heard more about program specifics from members of Holy Family Day Home’s leadership team. They learned about the food pantry that provides nourishment for families in need, and the emphasis placed on seamlessly integrating homeless and non-homeless students into classrooms.

Below is a video of our students singing:

To learn more about Holy Family Day Home, please visit: https://holyfamilydayhome.org/