This Friday, our student-led Middle School Environmental Ambassador’s Club (EAC) led a march to address climate change. The optional march took place during recess in support of the Global Youth Climate Strike organized by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Our girls (Grades 3-8) marched down Broadway to Fillmore to Jackson and back, in support of climate justice for all.
On Thursday, girls in grades 5-8 ventured out to various parts of San Francisco. The day provided an opportunity for our students to bond with each other in eclectic off campus locales. Girls were able to challenge themselves physically, and volunteer, while connecting with each other through shared experiences.
Students went to the following places:
Circus Center offers classes for every level of ability in flying trapeze, acrobatics, aerial arts, contortion, juggling and many other disciplines.
Grade 6: Pier 39
Opened in 1978, Pier 39 is favorite location to visit in San Francisco, boasting excellent views of Alcatraz, Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.
Stow Lake is a human-made lake in Golden Gate Park with a rich history that dates back to 1893. The lake has provided San Franciscans with an outdoor escape for more than a century, as they come to enjoy the scenery. Students pulled out invasive plants around the lake.
The Fort Miley Ropes Course offers a fun, safety conscious and positive environment for individuals and groups to work together to develop confidence, trust, cooperation and leadership skills through actions.
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.
During the month of March, lower school students are learning about the fragile lifecycle of fish through their participation in a program called Trout in the Classroom.
Trout in the Classroom is a community-based program which allows students to experience first hand the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems. Using eggs provided by a hatchery, classes set-up and maintain an aquarium for the purpose of observing the development of fish from the eyed-egg stage until they become young fry. Students engage in a course of study which supports the learning experience across curriculum area. This program is run cooperatively by local schools, fishing clubs and government agencies.
-Provide a positive learning program for classrooms on the value of aquatic ecosystems through the hatching and release of trout.
-Help students learn about their local watershed and how human activities affect the quality of water in local streams, lakes and the bay.
The 49 healthy trout eggs (seen in the photo above) were received on March 6 and will hatch in the coming weeks. Once hatched, the fish will have their pure spring water changed twice a week, with a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students will see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they move from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.
On April 10, students will go to Lake Merced in San Francisco to release the trout.
To learn more about this program, please visit: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/CAEP/R3
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/
On Monday, Grade 6 students had their first visit of the school year to Mountain Lake in San Francisco.
The Hamlin School is situated within the urban confines of San Francisco. However, every year students have the opportunity to spend intensive days studying nature, collecting data, and participating in ongoing research work.
This hands on encounter with ecology takes place at Mountain Lake, a natural 1,700-year-old freshwater pond. “The area around Mountain Lake is home to 250 species of birds, 30 species of butterflies, 50 species of mammals, and more federally protected species than any other national park in the continental United States.” Spanish explorers who went on to settle San Francisco spent their first night camped by the lake in 1776.
In more recent years it was discovered that the entire lake was polluted. This was caused by dirty water run off from a nearby road, pesticides from the adjacent golf course, and people dumping non-native fish and turtles into the lake. The situation became so dire that the Presidio Trust had to kill all the fish in the lake with 50 gallons of rotenone, an odorless, colorless, poison. Once the water quality was restored, the Presidio Trust reintroduced non-invasive species better suited for the Mountain Lake environment.
Through the diligent work of faculty member Rachel Davis, Hamlin has been partnered with the Presidio Trust for a number of years. “The Presidio Trust is an innovative federal agency created to save the Presidio, (once a premier U.S. Army post) and share it with the public as a vibrant national park site.”
Over the years Hamlin students have:
-Collected data on birds for migration patterns
-Collected data on plants in order to look at climate change
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 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.
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/
Avery, a Grade 8 student, just returned from a 3-day training with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps in Los Angeles. In the above photo, Avery is standing with youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman (who also participated in the event).
The mission of Climate Reality is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. The Earth is facing a climate crisis, driven by fossil fuels. At Climate Reality, we’re here to make urgent action a necessity. In politics. In business. In every aspect of our lives. Everywhere. Urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and speed the global shift to renewables. Urgent action to make world leaders strengthen and honor their Paris Agreement commitments. Led by former US Vice President Al Gore and CEO and President Ken Berlin, we do it by empowering everyday people to become activists, equipped with the tools, training, and network to fight for solutions and drive change planet-wide. The result is nearly 14,500 Climate Reality Leaders mobilizing communities in over 100 countries. Branches in 10 critical nations and regions around the Earth. Over 80 activists chapters (and growing) pushing for practical clean energy policies across the US. Together, they add up to a powerful movement growing by the day. One by the people. Of the people. For the planet.
Avery shared the following about the training conference:
“It was very interesting because Al Gore showed us how to give a presentation on climate change. He encouraged us to use the slides that stuck out for us. I’m planning on giving a presentation with my mom to a group of friends and family, then probably in front of other people as well. I’m so glad I went, it made me feel like I know so much more about climate change.”
To learn more about The Climate Reality Project, please visit: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/
Good morning everybody! I’m Allie and welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! Although I love coming back to school and seeing all of my friends, I am also very familiar with the adjustment of having to wake up early once again. So I just wanted to say welcome and I hope you are all awake.
On the topic of welcomes, there are some people here in the audience who are joining us for their first year at Hamlin. I’d first like to give a warm welcome to our youngest sisters, the Kindergarten class of 2027! Kindergarteners, please stand and turn around to face the audience and give everyone a big wave. In addition, can we have the 16 awesome new students joining us in grades 1-7 please stand up. Welcome to the Hamlin family!
For the last couple of weeks, all of our teachers have been working here at school. They have experienced the changes that our school has undergone over the summer. The blacktop is now painted gray and we have new flooring in the dining rooms. Because we have beautiful new floors and we will be getting new white tables in October, let’s do our best to keep the lunchrooms clean. This year when we bus our plates, one thing will be different. We will now sort everything into its correct bin, instead of handing our trays to Mr. Sandoval, Ms. Molina, or Ms. Martinez to do for us. We should start being more independent in this regard, and not rely on others to clean up after us.
Our teachers have been working extremely hard to make this school year amazing for us while we have been spending our last few weeks of summer. I want to welcome all of our new teachers this year. New teachers, please wave to us so we now who you are. Not only do I want to thank all of the new and returning teachers who have been working so hard, but I also want to give a warm welcome to Dr. Kelsey Twist Schroeder. Dr. Schroeder is our new Head of Middle School and we are so excited to hear all of her great ideas this coming year. Finally, I’d like to give a shoutout to the 8th grade. (Could you guys please stand up?) Class of 2019, I love you all and we have all made our time at school so enjoyable. Let’s make this year our best one yet!
Before I introduce the theme of the year, I want to share a short story with you. During the first half of 7th grade, I was in the theatre elective. Some of you might remember our production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. When the semester came to a close and the elective was over, the whole cast was really sad because we had been a pretty tight group. During our last class together, Ms. Abbott had us do an activity. She told us to all pick partners as she passed around gold stars about this big. Ms. Abbott told us to write our names on the stars and switch with our partners. We then wrote things like messages, compliments, and stories on each others stars. When my partner handed my star back to me, I was shocked. I honestly almost started crying when I read it. Not only did she make it look really nice and pretty, but she wrote the NICEST notes. My friend went above and beyond. Not only did she compliment my acting in the play and how I showed a lot of emotion on stage, but she also praised some of my personal qualities and talked about us being best friends. Although this project was an assignment, because my partner put so much heart and work into it, my star became a true gift of friendship. I currently have that star hanging above my desk, and whenever I’m having a tough day, I take it down and read it and it always makes me feel happy and greatful. Deeds like this are why the theme of the 2018-2019 school year is, “What you do matters.” “What you do matters” means thinking about the impact of your actions. The decisions of community members either add to the joy and unity of the group or take away from it. For instance, my friend didn’t take the activity from Ms. Abbott just as an assignment, but she really put in the extra effort to make it something that mattered to me. It made me feel happier and even closer to her. With the impact of your decisions, there’s no neutrality. In other words, your actions always have an impact, an effect on others. Continue reading
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.