Tag Archives: San Francisco

Citizen Science at Mountain Lake

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

Continue reading

Day of Service with Grade 7

On Tuesday, Grade 7 students left campus to volunteer and visit with the nonprofits Glide, St. Anthony’s, Faithful Fools, Lava Mae (in Oakland), and Matter of Trust. 

The objectives for the day were to: foster community, team build, cultivate empathy, and learn how service can impact the world.

Highlights of the day included the following:

-Dancing to ABBA while serving and cleaning up breakfast at Glide

-Eating at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

-Quietly reflecting on time spent in the Tenderloin

-Meeting members of the Faithful Fools

-Helping out with a Lava Mae Pop Up Care Village

-Matting hair (for beach clean ups) and sorting eco products at Matter of Trust

During the reflection time, one student shared the following about her experience at Glide:

We are all humans with the same wants and needs. We should all help each other because that is what we are supposed to do. 

Below are links to the various organizations:

https://lavamae.org/

https://www.glide.org/

https://www.stanthonysf.org/

https://matteroftrust.org/

https://www.faithfulfools.org/

 

Saadi Halil Performs at The Hamlin School

On Wednesday, Saadi Halil spoke and performed in front of Grade 7 students. Mr. Halil is an accomplished musician and co-owns San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery in the Inner Sunset.

Saadi Halil has traveled the world studying various languages and incorporating different styles of folk music into his repertoire. After living in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Portugal, and Spain, Halil expanded the diversity of his Blues and American folk sound with his take on Spanish and Portuguese folk traditions. Saadi also has an original song catalogue of over 100 songs.

Mr. Halil performed songs and spoke to our students about his life. He played a Blues tune, a sing-along Bob Dylan song, and an original composition that he wrote in Portuguese.

Mr. Halil majored in international affairs at George Washington University and emphasized the importance of travel in his life. He spoke about how music and travel helped shape him into a lifelong listener, someone interested in other people and their various cultures. He urged students to pursue their passions in life and do what really makes them feel alive and happy. During the Q and A period, Mr. Halil talked about his love for making ice cream, listing some of his favorite flavors, including a special one that features baklava.

To learn more about Saadi Halil, please visit: https://www.saadihalil.com/

To learn more about his ice cream store, please visit: http://www.sfhometowncreamery.com/

 

 

Hamlin Students Visit the SFMOMA

On Thursday, students in Grade 6 had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and see the Magritte exhibit.

René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.

Hamlin art teacher, Ms. Feldman put together an interactive Keynote that allowed our students to engage in profound learning as they experienced the artwork.

As part of the Keynote tour (with their iPads), girls did the following (among other activities):

Discuss with your partner:

-Explore the works in this room. What emotions are being expressed? Do you think that art needs to express emotions? Whose emotions does art express?

-Choose one piece of artwork to talk about. What do you think will happen next in this piece?

-With your partner, find a piece of art in this room to talk about and answer these questions: What is the story that you see in this work of art? What do you see in the work that tells you it is about this story?

To learn more about the exhibit, please visit: https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions-events/

 

 

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

 

Middle School Field Trip Day

On Thursday, girls in grades 5-8 ventured out to various parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. 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:

Grade 5: Circus Center

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.

Grade 7: Farm2Market at Alameda Point Collaborative

Farm2Market is a small, diversified working farm that produces thousands of pounds of sustainably grown produce each year. They are a social enterprise of Alameda Point Collaborative (a supportive housing community), using a passion for food and the environment to support APC residents as they move toward economic self-sufficiency and greater health and wellness.

Grade 8: Fort Miley Ropes Course

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. 

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 Kindergarteners Visit the Curran Theatre

This week a class of Hamlin kindergarteners had the opportunity to visit the Curran Theatre. Earlier in the year some of our students watched a performance of the musical Bright Star at the theatre. On another occasion many of our girls sang at the theatre as part of the new season launch. We are very excited about this vibrant and ongoing partnership with the Curran.

Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the biggest productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the premier live entertainment venues in North America. Now, almost a century after it welcomed its first Bay Area audiences, the Curran has just completed a major restoration and renovation. Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award-winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran reopened its 1,600 seat venue in January 2017 with the groundbreaking musical FUN HOME. Now, the Curran is offering our first ever subscription offering. #CURRAN2018 is a full season of jaw-dropping theater, entertainment and artistry that offers four new works by some of the world’s most celebrated theater artists and an eclectic line-up of special events.

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Phillips shares more about their visit:

The girls got the chance to sit in the balcony and learned about the history of the theatre and some fun facts- it opened in 1922 ​and the chandelier weighs as much as a car (over 4000 lbs) and can only be moved up and down by a hand crank! There is no play going on at the moment, so the stage was empty and the girls not only had the opportunity to explore the stage, but were also able to perform the plays they have been working on! After their quick performances, we got to go backstage and learn about how the scenes and different props are brought down and lifted up, and went into the “star” dressing room.

This was an amazing culminating field trip for our emergent unit on acting!

To learn more about the Curran Theatre, please visit: https://sfcurran.com/