Tag Archives: San Francisco

Kindergarten Visits Jane the Bakery

A Hamlin Kindergarten class (Ortiz/Burnett) has been focusing their emergent class study on baking. This study is based on student interest through questions, observations, and curiosity. When possible, baking is integrated into various aspects of class, including math, science, and writing. The class has been baking bread all year long with a bread-making machine, but visiting Jane the Bakery (on Geary Street), provided students with an engaging firsthand experience.

Born from a deep-seated love of all things culinary, Amanda Michael founded JANE to satisfy her passion and deliver memorable experiences to the many loyal and transient guests who have come to love the institution. Amanda’ s career in food and hospitality spans decades and she has spent many years cooking and baking in a myriad of restaurants.

Amanda opened Jane on Fillmore in February 2011 with the mission of serving top quality coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch. We serve healthy food with an emphasis on flavor and quality of ingredients. Everything is made fresh daily from scratch.

Jane on Larkin opened in 2013 and our expanded space allowed us to introduce our own line of breads in addition to our house-made pastries. We also introduced our full catering department.

In late 2016, Jane the Bakery opened, allowing us to expand our bakery program even more. We bake several dozen breads daily as well as a full line of laminated items and pastries. Our breads and pastries have quickly gained recognition as some of the best you can find.

As part of their Jane experience students:

-Watched the baking of baguettes

-Watched the baking of cookies

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Building Community in Grade 1

Grade 1 students have spent much of their school year exploring San Francisco and the people who live in our city. Students began by asking: How can we demonstrate good citizenship in our local community? Girls took walks around the Hamlin neighborhood in order to: make observations, think about the needs of a community, and speak with people who live and work nearby. 1st graders looked at different kinds of maps, made their own maps, and followed maps on the neighborhood walks. The girls also had an opportunity to explore their own home neighborhoods and teach their peers about what they discovered through creating poster boards with photos.

As part of this work, students conducted interviews with community members taking on various roles such as: interviewer, microphone expert, and photographer. Core to this project-based learning endeavor was the integration of technology for conducting interviews and sharing findings. Students utilized GarageBand, QR codes, and the Cardboard Camera app (among others). Hamlin’s tech team has been working with 1st grade teachers for multiple years to support and strengthen this far-reaching pedagogy.

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Homeless Voices, Hamlin Voices

On February 8, middle school students and their parents participated in a very special listening event with Lava Mae and Sound Made Public. The evening provided an opportunity for Hamlin community members to listen to the voices of people experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco, while also hearing reflections from our students who have been regularly volunteering with Lava Mae.

Participants sat on buckets and cardboard with the lights off, creating an environment to better empathize and take in the powerful narratives. The event provided the opportunity to get a little closer, listen, and imagine not having a place to call home – evoking a deeper view and a greater connection to our shared humanity.

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.

Sound Made Public is a creative agency focusing on audio experiences, large and small, that change the way we hear the world.

Quotes from the audio recordings:

Homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, people who are bums, it’s the farthest thing from the truth, you meet people from all walks of life.         -A man experiencing homelessness

It’s a situation, people who are homeless weren’t always homeless, you’re in is a situation, it’s changeable, it’s very changeable.          -A woman experiencing homelessness

After like 30 minutes or so volunteering with Lava Mae I became much more comfortable and I understood that they were people. Homeless people are like normal people.   -Hamlin student

It’s not just their exterior, there is a lot going on underneath, and if you see somebody, you don’t know what they’ve gone through, you don’t know what they’re going through, so if someone looks like they need help, then I think you should help them.      -Hamlin student

We just went and we volunteered for a few hours, and it wasn’t that hard, and it wasn’t that much, but when many people do that, it adds up. And when there is something like Lava Mae that makes it possible for people to volunteer for these things, even if it’s not solving homelessness, it’s definitely making a a difference.       -Hamlin student

To listen to the recording, click here

To learn more about Lava Mae and Sound Made Public please visit:






Hamlin Harvest 2018

For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families.

Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our largest event connected to Hamilton is our annual Harvest. This year over 200 Hamlin students, parents, and faculty members prepared food for families currently experiencing homelessness. On Saturday, January 27, we made vegetable lasagnas, salads, fresh garlic bread, and apple crisps. The following day a group of Hamlin Grade 8 students served the food at Hamilton Families. Altogether, Harvest provided nourishment for 300 people.

The event took place between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and consisted of two work shifts. Between the shifts, Wanda Holland Greene (Head of School) and Tomiquia Moss (Executive Director of Hamilton Families), addressed the volunteers. Ms. Holland Greene shared inspiring words and led everyone in the song With My Own Two Hands. Ms. Moss stated that we can end family homelessness in San Francisco and stressed how important is for kids at Hamilton to be known, loved, and supported by their community.

Special thanks to Hamlin parents Betsy Ahlstrand and Nichole Sullivan for helping to organize this wonderful event.

For more information about Hamilton Families, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/



Lava Mae & Simply the Basics

On January 25, Lilah Beldner spoke with our Grade 7 students about Lava Mae. Ms. Beldner is a recent graduate of Lick-Wilmerding High School and is taking a gap year to serve people experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco. Since 2016, Hamlin students have been volunteering every month with Lava Mae’s Pop-Up Care Villages, serving food and working in the street store distributing clothing.

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.

Ms. Beldner emphasized the following points (among others):

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Hamlin Performs at the Curran Theatre

On January 17, Carole Shorenstein Hays and the Curran Theatre ushered in the 2018 season with a powerful performance by a few San Francisco Bay Area schools.

Audiences to the Curran’s press conferences were treated to a rendition of “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen,” performed by students from Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, the Hamlin School and Cathedral School for Boys — a fitting accompaniment to Shorenstein Hays’ announcement of the theater’s new student education program, the Curran Angels, which will underwrite children’s attendance at the theater. Lynne and Marc Benioff are lead sponsors (SFGATE).

Our Hamlin School chorus sang from the seated area to guests who were gathered on stage, creating a dramatic audio and visual experience for those in attendance.

One student shared:

I thought it was really cool that we got perform with high school students from SOTA (Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts). Being with them elevated our performance and was a great experience.

For more information on the performances coming to the Curran, please visit: https://sfcurran.com/

This video shows the final rehearsal for the event:




Hamlin Harvest is Coming

For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support homeless families in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families. A child born into this world has no control over their situation; our partnership strives to address hunger, literacy, and provide awareness of homelessness faced by some of our city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Hamilton Families was established as an emergency overnight homeless shelter in 1985. At that time the shelter was located in the Haight-Ashbury district and was open nightly from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

These days family homelessness in San Francisco has increased by more than 90% from 2007 to 2014. Over 2,000 children were homeless in 2014 and it took most families nearly nine months to access temporary shelter. Hamilton Families is working to address this crisis by helping families quickly find permanent housing. Progress in communities across the nation over the last few years has affirmed that an end to family homelessness is an achievable goal (Hamilton Families Website).

Hamlin’s connection to Hamilton dates back to the late 1990s when Hamlin’s Lend-A-Hand started partnering with the center. Lend-A-Hand is Hamlin’s dynamic Parents Association service learning program. It is open to all families and offers service opportunities with San Francisco organizations that focus on hunger, homelessness, and literacy.

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Simply the Basics Visits Hamlin

Meghan Freebeck, the founder of Simply the Basics and CEO of Project Homeless Connect visited The Hamlin School on October 24. Simply the Basics provides personal hygiene products to those in need.

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.

Ms. Freebeck spoke about the following (among other topics):

-Simply the Basics supports people based on “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”

-Simply the Basics conducted extensive research before launching their nonprofit

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Grade 7 Students Volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank

On September 28, Grade 7 students volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank and participated in a Hunger 101 simulation. This experience was part of their ongoing study of food insecurity and homelessness. Throughout the year students will be learning more about these issues. Many students will volunteer with Lava Mae, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, and hygiene for thousands of people in San Francisco. In the spring, Hamlin students will put their own problem-solving skills to work as part of our Rise to the Challenge project. For RTC they will conduct intense research and come up with action-oriented solutions.

As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, the need for the SF-Marin Food Bank has grown in recent years. On a weekly basis 30,000 families are fed by the SF-Marin Food bank through 450 Bay Area community partners. Before volunteering, Hamlin students took a brief tour of the warehouse and learned about the mission and overall operation. The girls worked for about 2 hours and packed 2300 pounds of brown rice and 1400 pounds of frozen corn.

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Replate Speaks About Food Justice

On September 21, the founders of Replate spoke with our Grade 7 students about food justice and their dynamic nonprofit that provides 5,000 meals a week to 40 shelters. Replate collects food from many tech companies including Amazon, Facebook and Google. The food is then quickly given to organizations like Project Homeless Connect to feed those in need.

Replate was born in Berkeley, California on January 1, 2016. It is built on a group of passionate social entrepreneurs, activists, food heroes, drivers, and designers. 

We connect communities and help make everyone a solution to the food insecurity in their area. Through our robust technology, we are able to match business’s excess food with those in need. 

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