Tag Archives: San Francisco

Grade 2 Explores Chinatown

Earlier this week Grade 2 visited Chinatown. (This is a guest blog from Mattea, a student who went on the field trip).

Today was really, really fun! We got to go on a field trip to Chinatown. When we got there, we played on a playground until our tour guide, Ms. Lee, came. When she arrived, Ms. Lee gave us a little bit of history on how and why some Chinese people moved to California. She also told us about Chinese medicine and walked us through an herbal pharmacy. I liked all the interesting things that I saw. I never knew that something from a deer leg can help with joint pain!

Next, we saw a building that used to be a telephone company. We found out that Ms. Ching’s mom used to work there! She needed to speak many different dialects of Chinese to help people call or speak to others. She also needed to memorize over 2,000 phone numbers and addresses.

We then walked to the fortune cookie factory. I never knew that fortune cookies could be bought as flat cookies! We actually saw how the workers fold the cookies. I also learned that you only get fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants in America. It’s not really a Chinese tradition and was started by a Japanese man in America.

After, we went through the Stockton Street food markets. We saw a lot of interesting things people buy to eat including an armadillo! I would sort of want to try tasting an armadillo, but Ms. Lee explained that it could carry a disease called leprosy. That changed my mind!

Last, we explored a Chinese temple. The inside was really cool! I loved the decorations. Ms. Lee explained the meaning of the different things on the shrine. People pray to a doll that represents the goddess of the sea. Also, there were fruits that had different meanings. Outside, we found an address that was 20-A, so we took a 2OA class photo in front of it. We ended our day with having lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

Serving San Francisco in Grade 7

On Thursday, Grade 7 students left campus to volunteer with the nonprofits Glide, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Matter of Trust. This was the 2nd of three grade- wide service days. The next one is scheduled for April.

The day was designed to help our students explore as they prepare for their Rise to the Challenge (RTC) capstone project work (taking place in May). For RTC, girls will work to identify challenges they feel passionate about, then develop action plans to address those challenges, using their knowledge, resources, and collaborative talents. Students will have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various local and global problems.

Today’s work supported three organizations. Their missions are:

Glide:

Glide is a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation:

TNDC develops community and provides affordable housing and services for people with low incomes in the Tenderloin and throughout San Francisco to promote equitable access to opportunity and resources.

Matter of Trust:

Matter of Trust’s mission concentrates on the positive, ecological progress and the environment we do want. Our many programs work in integrated cycles, mimicking Mother Nature. We highlight natural abundance in equilibrium, integrating renewable resources into manufacturing and green jobs. We enthusiastically promote recycling, reuse and redistribution.

Hamlin Harvest 2019

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 numerous Hamlin students, parents, and faculty members prepared food for families currently experiencing homelessness. On Saturday (January 26), we made vegetable lasagnas, salads, 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 about 300 people.

The Saturday event took place between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and consisted of two work shifts. Between the shifts, Tomiquia Moss (Executive Director of Hamilton Families), Wanda M. Holland Greene (Head of The Hamlin School), and Sheena Tart-Zelvin (Hamlin’s Service Learning Coordinator), addressed the volunteers. Ms. Moss spoke about having a generosity of spirit: “Generosity is not just showing up and doing this event, it is who you are every day.”

Special thanks to Hamlin parents Daisy Downs and Rachel Euretig for helping to organize this wonderful event.

Dancer Eric Garcia Visits Hamlin

On Friday, Eric Garcia spent the morning working with girls in our Grade 8 dance elective.

Eric Garcia is a choreographer, performer, filmmaker, teacher, and activist whose feet are deeply rooted in the Bay Area. He proudly serves as Production Coordinator with Fresh Meat Productions, Sean Dorsey Dance, and the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. Mr. Garcia has collaboratively worked with groups of incarcerated men, senior adults, LGBTQ youth, and self-identified non-dancers on various performance projects. Mr. Garcia hosts a monthly drag cabaret as Churro Nomi at the Make Out Room and more sporadically at The Rite Spot. He was the Spring 2017 choreographer-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and a 2016-17 Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA Fellow. He is the recipient of the 2017 CHIME Award with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company.

 

Hamlin Donates Dust Masks to Lava Mae

Just before Thanksgiving, California suffered catastrophic damage from fires that raged in multiple locations throughout the state. Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area closed because of poor air quality, forcing children to stay indoors for several days.

Concerned about our unhoused neighbors living on the streets, our community came together and collected 430 masks to be donated to Lava Mae (a nonprofit that supports people experiencing homelessness).

The air quality has improved, but unfortunately fires in California are likely to continue in the coming months. Thanks to this donation, Lava Mae will be prepared to help people breath easier when the next fire hits.

If you have extra masks to donate, please feel free to bring them to Ms. Sheena Tart-Zelvin on a rolling basis.

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

 

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

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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/