Bringing Altruism to San Francisco in Grade 7

On Tuesday, Grade 7 students left campus to volunteer with the nonprofits Glide, Lava Mae, and City Hope. This was the final of three grade-wide service days partnering with multiple nonprofits. At the end of the day each group participated in reflective work which allowed students to process their profound experiences.

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.

Lava Mae: 

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets- delivered with an unexpected level of care we call “Radical Hospitality”-where people experiencing homelessness need them most. 

City Hope:

Our mission is to empower our neighbors in the Tenderloin to establish stable, healthy lives. We provide a trusted gathering place and creatively offer as many elements of home as possible for our neighbors on the streets.

https://www.glide.org/

https://lavamae.org/

https://www.cityhopesf.org/

 

Animal Collage Artwork

Grade 5 students recently completed colorful collages showcasing animals from across the United States. Abby created a beautiful grey fox.

She shares this reflection about her artistic process:

Overall, I think I had a good experience making this collage. It was a little hard to find the right colors that I needed. What I did to get through the challenge was improvise to find a solution that worked even though it took a long time. The part of the process that I enjoyed the most was collaborating with my friends and finding a way to put the scraps onto my picture. I like the way my piece came out because I am not naturally talented at collaging, but I still was able to do this successfully. The part of the artistic process that surprised me the most was that we spent so long drawing our animals. Now that I look back at it, I think it was very important that we spent so long drawing because we need to know all of the spacing and color details.

Kindergarten Visits the California Academy of Sciences

On April 9, kindergarteners had the opportunity to explore the California Academy of Sciences. The “Flying Puppies” kindergarten class is focusing their emergent study on bones. Unlike the identity and family units, which are largely pre-planned, emergent units are selected based on student questions, observations, and curiosity. The Academy provided ample opportunities for acquiring knowledge related to bones.

Highlights included:

-Studying fossils

-Sketching bones

-Working on puzzles

-Assembling skeletons

-Watching puppet theater

-Studying the evolution of animals

-Studying animal skulls

To learn more, please visit: https://www.calacademy.org/

 

Exploring 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.

On April 9, the project culminated with girls showing their 3 dimensional map of the local neighborhood, complete with QR codes, which allowed visitors to learn more via their mobile phones.

Hamlin Girls Practice Mindfulness

Guest post by Grade 2 Teacher, Liana O’Brien:

Grade 2 has been practicing mindfulness. We do mindful activities in our classrooms, the lunchroom, and in Español. Recently, each of us wrote our own guided meditation, which means a story you can imagine in your head while relaxing and clearing your mind. The reason we wrote our own mindful minutes is because we have been practicing mindfulness a lot and felt inspired. Also, we didn’t really enjoy the voice on Headspace and thought it could be fun to write and record our own voices. Ms. Davis helped us create our own Google site called Mindful Minutes which can be put on your classroom iPads as an app if you’re interested in practicing more. Each recording is only around a minute long.

Students Speak about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez

On the morning of April 4 a group of poised lower school girls spoke about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. Below is what they shared.

Dolores Huerta’s birthday is coming up on April 10. Dolores’s mother taught her to always help others. Dolores went to school and became a teacher. Soon she met farmworkers’ children who would come to school cold and barefoot. They came to school when the farmers didn’t need them in the fields to pick crops. They were also too hungry to learn in school.

Cesar Chavez’s birthday was this past Sunday, March 31st. He was born in Arizona but had to move to California because his family lost their farm in Arizona because of unpaid taxes. The only work they could find was to become part of the California migrant farmworkers’ population. Cesar had to drop out of school. They never had an address because they had to move from farm to farm to pick lettuce or strawberries or grapes.

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Exploring Ocean Animals in Grade 5

On April 3, Grade 5 students were visited by Sharkmobile.

The Sharkmobile is a classroom program that focuses on the biology, natural history and conservation of sharks. The program has been underway since 2004, serving schools in eight counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and reaching over 10,000 students and teachers.

The Sharkmobile program is for grades 4 through 6. The program teaches students about sharks and their cousins—skates and rays. Topics include biology, natural history, evolution, adaptations and conservation. The program addresses common shark myths, including how sharks are portrayed in the media and popular culture, as well as ways we can all work together to protect sharks and their ocean habitat.

Earlier in the year, a representative (also from the Greater Farallones Visitor Center) visited Hamlin and taught about leatherback turtles. Students learned about the life cycle and migration patterns of the turtles through interactive games. Girls also watched footage of a leatherback turtle foraging for food, and learned about their anatomy and physiology.

Protecting Animals on Planet Earth is the focus of this year’s Earth Day, and this partnership has been a wonderful way to support that theme. In May our students will go to the Greater Farallones Visitor Center to learn about squid and seabirds.

Hamlin Students Learn About Kiva

On April 1, representatives from Kiva U. visited with Grade 7 students. Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization with a global reach.  Kiva’s mission is to connect individual lenders with people around the world who need micro loans to improve their lives through small businesses, education, green energy, and a number of other projects.

Kiva relies on translators to communicate borrowers’ needs. Many seeking loans are from Spanish-speaking countries. Our Grade 7 students spent time in Spanish class learning about Kiva and using language skills to translate sample loan profiles from Spanish into English. This use of the Spanish language is profound and allows students to apply their understanding of vocabulary to real life situations.

The afternoon culminated with our students receiving codes in order to lend $25 to a borrower of their choice.

To learn more about Kiva, please visit: https://www.kiva.org/

 

Grade 7 Serves the Tenderloin District of San Francisco

Last Friday, Grade 7 students set out to address urban poverty on the streets of San Francisco. Our girls spent the first part of the morning in five different groups distributing toiletries, feminine hygiene products, clothing, 175 lunches, and listening to the stories of Tenderloin residents. Members of the Tenderloin-based nonprofit Faithful Fools facilitated intention setting and accompanied our students during this altruistic experience.

After an hour on the streets, students gathered at a nearby Unitarian church to reflect on their experience. They engaged in recreating street scenes through theater, sharing emotions and thoughts about the morning. The day was both powerful and life-enhancing, as girls had the opportunity to better understand the common humanity that connects all people.

To learn more about Faithful Fools, please visit: https://www.faithfulfools.org/

Pinnacles Adventure with Grade 6

Grade 6 went to Pinnacles National Park last week. They enjoyed the outdoors and also immersed themselves in personal growth.

Pinnacles National Park is a national park protecting a mountainous area located east of Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles east of Soledad and 80 miles southeast of San Jose. The park’s namesakes are the eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles from its original location on the San Andreas Fault, embedded in a portion of the California Pacific Coast Ranges.

Some highlights were:

-Looking at the clear night sky, thick with constellations

-Encouraging each other with rock climbing (They climbed twice, about 3 hours each day)

-Participating in skit night and song wars

-Journaling and doing reflective sharing, including writing a letter to their 8th grade self

-Doing a solo walk surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature