On May 30, Hamlin Grade 8 students visited Holy Family Day Home in the Mission, a nonprofit organization that we have worked with for the past 15 years. The visit was led by our middle school Spanish department.
Holy Family Day Home’s goal is to provide affordable, high quality, early childhood education and family support services in a stable and nurturing environment, thereby providing the children of working families skills and hope for lifelong development.
Hamlin students began the morning by singing the song Cada Semilla to the preschoolers and playing Simon Dice, all in Spanish. Our students were then paired up with different children to read books. Our girls brought their very own self-created books written in Spanish with beautiful handmade illustrations. After sharing these fantastic stories, everyone went outside to play. The joy and energy between the younger and older students was palpable.
After playtime, Hamlin students heard more about program specifics from members of Holy Family Day Home’s leadership team. They learned about the food pantry that provides nourishment for families in need, and the emphasis placed on seamlessly integrating homeless and non-homeless students into classrooms. This experience provided a wonderful opportunity for our girls to serve the greater San Francisco community. Our students were invited to continue volunteering at the Holy Family Day Home during their high school years.
To learn more about Holy Family Day Home, please visit: https://holyfamilydayhome.org/
Grade 6 social studies students are studying the eastern hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. This spring our OneProsper partnership continued for a 3rd year with students doing individual fundraising to assist women and girls in India.
Samira Khan from OneProsper visited Thursday morning and presented to the 6th graders about their nonprofit work. She spoke about the holistic approach that OneProsper is taking to bring girls out of poverty. In Rajasthan, some girls can spend up to 7 hours a day collecting water, using up a lot of their time. By building a tanka, a well that collects rainwater for communities, girls don’t have to spend their time and energy getting water. Clean water reduces challenges and has a number of benefits for girls and their communities, providing families with better health and sanitation. Also, having easy access to clean water means girls are able to have time to go to school. Clean water also allows families to grow and sell produce, providing another means to earn income.
To learn more about OneProsper, please visit: https://www.oneprosper.org/
This year our Earth Day theme focused on protecting animals on planet earth. Over the last several months we looked at worldwide conservation efforts, how animals’ populations are interconnected with their habitat’s health, and threats facing animals. We investigated these topics through a series of school activities, speakers, and field trips.
Last Friday, we celebrated Earth Day with a wide array of animal-related activities.
-Meeting/seeing various animals, including the following: alligator, Burmese python, armadillo, lynx, tamandua, sloth, hedgehog, ringtail lemur, possum, and a snapping turtle (Thanks to Safari Encounters)
-Learning interesting facts about animals from a presentation by Safari Encounters
-Taking action through art by: designing animal stamps, signing petitions to support endangered species, making public service announcement videos, and other activities
-Conducting a bake sale to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund
-Watching films related to protecting animals and our planet
To learn more about Safari Encounters, please visit: https://www.safariencounters.org/
OneProsper International is working to empower girls in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to break the cycle of poverty. Our solution brings clean water, education and better nutrition to underprivileged girls living in the Thar Desert. We recognize that a girl in India faces many obstacles before she can earn an education. OneProsper takes a holistic approach to solve the crisis of female literacy.
Grade 6 social studies students are studying the eastern hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. This spring our OneProsper partnership continues for a 3rd year with students doing individual fundraising to assist women and girls in India. (The above photo shows a girl who has benefited from our partnership).
Below is an update from One Prosper’s Founder, Raju Agarwal.
Thanks (in part) to the generous donation of the Hamlin Class of 2020 in 2018, 100 disadvantaged girls in the Thar Desert of India will start going to school in July 2019, at the start of the next school year.
We are currently in the process of constructing taankas (rainwater harvesting tanks) and khadins (farming dykes) for each of the 50 selected families (100 girls).
Taanka construction will be completed by end of April. As a result, 100 girls will be freed from water collection. Khadin construction will be completed by end of June.
In June, 100 girls will receive bicycles, school uniforms, and school supplies. And, their mothers will receive biosand water filters and seeds and training to plant crops.
To learn more about One Prosper, please visit: https://www.oneprosper.org/
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.
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/
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/
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.
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.
During most of March, South African teacher, Ms. Nthabiseng Lizzy Matsetela will be sharing her talents with our Hamlin students and faculty as part of the program Teach With Africa. Ms. Matsetela is especially focused on instilling a love of math in her students. Ms. Matsetela is partnered with Hamlin teacher, Gillian Curran. Hamlin has participated with Teach With Africa for several years and always welcomes the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and friendship.
Teach With Africa is a non-profit organization empowering students and teachers in a reciprocal exchange of teaching and learning in Africa and the United States. Teach With Africa seeks to reduce the embedded inequities in our societies by working to provide access to quality education in order to transform children’s lives, schools and communities.
Ms. Matsetela shares:
My name is Nthabiseng Lizzy Matsetela; I was born and bred in Limpopo province, and currently live in Johannesburg. I’m studying for my B.Ed. with University of South Africa (UNISA) and am in my second year. I want to be a teacher because I believe I have all the qualities needed to be a teacher and a role model. I enjoy reading inspirational books. I also enjoy exercising and sharing information either by teaching or by having positive conversations.
To learn more about Teach With Africa, please visit: https://www.teachwithafrica.org/