Category Archives: Global Citizenship

Hamlin Welcomes Gontse Mgidi

This March, South African teacher Ms. Gontse Mgidi, will be sharing her talents with our Hamlin students and faculty as part of the program Teach With Africa. Ms. Mgidi is partnered with Hamlin teacher, Liana O’Brien. 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.

To learn more about Teach With Africa, please visit:

Girls Raise Funds To Help Australia

Millions of acres have burned in the recent Australia fires causing tremendous loss for both people and animals.

This destruction did not go unnoticed by a group of altruistic lower school students. Annabelle G. came up with the initial idea to raise money to help address the fires in Australia. She wanted students to donate change (instead of a bake sale), so that anyone could participate regardless of the amount. Annabelle brought this idea to Eco-Council where it was approved. Girls then presented to the Lower School at an assembly last week. Money is being donated each day into the buckets at our school entrances. Funds will be split between the Australia Red Cross, World Animal Protection, and NSW Rural Fire Service.

To learn more about these organizations, please visit:

Planting Trees To Help Our Environment

April marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. With this in mind, this year’s environmental theme is “Earth Day Birthday,” with a focus on climate change. This year we are also supporting The Canopy Project and hope to plant 4,320 trees as a school by June.

Trees filter the air and stave off the effects of climate change. Trees also reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income to communities. In just one year, a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen as 10 people inhale!

The Canopy Project improves our shared environment by planting trees across the globe. Since 2010, Earth Day Network has planted millions of trees with The Canopy Project, working worldwide to strengthen communities.

Earth Day Network has a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees- one tree for every person on earth- in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

Our Hamlin Environmental Ambassador Club has set a goal of raising funds to pay for 10 trees per student (at $1 a tree). We have already made progress toward this goal through the efforts of a hot cocoa sale and the work of “The Green Team Sewing Machine,” which sold reusable napkins and scrunchies at Winterfest. In the coming weeks girls are planning on asking for tree donations in lieu of traditional birthday gifts.

To learn more about this important project, please visit:

Hamlin Celebrates Día de los Muertos

Our Spanish department is leading a school wide celebration of Día de los Muertos with an altar on the 1st floor of Stanwood.

Día de Los Muertos is a Latin American celebration that focuses on family and friends gathering to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. People traditionally bring food and objects called ofrendas to feast on and celebrate their cherished ones.

In our ofrenda, you will find a red bowl with paper butterflies; please feel free to write the name of someone you would like to remember on the butterfly and pin it to the wall.

Students will also be able to bring non-perishable food as part of the offerings. At the end of the celebrations, the food will be donated to a Bay Area nonprofit.

Celebrating Diwali

Our celebration of Diwali has begun. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, and means “row of lights.” It is a time to rejoice in the triumph of light over darkness and is embraced by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. The holiday begins on October 27th and will last five days.

In honor of Diwali the entrances to Hamlin were decorated this morning with rangolis as a sign of welcome, with hopes of bringing good luck to visitors. Students will also perform a beautiful dance in Lower School tomorrow. Our librarian, Ms. Cardone has put together a collection of books to help readers better enjoy and understand Diwali. A link to the collection can be found here:


Grade 8 Visits Preschoolers in the Mission District

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:

Samira Khan from OneProsper Speaks at Hamlin

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:


Protecting Animals: Earth Day 2019

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.

Highlights included:

-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:


Grade 6 Partners with OneProsper in India

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:

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.