Hamlin 3rd Graders Speak about Dolores Huerta

Today four Hamlin 3rd graders spoke in front of the entire lower school about the importance of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. The presentation was given in both Spanish and English. Two students spoke in character as both Chavez and Huerta.

They shared the following (among other points):

-Huerta and Chavez drove from farm to farm and town to town speaking to people about the need for better working conditions and the need for children of farmworkers to attend school

-Chavez went on hunger strikes to bring attention to the plight of farmworkers

Si Se Puede or Yes We Can became the mantra of the organized farmworkers

-To show support for farmworkers, Californians boycotted grapes, strawberries, and lettuce

-The United Farmworkers marched 340 miles from Delano to Sacramento to champion the rights of workers

-March 31st is the birthday of Cesar Chavez and is recognized as a California State holiday

Special thanks to Judy Ching and Kate McGinnis for helping to organize this thoughtful assembly.

Hamlin Shows the Film: San Francisco 2.0

On Wednesday morning a group of Hamlin parents gathered to watch the thought-provoking film, San Francisco 2.0.

The film was put on by PLAID, a Hamlin parent group whose mission “is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the Hamlin community can celebrate their authentic selves.” PLAID “fosters open dialogue through family programs, parent education, and community outreach.”

In SAN FRANCISCO 2.0, Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Journeys with George”) returns to her hometown to document what the tech boom has in store for this historically progressive city, talking to various industry representatives, politicians and longtime residents hoping to maintain their place and not be left behind. Directed, produced and filmed by Pelosi, this insightful film looks at the price of progress, and the challenges of holding onto a collective past.

The film makes the following points among others:

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Hamlin Spanish Department Hosts Kiva

Last week our Spanish department hosted two representatives from Kiva: Jessica Hansen, Global Engagement and Education Manager and Catherine Cocke, Online Marketing & Social Media Manager. Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization with a global reach.  It’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 volunteer translators to communicate borrowers’ needs. Many seeking loans are from Spanish-speaking countries. Our 7th grade 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 powerful and allows students to apply their understanding of vocabulary to real life situations.

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Hamlin Welcomes the Author Avi

On March 20th Hamlin welcomed back the prolific and talented writer, Avi.

Avi is the author of more than 60 books for children and young adults, including Newbery Award-winning Crispin: Cross of Lead.

Avi mesmerized Hamlin students by both reading from his work and sharing facets of Bay Area history. His upcoming book Rotten Row is set in 1848, San Francisco, and includes details about that time period.

As he has in the past, Avi imparted some wonderful pearls of wisdom for our students and faculty alike.

Here are a few choice quotes:

The job of a writer is to get you to want to turn the page. 

If you write something one time and think it’s good, you are in trouble, because you can and have to make it better.

Writing is not writing per se, it is rewriting. The more you rewrite the better it gets.

Robert Frost said, ‘the ear is the best reader.’ If your read things out loud you will catch things that make the piece better. Ultimately writing is about speaking to someone.

The more you read, the better the writer you will become. Reading is guaranteed to help your grades go up across all subjects.

Below is a brief video of Avi:

For more information about Avi and his books, please visit:

http://www.avi-writer.com/

 

 

Hamlin Welcomes the Nonprofit: Simply the Basics

 

“What do you think of when you think about homelessness?”

This was the opening question posed to Hamlin 8th graders by the dynamic and altruistic Meghan Freebeck. Ms. Freebeck is the founder of Simply the Basics and has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as a 40 Under 40 honoree.

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.

The goals of Simply the Basics include:

-improving the overall health and wellbeing of low income families and people experiencing homelessness

-facilitating the operations of nonprofit organizations by securing and managing their in-kind donation process, allowing them to focus their time on clients

Here is some of what Ms. Freebeck shared:

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Common Sense Media Parent Event – Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – “News and America’s Kids”

Hamlin Engages with MoAD in the Classroom

MoAD in the Classroom (MIC) is a visual literacy and arts program offered to third-grade classrooms across the San Francisco Bay Area. The program is an evidence-based arts program that is consistent with recent research showing that coordinated school visits to museums increase children’s confidence and ability to retain knowledge while adding to their depth of knowledge in critical content areas such as social studies and history. The objective of the program is to work collaboratively with teachers, MIC Educators, and MoAD teaching artists to build an integrated arts program highlighting themes of the African Diaspora through art and culture. The program seeks to provide professional development opportunities to teachers and add to the content of the classroom teacher’s existing curriculum, while seamlessly blending into the existing learning goals of the classroom teacher.

The program includes two visits to the classroom by a MoAD in the Classroom Educator and two field trips to the Museum of the African Diaspora. During these four visits, MoAD Educator’s will facilitate a visual arts literacy-based curriculum unit based on themes of the exhibitions at MoAD, which include: an introduction to the concept of the African Diaspora, an introduction to visual arts vocabulary, activities to help students observe art and talk about art using visual arts vocabulary, and hands-on art making activities. MIC Educators meet with classroom teachers prior to the visits to ensure learning goals are aligned with the overall learning goals of the teacher.

“The program connected nicely with our social studies themes: how people move, change and discover themselves. The girls really connected with the artists and learned about expressing ideas in abstract ways. They had so much fun making their own art during the two sessions at MoAD.”

-3rd Grade Teacher, Nicole Silva

To learn more about MoAD, please visit: https://www.moadsf.org/

 

Inquiry Project Year and Environmental Stewardship

Under the leadership of Mark Picketts, Hamlin’s Director of Program Innovation and Professional Development, teachers have been exploring and learning this year through inquiry projects that they personally design. As action researchers, teachers use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. All teachers who participate in the Inquiry Project Year will share their findings with their colleagues at a year-end celebration of learning.

As part of her project year, Ms. Ray (Lower School Science Teacher) developed a K-4 environmental stewardship field trip strand to inspire an appreciation of biodiversity and give students opportunities to take action to create positive change in our community. The strand begins in kindergarten and first grade by exploring local habitats and learning about plant and animal adaptations for survival. These concepts develop a sense of place and community for our youngest scientists and expose them to the idea that everything is interconnected on our planet. Second, third, and fourth grade scientists further develop their understanding of interconnections leading them to want to take action in the form of environmental stewardship.

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Hamlin Hosts Yoga For Good on International Women’s Day

On March 8th Hamlin celebrated International Women’s Day by participating in Yoga For Good.

Hamlin and the sixth grade class of ’19 hosted Yoga for Good to raise awareness about OneProsper (the nonprofit sponsoring Yoga For Good), an organization that is helping to fund rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems for women in the Thar Desert of India. As a result, women will be able to grow organic pomegranates for international markets, enabling them to spend more time on their children’s nutrition and education. Hamlin students have been studying India as part of their 6th grade social studies curriculum. This work has helped to enrich and strengthen their understanding of that region.

6th graders introduced the yoga sessions, explaining the importance of both International Women’s Day and Yoga For Good. Hamlin faculty members Kirstin Williams and Amy Conger then led students through yoga classes emphasizing both breathing and various poses. In the afternoon, parents, faculty members, and alumnae had the opportunity to meet to Raju Agarwal, the founder of OneProsper.

Below is a brief video of Hamlin 5th graders participating in Yoga For Good:

Special thanks to 6th grade teacher Heather Smith who helped organize this event.

For more information about OneProsper, please visit: http://www.oneprosper.org/

 

Hamlin Welcomes Lenore Skenazy, Founder of Free-Range Kids

 

Today Hamlin welcomed the insightful, intelligent, and humorous, Lenore Skenazy to speak with parents and San Francisco community members. Lenore Skenazy is the founder of the book, blog, and movement “Free-Range Kids,” that emphasizes how to raise safe, self-reliant children.

FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazy’s piece about allowing her 9-year-old to ride the subway alone in NYC. Parent groups argued about it, bloggers blogged, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficulty in your child’s everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. We parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence.

Ms. Skenazy shared the following thoughts (among others):

-Contemporary culture makes us think that our kids can be perfect and sells us products with that in mind.

-It is a myth to think that we can shape our kids into whatever we want.

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