Parents Association

Dear Hamlin Families,

 

As President of the 2022-23 Hamlin Parents Association (PA), I’d like to share a huge welcome to everyone in the Hamlin Community! One of the many things that makes our school special is how our active and vibrant families contribute to its success.

 

We have an exciting year ahead – an entire academic year on our newly transformed, sun-filled campus, performances in the Wanda M. Holland Greene Center for the Performing Arts, volleyball and basketball games in our brand new 2-story Hamlin Lions gym, and so much more.

 

The role of the PA is to promote family engagement, build community, and raise funds. Our parents share a wide set of skills and we offer a variety of volunteer experiences to encourage everyone to participate, from volunteering at the library or during lunch, to attending or helping to plan our Fall and Spring Fundraisers, to organizing cultural celebrations and educational programs with PLAID. My advice is to jump right in! You will find rewarding opportunities that you’ll enjoy and will fit your schedule, and I have no doubt you’ll also meet some amazing and interesting people at the same time.

 

Scroll down to see a few examples of the many activities our PA makes possible at Hamlin. Please feel free to contact me or anyone on the PA Leadership Team with questions, comments, or suggestions. We appreciate your time, energy, and talents!

 

We are thrilled to have each and every one of you as part of our parent community. Go Lions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Farzan P’26

Parents Association President

The Parents Assocation Supports Community Building & Belonging at Hamlin!

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Examples of PA events and volunteer opportunities include:

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PLAID


PLAID’s mission is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the community can celebrate their authentic selves. They foster connections through family programs, cultural celebrations, and community dialogues.

 

Examples of past events include Jewish Cultural Celebration, Middle Eastern and North African Cultural Celebration, Japanese Cultural Celebration, Parenting Kids in the Divided States of America discussion, and Creating Safe Places for Real Conversations discussion.

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Winterfest


Winterfest is Hamlin’s largest annual community celebration day and traditionally takes place on the Hamlin campus on a Saturday in early December. The event welcomes current families as well as alumni and community members and is full of activities like gingerbread decorating workshops, Lower & Middle School lounges, a bake sale, a Marketplace of local vendors, and a beautiful book fair. A committee of 20-30 parents organizes the event in partnership with the Hamlin Advancement Team, and 200+ parents volunteer to help leading up to and during the day.

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School Store


The Hamlin School Store is a volunteer parent-run store. Parents can purchase new and used uniform items, accessories, and Hamlin gifts. They may be purchased either at the store during designated hours or online through the School Store website. Volunteers help organize inventory, fulfill orders, and answer uniform questions.

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Grandparents & Special Friends Day


Every year, families have the opportunity to invite grandparents and special friends to spend the day at Hamlin (in-person pre-pandemic; virtually the last few years). This annual event allows loved ones to see and experience Hamlin firsthand. The day includes breakfast, performances, and classroom visits and is organized and staffed by PA volunteers in coordination with teachers and staff.

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Lend-a-Hand


Lend-a-Hand is our parent-led community service program. Components of this program include:


Hamlin Harvest
– Each January, our entire community K-8 collects ingredients and volunteers to cook and serve a healthy meal for over 200 people at Hamilton Families.


Read With Me
– Our oldest middle schoolers are in-person approximately once a month at Hamilton Families, where they read to younger children in a positive, comforting setting.


Literary Lion Book Drive
– In this annual November event, our community donates and collects books which are distributed to organizations across the city, including shelters, schools, and community centers. Middle Schoolers lead the organization and distribution efforts. In 2021, we collected over 3,550 books that were donated to Hamilton Families, The Boys & Girls Club, The Children’s Project, and more.

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Student Ventures


Student Ventures is a program for young entrepreneurs in Grades 3-8 to launch or grow their business/non-profit with the support of the Hamlin administration, parents, alumni, and fellow students. The students work with a mentor to write a business plan, learn from Student Ventures workshops led by business leaders in our community, set up their online sales and/or physical storefront, and process fulfillment. Last year, 115 students formed 51 teams to process over $18,000 in sales!

 

 

 

As a culminating class project, Grade 8 students collaborate creatively on a scripted or devised performing arts production to perform for the Hamlin community in June before their graduation. This musical production offers students an opportunity to develop and share their skills in music, dance, acting, and visual design (with set, props, costumes, and lighting) while bonding together as a class. Students work on their performing arts project over the course of the spring semester. These annual Grade 8 musical productions are based on meaningful content aligned with Hamlin’s mission and Creed and have been a favorite school tradition.

 

Rise to the Challenge (RTC) is our Grade 7 capstone project that encourages students to think deeply about and explore solutions to the challenges of their time. As part of this project, they take service learning field trips throughout the year to volunteer and learn more about the issues facing our local community and our world, and work in small teams to identify, research, and propose solutions to a specific challenge that they are passionate about.

 

Grade 6 ends the school year with an interdisciplinary project focused on presentation skills, team building, and self-reflection, where students create a range of pieces to share their learnings and educate the community on social issues through research, presentations, and art. The project, typically called the Symposium, shifts its format and focus from year to year, but it will remain a multi-disciplinary research and performance project that builds on and extends the skills learned throughout the year, concluding with various performances on historical and current topics to deepen students’ understanding of the challenges in the world and encourage them to be agents of change, as they take action to improve their community.

 

The U.S. Magazine Research Exhibition is Grade 5’s project-based culminating venture, which demonstrates the depth and range of skills and knowledge students have acquired during the school year. Each student writes a unique article about some aspect of their group’s region of the United States, with a variety of focal points including the sciences, arts, history, economics, athletics, and more. By creating and publishing a magazine together, students integrate research, writing, collaborative teamwork, creative risk-taking, and academic skills. Finally, Grade 5 students proudly display their public speaking skills in the projects’ exhibition to the community.

 

 

 

 

The Jan Micha Influential Women in History Program is a way for Grade 4 students to learn about women who have made significant, positive, and often overlooked contributions that have changed the course of American herstory. Research, public speaking skills, and learning about different experiences through influential women’s stories are core principles of this project. Originally called the Famous American Women Program, it was renamed in 2015 to honor one of the program’s founders and beloved member of Hamlin’s faculty for over 30 years, Jan Micha.

 

 

View the Influential Women in History website our students put together!

In Social Studies, Grade 3 students spend the year focused on California: its people, its geography, and the events that have shaped it. Students study the state’s geography by looking at different regions and resources, as well as the often untold stories of California’s Indigenous People both past and present. They end the year by analyzing the movement of people throughout California and reading books about immigration.

 

Grade 2 students see a mini golf course through from ideation to completion. As part of this project, students work in teams to design a golf hole - they name it, make it challenging using angles, ramps, and obstacles, and even pick its par before creating a presentation for classmates using photos and videos about their design. They also visit local mini golf courses to practice their putting and learn more about the craft. Finally, students bring their visions to life and then invite parents and other grades to come try out their mini golf course! Through this project, students are able to get active while developing skills in math, robotics, creating and delivering presentations, and teamwork!

 

Grade 1 spends the year studying community and neighborhoods. Students ask themselves essential questions such as: What is my role as a community member? How can I help my community or neighborhood? What are my responsibilities as an individual and group member? What does safety within a community look, feel, and sound like? The study culminates with a hands-on project in which students build a model of the surrounding neighborhood, interview community members that contribute to the greater whole (i.e. librarians, mail person), and integrate the interviews directly onto the model using QR codes. Through this project, students learn about the physical aspects of neighborhoods, cardinal directions, community jobs, and developing interview skills.

 

Every spring, our Kindergarten classes begin their Emergent Units. The themes of these units are completely student driven, different between the classes, and vary every year. Themes are based on class discussions around interests and curiosities. Once the theme is determined, homeroom teachers get to work connecting with outside specialists and our in-house specialist teachers to integrate local and diverse activities and guest leaders to heighten the learning experience. The culminating project is then shared with the larger community through performances, public speaking, and interactive, hands on opportunities.

 

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