In 2016, SF Day started a partnership with the World Leadership Organization to provide a new culminating experience to our eighth grade students. Students travel to Cochiti, New Mexico, where they camp near the Kasha Kutuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and work with the Pueblo people. Pueblo de Cochiti is located 35 miles southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is the main town in a 54,000 acre Native American reservation that is home to 1,175 people. By working with and learning from local leaders, students learn about the cultural, social, economic, and political issues in the Pueblo community.
Being in the heart of San Francisco is a privilege that gives our school community access to an urban learning lab of sorts. Every grade level dedicates time and resources to service learning programs that connect our students to the world beyond the walls of SF Day. With each project, students are taught what it means to be active citizens within their community. In-school service activities such as food and book drives allow them to help outside communities while strengthening our own.
Concert 4 Community
Concert for Community, or C4C, is a treasured SF Day tradition with deep roots and powerful history. Following the September 11 tragedy, two SFDS parents, Chris Mattison and Carla Crane, wanted to bring our community together to support local organizations. They saw the impact of communities coming together to think and act locally, and they saw an opportunity to build awareness and financial support for those businesses and organizations in and around San Francisco.
Thus, the seed was planted: In 2002, parents collaborated with students and teachers to create Concert for Community ("C4C.") The idea was simple; use the creative energy and musical talent of students to raise money and awareness for local organizations who were taking care of the San Francisco community. C4C is an opportunity for students to be creative, share their talents, get involved with local organizations and ultimately think about how to take care of their world.
C4C is coordinated by Brian Herrick, who teaches art to second, fourth, and fifth graders. C4C is a tremendous production and concert with many moving parts - from stage production to performances, MCs, and even fundraising along the way. Recent fundraising profits and donations went to support: Breakthrough SF, SF Rec. and Parks Department, Glide, SF Food Bank, and Larkin Street Youth.
Gardening at Panhandle Park
SF Day community members often join our neighbors and friends of Panhandle Park Stewards to care for our local park. The community volunteer program at the Panhandle takes place on the second Saturday of each month, from 9 am - 11 am -- join in!
Giving Thanks and Giving Back
Every Thanksgiving, members of our community gather to prepare and distribute home-cooked meals to those in need. Last year, we had nearly 50 adults and children come to the school on Thursday morning with their dishes - everything from mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce to pumpkin spice cake! Together, we prepared over a hundred meals to deliver to seniors at Zygmunt Arendt and Mercy Terrace, two senior care facilities in our neighborhood. 'Tis the season to give thanks!
Several years ago, our fifth grade team developed a relationship with Tenderloin Community School ('TCS'). Each year, our fifth grade students meet and build a "buddy" relationship with the TCS kindergarten students. Once a month, our students walk over to TCS and participate in an activity with their buddy. TCS kindergarten teachers, Barbara Sizelove and Sharon Piansay, have been instrumental in helping devise creative, age-appropriate activities that work well within a short timeframe. One such project was the "Buddy Portraits" activity, where the buddies created portraits of each other using markers and watercolors.
Outside of the classroom visits, our students continue to seek opportunities to share their support for Tenderloin Community School. A portion of the funds raised in our community concert, Concert for Community or C4C, are donationed to TCS in support of specific classroom projects: level readers for the classroom library, succulent gardens in their year (which the students all planted together), field trips, water bottles for students, and more. We look forward to deepening our relationship with TCS over the years.
To learn more about Tenderloin Community School, click here.
In March 2018, our eighth grade students learned about the KIND organization, Kids In Need of Defense, and were invited to show their support by participating in a project to benefit the San Francisco office. KIND staff represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings and their goal is to ensure that no child stands in court alone. The San Francisco KIND office was a new space so our students helped make the space more welcoming and inviting by designing posters and artwork to make young visitors feel safe and welcome.
SF Day has a long history volunteering at the SF-Marin Food Bank, a local organization dedicated to ending hunger in San Francisco and Marin.
One in four residents in SF and Marin is in need of food assistance and we have come together as a community to help ensure that organizations like the Food Bank continue to thrive as a vital lifeline for people in need of food assistance.
In addition to canned food drives, our students visit the Food Bank and work on day-long projects. Projects typically involve sorting fresh produce, packaging bulk foods, assembling grocery boxes for seniors, and sorting donations from food drives.