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Snelling Connection Newsletter of the Hancock/Hamline University Collaboration

“The HancockHamline Collaboration has been an inspiration for me to go to college because when I visit Hamline or see Hamline students come here I get to see the wonders of college and can really believe that college truly does begin in kindergarten.” —Caitlin Hare, 6th grade In This Issue: Making it to Minnesota


Kids Voting Hand-in-Hand lunch


Kids’ Artwork and Poetry


From the desk of ...


On the Issues


Dear Hancock Husky


Volume 12, Issue 2


Making it to Minnesota

The Karen represent one of St. Paul’s fastest-growing immigrant groups. The Daw family arrived from Thailand last May, and are now learning what life is like half a world away in Minnesota.

The Daw children stand outside their bamboo-built home in the refugee camp they lived in until last May when they moved to St. Paul.

By Angela Froemming Editor nticipation filled the air in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport late one night last May. Something special was coming. A large group of people occupied one end of baggage claim, some pacing in front of the sliding glass doors in excitement. Others sat calmly. A few warmed up their cameras. Finally, people began filtering into baggage claim from the other side of the glass doors, looking tired from a long flight. By now, everyone was up on their feet, eagerly scanning the recent arrivals. Then, the cameras started clicking. They had arrived.


The Daw family, made up of Ba Eh Ler Htoo, Eh Tamwee, Eh Lertoo, Re Wah Lay, Pa Tha Soe and their mother, Tha Htoo Daw, had left Thailand two days earlier. Five flights later, they were finally in Minnesota. Family and friends, some of whom had never been met, welcomed the new family with hugs, tears, smiles and the promise of warm food and additional family waiting for them at their new home. This is a familiar scene for several Hancock students, as many students are first-generation immigrants; many more have gone to an airport or home to greet their newly arrived family member or friend. Many of these students make up the ESL (English as a Second Language) population at Hancock. The majority of Hancock’s ESL students come from Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, with the most common languages being Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish. The Daws, who are ethnic Karen, contribute to the growing number of Karen refugees settling in Saint Paul. The Karen are an ethnic minority who live primarily in Burma and Thailand, and are currently the targets of a genocide being inflicted upon them by the Burmese military regime. As a result, the Karen are resettling. The city of St. Paul is estimated to have about 3,000 Karen, making St. Paul the hub of the Karen community within the United States. The reasons a family may leave their country of origin vary. Some come to the United States to escape persecution or war. Others may be looking for better opportunities in education or work. Many Karen people, fleeing war and ethnic cleansing, initially set their sights on refugee KAREN continued on page 2 Winter 2009

KAREN continued from page 1

Lu, through an interpreter. Ka Lu also and getting to work with the school’s most echoed her daughter’s sentiments, saying recent newcomers a very rewarding expethat she no longer has to live in fear, nor rience. Despite having to face many addoes she have to be running away. Finally, ditional challenges compared to students she feels safe. who have always lived in the United States All of the children in the Daw family speaking English, ESL students still tend were born in a refugee camp in Thailand. to be hard workers with good attitudes. Years earlier when Tha Htoo and her “We were excited to come to the United family had come to “I think that the cultural States,” Eh Lertoo and the camp, they were Re Wah Lay, who are in diversity is such a richness; we given bamboo shafts first and third grade at and permission to all learn from each other.” Hancock, said through build a house. Coman interpreter. “We like —Claire Roberts ing from the camp school and the food to Minnesota was a here.” ESL teacher three-year process, Eh Lertoo and Re Wah involving a lot of paper work, interviews Lay also said they like not feeling scared, The Daw family poses for pictures with family and friends and doctor visits. and not being hit at school with a shaft of minutes after arriving in Minnesota after their 2-day flight Claire Roberts, an ESL teacher at Han- bamboo for not doing their homework, from Thailand. cock, believes that students who come getting an answer wrong or talking out camps across the Burmese border in Thai- here from different countries around of turn. Tha Htoo appreciates the free land. According to Tha Htoo, once a per- the world make Hancock a better place to schooling offered in the United States. son is in the refugee camp, they no longer teach and learn. “I think that the cultural The Daw family, while happy to be in need to be afraid of being killed. diversity is such a richness; we all learn Minnesota, still misses their friends and “Living in the Minnesota is a blessing from each other,” she said. other family members in Burma and Thaifrom God,” said Tha Htoo’s mother, Ka Roberts considers being an ESL teacher land, and worries about their safety.

Building better voters, one student at a time

As part of the nation-wide Kids Voting program, Hancock students participated in a mock election on November 4, getting a taste of the voting experience. By Hue Houa Yang, Caitlin Hare, Kelsey Donnelly, and Glynis Grostephan Editors ov. 4 was an important day for people across the United States. For Hancock students in grades 1-6, the day was special as they got to experience the voting process by casting their votes in the Kids Voting election. Each classroom went to the designated voting area and used their library cards as identification. An election clerk used this information to find each student’s name in the sign-in log and had the student write their signature on the sign-in log before they received a paper ballot. Students received a ballot and bubbled in their choices. The election judges made sure the ballots were put into the ballot box correctly. Students were rewarded with a Kids Voting bookmark or tattoo and an “I Voted” sticker. This was “real life” learning: If a student’s name wasn’t on the sign-in log they had to register at



a separate table. Students learned the importance of registering ahead of time, thanks to Hamline Professor David Hudson’s first-year seminar. Prior to the Kids Voting election, his class taught Hancock students the importance of studying the candidates, registering to vote and of remembering the right and responsibility we have to vote. Student Council members served as election judges, clerks and inspectors. The votes were counted by hand, and later electronically. Hancock students’ votes didn’t count in the real election, but they did count in the Kids Voting election. Thousands of St. Paul students voted at the polls along with thousands of students across the United States.

Hancock election results: President McCain: 50 votes Obama: 448 vote Senator Franken: 217 votes Coleman: 110 votes

Winter 2009

Hand-in-Hand lunch offers more than just a meal By Alexis Lynch, Quinn Nelson and Angela Froemming Editors very fall semester there is a special lunch held in the Sorin cafeteria. On Nov. 19, 85 pairs of Handin-Hand buddies had a great time enjoying a meal together on Hamline’s side of the street. The buddies could choose from foods like waffles, pizza, pasta, salad, hamburgers, ice cream and more! Most importantly though, the lunch gave the buddies an opportunity to spend some extra time together and get to know each other more. “It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing all the kids together,” said Nicole Campbell, a first-year student at Hamline and volunteer for the Hand-in-Hand program. Campbell, who wants to be a teacher, recognizes the benefits of giving children one-on-one attention. The Hancock


students appreciate and learn from this individual attention as well as the Hamline students. “This program just further confirms my love of working with youth,” said Cat Polivoda, who has volunteered her time with Hand-in-Hand since last year, and plans to continue working with the organization until she graduates. “I love Hand-in-Hand,” Polivoda said. “In my opinion, it is one of the best organizations we have on campus because it makes it so easy for [Hamline] students to help out the kids at Hancock.” The Hand-in Hand program is a studentrun organization that involves Hamline students volunteering their time with a Hancock student once a week to play a game or do an art project together. For now, the Hand-in-Hand buddies are looking forward to their spring picnic, which will also be held at Hamline.

Hamline student Cat Polivoda waits in line for food with her 5th-grade Hancock buddy at the Hand-inHand lunch at Sorin Dining Hall.

“Everyone should join [Hand-in-Hand], I tell people that all the time,” Campbell said. “You’re actually affecting someone’s life.”

kids’ Winter Artwork and Poetry All I Want for Christmas (Lyrics re-written by Kiley Bigger) All I want for Christmas is a Hershey’s bar, a kick-n-go scooter and a pink guitar. All I want for Christmas is a CD player, Guess Who Extra, and clothes size eight ... I can’t wait! Poem by Kiley Bigger

Winter! Frosted snowflakes falling to the ground Twirling, swirling, all the way around Planting a delicate kiss on your nose Beckoning you to a new season Winter!

Artwork by Maya Winter

Poem by Ramla Dhamuke

Winter Brisk There’s a powerful brisk this evening While I was walking through the snow, Artwork by Ramla Dhamduke I noticed if I just listened for a moment I would hear a lot of things I’ve never noticed before

Snow is cold, and so are you I see your nose turning red like a red-nosed kangaroo so grab your hat and gloves so when the snow hits the ground we will go out and have some fun

Poem by Noel Young

Poem by Alanna Vennemann


Snelling Connection


Caitlin Har

Alexis Lyn


Daliang Xiong

From the Desk of...

Hello! My na me is Alex is Lynch. I grader at H am ancock. Th is is my firs a 5thbeing in st t year udent coun cil and the Connection Snelling . My favori te hobby is I am also in basketball. th to save pape e National Spelling B ee. r and the w orld. I do no I like or leave ligh t litter ts on in my house. Wh up I would en I grow like to be a positive an person. My d producti favorite su ve bjects are writing and reading, spelling. M y favorite is Ronald D author ahl. I am ve ry thankfu student at l to be a Hancock/H amline Elem entary.


th e. I am in 6 Caitlin Har is king e or m w na to y Hi, m addition n I . ck co an also the grade at H nection, I am hool, I on C g in ll ne for the S uncil. In sc student co hobbies president of One of my . e nc ie sc d an sports are enjoy math y favorite M . to ng ci an ing. I hope is Irish d l and swimm grow up. My al yb e ll vo , tennis r when I ssful lawye p St. be a succe e been Cam av h s ip tr his ld e th grade. T favorite fi kating in 5 rs ing e ll ll ne ro S d e Croix an ting for th ri w ar ye is my second . Connection

Hi! My name is Daliang Xiong and I am a 5th-grade student at Hancock Elementary. My favorite subjects in school are math and writing. On Mondays and Wednesdays I go dancing. Other hobbies of mine cleaning and outside of school are shopping, istmas are my Chr and y hda babysitting. My birt time working t firs my is s Thi s. favotite holiday for the Snelling Connection.

Linda Hanson President of Hamline University Greetings, Hancock-Hamline students, parents and staff! When I became Hamline University’s 19th president three years ago, I was delighted to learn about the exciting collaboration between Hamline University and HancockHamline Collaborative Magnet School. Our faculty, staff and students gain so much from volunteering their time at Hancock. Sometimes students wonder how someone gets to be president. When I graduated from college, my first job was as a high school English teacher. All my life I have loved teaching and learning, and in each new job I found new ways to help students. Now, as Hamline’s president, I use all those skills to help make sure that Hamline fulfills its mission, to be “a diverse, learning-centered university that is rooted in a tradition of liberal education, dynamic and actively inclusive, locally engaged and globally connected, and invested in the personal and professional growth of persons.” Have a good year! President Linda Hanson Winter 2009

On the Issues: Quinn Nelson, Madison Hare, Daliang Xiong, and Sabrina Yang ask, “How do you celebrate a new year?”

---------------------------------“We listen to people talk abou the new year. Then people sing songs and do a Karen dance. Then people talk some more and we eat noodles, egg roles and chicken. People take pictures of the Karen flag.” —Hser Eh Htoo, 5th-grade student Hser Eh Htoo

“My family shares their favorite part of the past year and their hopes for the upcoming year. Then we run out the back door of the house saying goodbye to the old year and run inside the front of the house.” —Mrs. Hvidhyld, 4th-grade teacher “We go to the RiverCenter, and anyone can come. When we get in we can go downstairs or upstairs. Upstairs there is a big stage. People with permission can dance on the stage, sing Hmong songs and do the pageant. Downstairs has stores.” —Kalina Vang, 5th-grade student “I celebrate by hanging out with my friends and family. We stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop. Sometimes we rip up newspaper and throw it at midnight while shouting, “Happy New Year!” —Megan Anderson, HancockHamline Collaboration Coordinator

Fifth-grade students Yu Pheng Vang and Daliang Xiong dress up in their traditional Hmong clothes.

Megan Anderson

“I celebrate Eid by not going to school. Some Muslims wake up in the morning to a place called Masjad to pray to Allah (God). After we are done praying we go out to celebrate at places like restaurants or the Mall of America.” —Nasra Ali, 5th-grade student

Mini-grant aims to sponsor a warmer winter By Carolyn Johnson Hamline student


hen you step outside into a Minnesota winter without a coat, you feel the chill right away. For many students at HancockHamline Elementary, this was a part of their everyday life. Hancock staff such as the school nurse and social worker, along with student worker Whitney Klein, wanted to change this. A Hancock-Hamline Collaboration minigrant helped Klein lay out a plan and put it into action: a coat drive for Hancock students. Creating a grant proposal didn’t take long, and Klein found out soon after submitting the proposal that it had Page 

been accepted by the Hancock-Hamline Collaboration Committee. Craig Anderson, Hancock-Hamline liaison and Hancock assistant principal, explained that a mini-grant is an idea funded by the Hancock-Hamline Collaboration. The idea must benefit both Hamline and Hancock. Anderson also said that anyone from Hancock, Hamline or the surrounding community may apply for a mini-grant. Klein’s mini-grant proposal was approved in November, along with four other proposals. Other mini-grants that were approved will pay for a social worker intern at Hancock, lifeguards to supervise swimming lessons for Hancock students during their gym time, a youth mentoring

project and supplies to replenish the Hand-in-Hand art cabinet. The goals of the coat drive were to collect monitory donations along with as many coats, hats, snow pants, mittens and scarves as possible before Hancock’s winter break. Organizations such as STOVE (Students Together Organizing Volunteer Events) and the Hamline Apartments collected donations. The money collected was used to buy coats from Goodwill and Kohl’s. Overall, Klein says she is satisfied with how the coat drive turned out, and encourages people to create and apply for their own mini-grant. To learn more about mini-grants or how you can apply for one, visit Snelling Connection

Dear Hancock Husky ...

You’re invited!

Sometimes I see kids in my class copying answers from each other. To me, this looks like a quick and easy way to get the work done. I have heard that copying can get a kid in big trouble, though. I don’t want to get in trouble; I just want to get my work done! —Kenny Cawpy

O’Gara’s Garage Feb. 12 4 - 9 p.m.

Dear Kenny, What you are seeing in your class is called cheating, and it is never a good idea to cheat. Cheating at school can get students of all ages in a lot of trouble. Cheating, and copying answers, is like lying. It is taking credit for work that you didn’t do. If you are concerned about getting your work done, set aside some time each night before the work is due to get it done. Taking the quick and easy route to finish something almost always fails. Instead, take the time to do the work right, and be proud of yourself! Homework and tests are not always easy. But if you are tempted to cheat, remember that the person you are thinking of copying from might not even have the right answers. And if the teacher sees you copying, or letting someone copy from you, you will have to face the consequences and miss out on the opportunity to feel good about your hard work. Remember, honesty is always the best policy. —Caitlin and Madison Hare

The Hancock-Hamline Collaboration is hosting a benefit concert and silent auction to raise money for the HancockHamline scholarship fund. The concert and silent auction will take place on Thursday, Feb. 12 from 4 to 9 p.m. at O’Gara’s Garage located on the corner of Snelling and Selby. Music will include the local modern and classic rock band Sugar Buzz. All ages are welcome, and sure to have a fun time! The event is open to the pubic, with a suggested donation of $5 per person. See you there!

Snelling Connection Contacts:

Editor: Angela Froemming, Collaboration Assistant, Hamline University student Hamline Liaison: David Hudson, Hamline University English Dept. 651-523-2893 Hancock Liaison: Craig Anderson, Hancock/Hamline University Collaborative Magnet School 651-292-3499 Hancock Student Advisor: Glynis Grostephan, Hancock/Hamline University Collaborative Magnet School 651-293-8715


Snelling Connection

Winter 2008  

Winter 2008 issue of the Snelling Connection.

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