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Snelling Connection Newsletter of the Hancock/Hamline University Collaboration

How can I get involved?

Celebrating the Hancock-Hamline Collaboration

Apply for America Reads/ America Counts Tutoring program. Tutor Hancock students from every grade!* Join Hand in Hand! Volunteer a half hour of your week playing games with a Hancock student.* Work for the Snelling Connection! The position for Lead Editor will be open in the spring. Apply now.* Collaborate with Hancock. Plan a project with your class or student org.*

Celebrate the Hancock-Hamline Collaboration with us by experiencing all it has to offer: apply for one of the jobs or volunteer positions listed in the left sidebar. The Hancock-Hamline Collaboration believes that “College Begins in Kindergarten.” Hancock and Hamline students have many opportunities to work together through the tutoring program, Hand in Hand pairings, mini collaborations, and academic pairings each year. These collaborative efforts between the elementary school and the university help to encourage students to think about college early on. Sixth grader Ramla Dhamuke she plans to attend college because, “I want to be successful in my life and college is a big step in that process.” The collaboration impacts the lives of Hamline students and faculty too. Senior Nissa Benedict said, “My favorite memory of Hancock is probably every day at Hancock because I get to see such wonderful kids and hear great stories.” You too can be a part of this rewarding collaboration. There are many ways to get involved! Contact Hana Tesfaye at to learn more!

*Contact Hana Tesfaye: In This Issue: Get Involved!


Homelessness Project 2 Homelessness Project cont. 3 Bridging Family


Real Books, Real Authors 2nd Grade Music Concert Curious Case of Vandalism


Hancock Tutor Program “Deep in Nature”, Poem Graduation


Volume 14, Issue 1

Top right: Wonskakorn takes a picture with his Hand in Hand buddy Katie Rawls. Bottom left: Hancock students play an Earth Day related game at Hancock’s Annual Earth Day festival held on the Hamline campus. Bottom right: Hamline student Sara Motavally with her hand in hand buddies Arianna and Tiara at Sorin Dining Hall. Spring 2011

Sixth Grade Service Learning Each night, approximately 9,000 individuals in Minnesota experience

Henningson decided that Hancock students would work with Hamline University’s address the issue of homelessness. Every year, teachers and students from both

Ms. Susan and Dr. Basford Collaborate for Change By Rhiannon Magee and Asialia Vang Hancock Student Editors


met with Hancock students four times “We’ve been sharing personal experiencn April 28th, the atmosphere in during the weeks of April 26th through es and personal stories about times when Ms. Susan’s sixth grade class was May 10th to work on posters, diagrams we’ve been homeless or about people who exciting and vibrant we know are homeless,” said as they continued to particiMs. Susan. pate in their collaboration with The partners also worked Dr. Letitia Basford’s Education on venn diagrams. These diaand Cultural Diversity class. grams compared the lives of For the past few weeks, these Hancock students and hometwo classes have been colless children. They also wrote laborating on a project about acrostic poems and “day in the homelessness. Ms. Susan’s life” poems concerning people sixth grade class studied homewho face homelessness. The lessness long before the colposters also featured phrases laboration even began. They like “we need more shelters!” have watched documentaries, Hamline students also benstudied music and read books efited through practicing on homelessness. teaching the sixth grade stuA woman named Natasa who dents, “At the end of their is homeless came to visit Ms. time with Hancock students, Susan’s class, “She talked about they will reflect on how their the bullying she goes through Students created posters to reflect the lives of individuals who are homeless. individual lesson went and on the because she’s homeless. She’s [often] on and writing about homelesness. overall experience of working with their the street unless she’s sleeping at the DoroHamline student Rachel, for example, Hancock student(s),” said Basford. thy Day Center,” said Ms. Susan. was paired with Hancock student Nang Throughout the project, Hamline stuThe Hamline students were excited to Dee, to work on a project together. They dents assisted Hancock students in crejoin in on the learning, “Students are for- used pictures of homelessness to match up ating and designing their posters while tunate to be invited to be a part of this with a list of words that described what a discussing homelessness. Even though critical multicultural unit on homelessness person who is homeless looks like on the homelessness can be a difficult subject to with Ms. Susan,” Basford explained. outside. Then they made a list for who talk and learn about, Hancock students This year, Basford was interested in col- they really are on the inside. They talked enjoyed working with the Hamline stulaborating with Ms. Susan on her annual to each other about homelessness while dents. Now the posters are on display at homelessness project. Hamline students they worked. Hancock for everyone to see!

Take a look at past sixth grade service learning projects! By Jessie Le Claire and Rayan Dhamuke Hancock Student Editors Page 

2005 Hancock students voted for “Homelessness in St. Paul” as the topic of their annual service learning project. Faculty from Hamline and Hancock begin working together to promote “advocacy, education, and service” on the issue of homelessness.

Hancock fifth and sixth graders collaborated with Hamline students to learn more about homelessness.

2007 Snelling Connection

Project: Homelessness homelessness. In 2005, Sharon Jaffe, Glynis Grostephan, and Samantha University’s Office of Service Learning to launch an annual project that would Hamline and Hancock visit homeless shelters, pack meals, and raise money for shelters.

Mr. Lein’s Students Pack 20,952 Meals and More... By Maya Winter Hancock Student Editor

The homelessness project made me feel happy because I took a stand and hopefully will make a difference,” said sixth grader Kiley Bigger when she finished one of many projects that Mr. Lein’s class did to help those who face homelessness. Sixth graders, for the past few years, have been taught water color skills in art. They use their skills for a good cause. They made water color paintings and then turned the paintings into cards. They sold the cards and donated the profits to the Listening House, a homeless shelter that provides all the basic needs for people who are homeless. Mr. Lein’s class also wrote letters to advocate for the homeless and then sent them to their state legislators. The letters included many topics about homelessness, such as taking action and where the money should go to help. Then, hopefully, legislators would take matters into their own hands and do something to help. Mr. Lein was also inspired by his nephews from Haiti to participate at an organization called Feed My Starving Children. FMSC is a non-profit organization


Mr. Lein’s students volunteer by packing meals at Feed My Starving Children.

that packages meals to send to Haiti and other countries in need. His class recently went to volunteer at FMSC. They packed 20,952 meals, which could feed 58 children for a year. Mr. Lein and his students benefitted in many ways.

Ms. Susan’s sixth grade class collaborated with Dr. Jean Strait’s educational psychology class to make blankets and put together gift baskets that were distributed to a shelter and others facing homelessness last fall.

The sixth grade sold home-made cards and then donated the $150 raised to the Dorothy Day Center. They participated in lobby day at the state capitol and hosted a public silent auction at Gingko’s coffeehouse in order to raise money for homelessness. Page 

They know how it feels to make a difference in the world. When asked why he feels this is important, Mr. Lein said, “It’s a win-win situation. To see how things are in the world, to give our time, and to help make a difference in people’s lives.”



Sixth grade students visited homeless shelters and wrote letters to their legislators to raise money. Snelling Connection

Bridging Family Across Both Sides of Snelling Ave. By Txee Yang Hamline Student


ot many Hancock students have relatives that attend Hamline University. So, when we found out that a Hancock sixth grader has a cousin attending Hamline for his first year, we were very excited to know more! I sat down with sixth grader Aden Aden and his cousin Hassan Nuur to hear their story. I found out that they both live together, are very close and consider each other brothers. This is what they had to say... Note: AA= Aden Aden and HN= Hassan Nuur. Where were you born? AA: I was born in Kenya and stayed there for two years and I came to MN when I was nine years old. HN: I was born in Kismayo, Somalia. A city in the south of the country. It is on the Indian Ocean. I grew up partially in Kismayo and some time in Nairobi, Kenya. I have very good memories of those places. I would like to go back soon.

Do your parents encourage you to go to college? AA: Yes, they want me to do good in school. They want me to be successful. HN: I’ve always had plans to go to college and my parents were instrumental in shaping me as a young person. My parents were always supportive from the first nursery rhymes. Do you encourage Aden to go to college someday? If so, why? HN: I do and in the future will encourage Aden to go to college because of many different reasons. The first reason is that a college education is essential in a 21st century job market. It is very hard to get a good paying job without a college education. Another reason is that we need an educated family and citizenry in our native country Somalia.

What is something you and your brother do together? AA: We play football when he comes home. I go to the Mosque with him. I go shopping with him sometimes. HN: We like to play sports outside when it is warm and play video games and other games at home. How does your family feel about your brother being the first to go to college? AA: My family feels proud that Hassan Nuur and his younger brother Aden Aden my brother is the first one to go to colpictured in the sixth grade hallway, Hancock. lege. I feel proud of him to go to college Why did you choose to come here? because he’ll be successful. HN: I came to Hamline because I liked the small campus. It is very manageable in What do you want to be when you terms of walking distance to all the buildgrow up? ings. I also liked the financial aid package AA: A football player for Atlanta. that Hamline gave me. They gave me a plan that I could manage to afford. FinalWhat are you studying in college? ly, another reason why I came to Hamline HN: My plan is to major in Political Sciis that it is two miles away from my home. ence with a minor in philosophy and then It’s very convenient for me because of this to go to Law school. close proximity to my home.

How will you pay for college? AA: Get a scholarship because I don’t want my mom or dad to pay for all of it. HN: I am paying for college with federal pell grants and state grants. Hamline is also helping me pay my tuition. Those all add up and make it a lot easier for me to pay an affordable amount. Hassan and Aden’s story goes to show us all that college does not only “begin in Kindergarten” but right at home too. Next fall, Hassan will start his second year at Hamline while Aden will attend Murray Middle School. He will be one step closer to attending college someday too.

We gave a questionnaire to seventy three students in the sixth grade to learn what they thought about college. Here are the results: 72 sixth graders plan on going to college. Page 

25 sixth graders want to go to Hamline University.

69 sixth graders feel encouraged by their parents or guardian to attend college.

23 6th graders have at least one sibling in college. Snelling Connection

Real Books, Real Authors 2nd Grade Music Concert By Sebastian Alfonzo and Abdul Mohammed Hancock Student Editors

By Emma Walsh and Taw Bee Hancock Student Editors


ooks come alive when you are in Mrs. Walsh’s sixth grade class! This year, Mrs. Walsh’s students had the exciting opportunity to meet two authors through a collaboration called Real Books, Real Authors, Real Writing. After having read several books by specific authors, the students were able to meet with the authors afterwards to discuss their books. The students in Mrs. Walsh’s class talked with two authors: Pat Schmatz and Deborah Fraiser. The students visited Hamline to talk with Deborah Fraiser as she is a Professor in the Hamline Graduate Program while author Pat Schmatz visited Mrs. Walsh’s classroom. One student, Anab Abdi, was very inspired after meeting the authors. “I want to become an author now,” said Anab. Anab has started a series of books that she hopes to one day publish. The Real Books, Real Authors, Real Writing collaboration started when Mrs. Walsh met several authors while taking a writing class at Hamline’s Graduate School. She talked with all of the authors about some of the books and about the collaboration between Hancock and Hamline. The authors agreed to come in for free. This is extremely nice because most other schools have to pay to have authors come in and talk. This saves the school lots of money. The Hancock-Hamline Collaboration also funded the program with a mini-grant to help pay for book-making supplies and books. When author Pat Schmatz visited Mrs. Walsh’s class, she read one of her books called Mrs. Estronsky the UFO. Schmatz discussed her book and gave the students a writing lesson. Phyllis Root, author of many children’s books, will be coming in to talk to the students about making books by the end of this year. Mrs. Walsh’s students all had an amazing experience meeting the authors. They learned how to write books and publish them!

The Curious Case of


n May 23rd, a Hamline professor and some second graders will be presenting a musical performance using donated xylophones. Hamline Music Professor Kathy Thomsen has been teaching a second grade music class at Hancock every Tuesday since September. Lately, the second graders have been learning how to play songs on xylophones, which were donated by Blake Middle School. “It’s fun teaching second graders. They provide me with a change of pace from my regular teaching at Hamline. The second graders are anxious to learn, they are willing to try almost anything I ask of them, and they seem to enjoy music class,” says Kathy about teaching the second graders. When asked about what an average day in music class is like, second grade student Jonathan Kieser had this to say: “Doing songs, learning new songs, and practicing old ones.” That is a normal day at Kathy’s music class. The concert is almost here, it will be May 23rd at Sundin Music Hall on Hamline’s campus. It is at 10:15 in the morning. Different people are doing different things to prepare for the concert. Second grader Madison Thode said that, “I practice my songs with the xylophones”. While the students are working, the teachers are helping their students prepare. Second grade teacher Carol Woodbury said, “I usually practice right along with the students because I enjoy it as much as they do. I help the students if they’re having trouble with the rhythms of the xylophones and mostly I just try to do what they are doing”. Another second grade teacher, Elizabeth Srigley explained how she participates in the class, “I sing, I play, and help them play and find the right notes.” All the students are psyched and cannot wait for the concert. When asked if he was excited for the concert, second grader Jonathan Kieser had this to say: “Yeeeeeeess!”

Vandalism !

By Najma Ali Hancock Student Editor


t was an ordinary year at the elementary school. The school was an all white schoolnot a student of color in sight. Except one day...that all changed. Mike Jakobs had a life full of friends. The teachers thought well of him, especially the principal. He also loved basketball. One day, Chris Burk, an African American boy, came to the elementary school. This is when everything changed. After a week of going to school, Chris found his locker spray painted with words that said, “Go back to Africa where you belong!” It hurt his feelings so he immediately went to tell the principal. Police came to investigate the crime scene because what the vandalism said was a form of hate speech.The police found a spray paint can Page 

in the trash near Mike Jakob’s locker. The lawyers, juries, judge, and witnesses were called. Well, they were actually fifth graders. Yes. it was actually a fake trial! Hamline and Hancock held a mock trial about the pretend vandalism case at the Hamline Law School. For weeks beforehand, Hamline and Hancock students had been working together to prepare by learning all about the court system. First, the fifth grade teachers divided the students into several groups: jury, judge, defense, and persecution. After everyone was broken up into their groups, a few Hamline Law students showed the fifth graders the ropes by teaching them what a typical courtroom trial was like. When we were finished preparing for the mock trial it was time to go to the mock courtroom at the Hamline School of Law.

“I was excited but nervous at the same time,” said Keleenah, a fifth grade student from Mr. Engstrom’s class. The trial lasted for about an hour. Hamline Law students watched as the fifth graders performed their roles. “Both sides gave all they got, but the prosecution group won by a reasonable doubt. I was happy when I found out we were doing mock trial. At first I wasn’t happy about my role but I also got to do photography. I was against Mike, I knew he was guilty! He went to jail!” said Maya Brown, a fifth grader from Mrs. Washburne’s class. The mock trial occurs every year in the fifth grade. To the future fifth graders: I’d like you to know that Mike Jacobs was innocent until proven guilty! Snelling Connection

Deep in N ature Rachea

Hancock Tutor Program

By Kate Xiong Hancock Student Editor


amline students tutor students at Hancock Elementary School and raise awareness about college at the same time. The tutor program was established in 1996 under the Bill Clinton administration with the America Reads initiative, in which work-study students were able to work with Hancock students to help them learn to read. It was later expanded to include math as well. “Hamline tutors help to bridge the gap in providing high needs students with more small group, focused instruction. Hamline students also derive benefit. They earn money needed to help finance their college education and, they gain valuable work experience. For those going into education, Hancock is fertile training ground,” said Deborah Shipp, Hancock’s VicePrincipal. The Hamline tutors help students throughout their time at Hancock. Most Hancock students look forward to tutors coming in and working with them to help them with their work and improve their grades. When asked about the tutors who come to her classroom, Kha Xiong had this to say, “The tutors help you practice things that you don’t really understand.” Some kids ask why Hamline students choose to tutor at Hancock. Most tutors come to tutor because it gives them experience in a school setting. When asked why he tutors, Hamline student Steve Girard said, “I want to be a gym teacher, so I thought the tutor program was another way to get experience with kids”. Today, tutors are still helping out Hancock students in the classroom. And as strong leaders, Hamline tutors are building relationships with Hancock students every day.

Sixth Grade Graduation By Felicity Xiong and Jah Yang Hancock Student Editors


ixth grade is ending and we are all headed in different directions. This year, the sixth grade graduation ceremony will be held at Sundin Music Hall on Hamline University’s campus. Along with the principal, two sixth graders will be chosen to speak at the ceremony. The sixth grade will also be singing a song together. Parents, Hamline helpers, teachers, and siblings are welcome to come to the graduation ceremony.

A Poem by

l Sheikh-Ab


kar, Hanco ck sixth gra T h e t re e s ba der re ly h a ve a n y lea ve s. All o f t h e g rou n d w t h e m a re o n et wit h d e w fro m t his m o pe op le ru s hin rn in g. T h e re g t o t h e ir n e a re xt cla ss s o t h I h ea r a m u e y wo n ’t be la ff led cry fro m t e. t h e boy in H lo st. C ru n ch, at ch et. H e is cru n ch. T h e lea ve s cru n c T h e y sou n d h, cra li k e popco rn a n d rice cri s py ckle a n d pop. li k e t h e y a re t reat s. It s ou t ryin g t o t e ll n ds m e a st o ry. I re cog n iz e t h s u d d e n ly e st o ry. It is t h e st o ry o f n bea m in g o n at u re m y h ea d a s if it we re s m il . T h e s u n is b rig ht e st s m in g at m e. T ile in t h e wo he rl d. I s e e a f wit h lo ve a n d ie ld. A f ie ld pea ce. It is lo f illed ve ly. T h e t re e g ive u s a coo s lo ve u s. T h l s h a dow t o ey hid e u n d e r o T h e y a re ju st n a su n ny da li k e ou r m o m y. s, t h e y n u rt u u s if t h e y a re re u s a n d fe e fru it t re e s. T d h e bu s h e s a re L oo k at t h e ju st bea ut if u co lo rf u l fru it l. li k e is a bu lly, it g ive s u s s u n b a ra in bow’s s hin e. T h e s u n u rn s but it is ca n ’t h e lp it. n ot h e r fa u lt But I st ill lo . Sh e ve h e r, s h e g iv in t h e s u m m e s m e ice cre e r, h ot cocoa am in t a n d f lowe rs in t h e s p ri n g h e wint e r, s ou p in t h e fa ll . We s h ou ld , be ca u s e n at a ll lo ve n at u u re lo ve s u s. re, Sixth graders Aeh Pho and Kha Xiong and Hamline Senior Nissa Benedict shared their thoughts about graduating: Aeh Pho said, “I feel happy because my friends are going where I’m going and I will see new people at seventh grade, so yeah I’m so happy!”

Aeh Pho

Kha Xiong said, “I feel happy because we worked so hard this year but I also feel sad because I might not get to see my old friends and teachers”. Nissa said, “I am a little scared because I don’t really know what will happen next, but I’m also very excited about not knowing”.

Snelling Connection Contacts:

Co-Editors: Tessa Mortenson and Amanda Skeivik Hamline University students, Hamline Liaison: Pres Martin, Professor of Biology and Biochemistry 651-523-2290 Hancock Liaison: Deborah Shipp, Hancock/Hamline University Collaborative Magnet School 651-293-8715 Hancock Student Advisor: Glynis Grostephan, Hancock/Hamline University Collaborative Magnet School 651-293-8715


Snelling Connection

Spring 2011  

Spring 2011 issue of the Snelling Connection.