Over the past few weeks, Halford Sisters have dived deep into a myriad of different themes like the structure of American government and topics from the use of indigo as a dye through a fun tie-dye activity to exploring the definition of "community" and how it applies to the many aspects of sisters' lives during enriching 1-on-1 discussions in Halford Sister pairs. We closed out the year of 2019 with gingerbread house making mid-week to celebrate everyone's hard work and focus throughout the first half of the school year! We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and New Year and we look forward to restarting our Halford sessions together in January!
We hope everyone had a great Halloween! Last weekend, Halford sisters continued our conversation about the concept of representation in media, focusing on women in media during this session. From Disney movies to beauty commercials, sisters were able to participate in discussion around sexism and stereotyping, by using media clips and reflecting on real-life experiences. During science, sisters worked collaboratively to complete a challenge set by Gatorbotics. Using a small pushcart with a bouncy ball, teams were tasked with a few challenges for their cart to complete without the falling. With duct tape, pipe cleaners, cardboard, paper, and more, sisters successfully completed the challenge, with sisters cheering on the side lines.
Last Saturday marked the beginning of the 2019-20 Halford program! Big and little sisters welcomed both new and familiar friends and jumped right into icebreakers and activities in SEL and science. We made identity maps to learn more about each other and watched amazing reactions between water and oil occur as we made our own lava lamps. We look forward to a fun-filled year with potential for lots of learning and growth!
This Friday, Halford held a very anticipated event that sisters look forward to each year. The end of year celebration brings Halford families and students together to celebrate the work little sisters have accomplished each year. This year's celebration was vibrant and cheerful as sisters met parents for the first time or reconnected with families once again. Many hugs and smiles were exchanged as everyone was excited to see the culmination of the year. Big sisters Athena and Anya shared words about what an amazing year it had been from the perspective of a big sister, sharing with families the importance the program held for them and the reciprocity in mentorship and friendship they felt from little sisters throughout the year. Each little sister shared a short blurb in front of the crowd about what Halford meant to them this year and detailed their favorite activities. This year's Halford program was a fun-filled 9 months in which extremely valuable connections were forged and skills were developed, and we wish all little sisters the best as they enjoy summer and embark on their new journey as middle schoolers!
This past Saturday marked the end of the 2018-19 Halford program. After completing a crossword puzzle that really pushed us to use our imagination and knowledge from this year's program, big and little sisters engaged in fun closing activities that celebrated their accomplishments from throughout the year. We reflected on what our favorite aspects of Halford this year, and crafted and practiced what little sisters will present to their families and friends at our closing ceremony in the coming weeks. We also celebrated Mother's Day by making circuits and using them to light up hand-made cards for the special women in our lives.
This Earth Day (4/22/19), we celebrated by taking a walk through Gamble Gardens to identify different flowers, played a Jeopardy game to learn about disposing of our trash, recycling, and compost, and drank smoothies. We have a very interactive day full of opportunities to learn about our different habits, such as how we dispose of candy wrappers, and how they affect the environment we live in.
Halford Sisters visited the San José Tech Museum and experienced many of the exhibits the museum has to offer. Sisters explored with micro-organisms in petri dishes to make a unique color made up of bacteria, a comprehensive video series that highlighted global issues, like food shortage and bus pollution, and offered real solutions and people working to implement systems that help stop these types of problems from spreading. It was a fun-filled day that gave everyone a little break from their busy lives to learn about fun and important topics while getting to spend time with their Sisters on the weekend!
This Sunday, Little and Big sisters attended Arts With A Heart, Castilleja's annual dance show. The theme was "Confidance" and focused on celebrating the concept of body positivity. The show was a multimedia production, with spoken word performances, which shared powerful messages of how people learned to love themselves, as well as videos and dance. Everybody left with a smile on their face as the show's songs shared messages of self-love and embracing who you are and what you look like, no matter what. It was a fun day for everybody, and Halford sisters got to experience a little bit of the Castilleja arts program, which works hard to provide exciting and creative opportunities for the community, such as AWAH.
Halford little and big sisters spent time and had fun together at Winter Lodge last week to go ice skating! Many of the sisters (big and little) were a little apprehensive and despite lots of stumbles, everyone was getting the hang of skating by the end. We all went to get pizza afterwards and connected over the time we had at dinner. It was a great outing and allowed for some mid-week fun for both little and big sisters.
This Saturday, we revisited some topics from previous sessions this year, including stereotypes in media and the concept of density. Sisters split into discussion groups again to watch a video about what it means to be "like a girl" and analyzed gender-stereotyping product ads. Each sister filled out a worksheet which asked them to think about their strengths, interests, and role models, allowing them to reflect about what being a girl and woman in society means to them.
Science explored the concept of density even further this Saturday, as sisters made predictions of the density of certain liquids, like honey, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol. Each group were asked to think which liquid be in which layer (sinking = bottom layer = higher density, etc.). This activity brought a deeper understanding of density to the sisters, and was also an exciting visual activity!