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!
Welcome back to Halford! The first day of Halford Sisters 2018-19 (10/13) was equally exciting for both big and little sisters. A mix of new and familiar faces arrived on the circle, and everybody created identity maps to introduce themselves and allow them to reflect on parts of their lives and themselves that are important to them. The scientific method was also introduced during our science activity and sisters were encouraged to ask any and all questions they had about plants in the Casti garden.
The second session of the year (10/27) focused on Halloween themed activities and discussion topics. Sisters learned about the concepts of cultural appropriation and objectification of women in Halloween costumes, as well as in the larger world around them. A lighter activity followed during science, and Halloween candy was brought out to explore the concept of density. The Little Sisters made hypotheses about different candies, asking themselves if a particular treat would sink or float, and provided their thought process behind their claim. Each group tested their hypotheses, and after each trial, the concept of density began to make a little more sense in the real world context provided.
This Saturday we focused on human rights. Last Sunday, Halford Little and Big Sisters joined together to watch the Arts with a Heart 2018 production "Rights." The show focused on the declaration of human rights and educating the public on the importance of them, and securing one's rights. For our meeting this Saturday, Little Sisters made posters of human rights violations that they felt had been violated in their community. Big Sisters helped them understand the importance of advocacy, and how necessary it is to stick up for yourself or a peer when you feel one of their rights has been denied.
For our science activity, Little and Big Sisters were each given a small piece of tin foil and were asked to make a boat that they felt could hold as many weights as possible before sinking. We then placed the boats in bins of water, and placed different sized weights until the boat sank. We measured how much each boat could hold, and kept track of which group was the best "boat builder!"
For our January 27th meeting, we talked about an extremely important recent event: the Women's March. Many members of our community have participated in ones in surrounding areas. The Little Sisters watched an informative video on the Women's March, and we held a conversation surrounding the different branches of the government and what each one does. Next, the Big Sisters helped their Little Sisters write letters to their congresswoman, Jackie Speier. We gave them some guidelines and prompts to lead them in the right direction:
What change would you like to see in your community?
How would you like to make change?