Our Global Town

Town School for Boys

Through the Halls of Town School and Beyond

Welcome to the latest edition of Our Global Town, a quarterly newsletter that highlights how our community works with and connects to our greater global and "glocal" community.

Town Global Education Committee members Jessica Boualavong, Lizzy Laidlaw, Flora Mugambi-Mutunga, Christine Park, and Kim Stuart contributed to this newsletter. Please enjoy!

Town's Global Education Mission Statement

Town School for Boys builds students' inter-cultural competencies and character through academic experiences and global and local partnerships. Beginning with an awareness of multiple perspectives, students develop respect, empathy, and kindness through authentic inquiry and engagement. By fostering non-judgmental curiosity, teachers guide students toward a rich understanding of their own identity within the tapestry of their community, the importance of belonging and including others, and the value of acting as allies and engaged global citizens.

The Meaning of Day of Service

Town School's 10th annual Day of Service was held on March 23rd, a day when the entire school - students and Town employees - participate in service activities all over the Bay Area. This year, Town took a focused look at the inspiration for Day of Service, with study of César Chávez and extended reflections.
Before the Day of Service, all students attended an assembly featuring student and adult speakers. Highlights included 7th grader Rob Borsetti’s moving speech on his experience with NGOs in countries neighboring Singapore (featured in a video clip below), Parent Steve Brown’s story of his involvement with the Pomeroy Center, and a presentation by 7th graders Jackson Scheer, Zachary Maurus, Jack Bijur, Thomas Woeber, and William Mao on César Chávez. The assembly inspired the entire school to think of service as a way to learn from others in order to build community.

“When you finish service your thanks is the feeling of doing something bigger than yourself." - Brady Read '20

After the Day of Service, Town Families gathered to share their experiences and reflect on the importance of service learning. Students explored why we engage in service and why it is important. The activity culminated in tracing hands and creatively expressing individual thoughts about service, which will be displayed around school.

On Thursday, April 12th, the 7th grade presented Museo de César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, y el UFW, a pop-up museum for students, employees, and parents. The "museum" featured information about the history of the UFW, including important events and people from the movement; exhibits related to the murals featuring the UFW, César Chávez and Dolores Huerta; drawings of moments from that history; and skits telling the stories of those involved. The museum also offered the opportunity to learn about taking action to improve our community at a "Call to Action" table created by the students.

We are looking forward to an even more successful Day of Service next year and are planning now. If you know of an organization that would like to partner with Town, please contact Flora Mugambi-Mutunga at mugambi@townschool.com.

7/8 Half Days of Service

Day of Service is not the only time that Town gives back to the community. About five years ago, veteran teachers Hilary McArthur (7/8 Math) and Jim de Carion (7/8 Literate Writer) proposed giving Town's two oldest grades the opportunity to commit to four half days of service throughout the year, in addition to the annual Day of Service. This idea stemmed from a desire to build more connections to the organizations with which the boys worked.

Since then, 7th grade advisories have rotated through commitments to organizations including GLIDE, the SPCA and Chileno Valley Ranch, and one group of students partners year round with Cobb Elementary School. Eighth graders typically partner with SF Recreation and Parks, the SF Food Bank, GLIDE, and the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center.

Reflecting on the evolution of these half days of service, Ms. McArthur says that it’s been exciting to see curricular connections. The 7th grade, for example, does a Global Goals Project (featured in the last newsletter) in the fall. By the second half day of service, “it was kind of cool to be able to connect each group’s work with a different Global Goal and have [the boys] see how they can make an immediate impact.”

This work also fosters cross-curricular collaboration. The 7th grade’s visit to Chileno Valley Ranch was supported by an in-depth research project in Spanish class about César Chávez, migrant farm workers, and the UFW. “It’s definitely broadened [the 8th graders’] perspective on the world,” says Mr. de Carion, “and affects their ability to see beyond their daily lives. It’s cool that they take it seriously, and when they work, they work really hard.”

What’s in store for the future? “I think we have a ways to go,” Mr. de Carion says. “We want to forge stronger, working relationships with these organizations that will enable the students to benefit as well, by building competencies. We call it service learning; there has to be a learning element to it.”

The Jindals celebrate Holi!

Holi coincides with our son Brayden's birthday every year and we try to combine the two celebrations! This year we invited a few friends and family over. The 2 hour event includes usual birthday festivities and playing with color. We use organic color that Zarah procures masterfully every year; it does not cause any damage to the plants in our backyard. It also comes quite easily off of our bodies, so its not a hassle at all. All in all it is a lot of fun, and also a good way for us to introduce various aspects of our cultural history to Brayden and his friends. Bharat also believes, "It's a great idea to incorporate it at Town as all the kids will love it. It tends to bring everyone together."

Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/; Sanskrit: होली Holī), also known as the "festival of colours", is an Indian festival celebrated all across the Indian subcontinent as well as in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mauritius, and Fiji. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and is for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours. ~(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi)

For more information about how San Francisco celebrates Holi, check out this link!

Lunar New Year 2018

Spring is here! Happy Year of the Dog. The Lunar New Year is an important holiday filled with family gatherings and traditions to sweep away bad luck and bring in good fortune. Popular in China, the Lunar New Year is also important in many neighboring cultures with prominent celebrations in Korea, Vietnam, and overseas Chinese populations in Singapore, Australia, the U.S., and across the globe.

Here at Town School, the Lunar New Year is honored in many ways. In Lower School, kindergarten decorated a class dragon and created drums and rattles to scare away bad luck in a parade around the school. During their unit on China, 1st grade celebrated the new year early at the Asian Art Museum, and participated in “Animal Tales Storytelling” as they explored the exhibits. Second grade took a walking tour of Chinatown to deepen their understanding of the prominent San Francisco neighborhood.

We also had many great presenters visit. Master Leo Wang from Panda Kung Fu Center led both Lower School and Upper School in a dragon dance and kung fu lesson. Author Oliver Chin came to read “The Year of the Dog,” an installment of his Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series. Parents Christina Wang (Preston Wang ‘26) and Rachel Euretig (Enzo Euretig ‘25) came to share how traditions of how the Lunar New Year are celebrated in their family and culture. Several Upper School advisory groups also discussed traditions around Lunar New Year and its celebrations outside of China.

Teach With Africa Educator Chumile Mgwali

From March 5-30, Chumile Mgwali joined the Town School community as part of Teach With Africa’s educator exchange. Mr. Mgwali is an intern teacher at LEAP School in South Africa and is also enrolled at UNISA earning a Bachelor of Education Degree. During his time at Town, he…

  • Spent time in classrooms from Kindergarten - 8th grade
  • Presented to faculty at the Global Education breakfast
  • Engaged in morning meetings
  • Taught a 7th grade algebra class
  • Attended a Hamlin and Town event 8th grade event
  • Participated in the 8th grade’s Decision Day activities with kindergarten crafts and fun at House of Air
  • Was recognized at the 2018 Teach With Africa Benefit Gala

In addition to participating in many of the busy day-to-day activities at Town, Chumile used his time with us to work on a research project about the impacts of classroom environment on learning and teaching experiences. He shared his initial findings with faculty and other Teach With Africa Educators at a lunch hosted by Town.

The success of Chumile's visit is in large part due to his generous host families. We thank the Sandlers, Fields, and Felsenthals for inviting Chumile into their homes.

7th Grade New American Project

Why do people immigrate to the United States? How do people navigate being a part of two cultural worlds? These are some questions that the 7th grade investigated during their New American Project. Students began by reading Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, looking particularly closely at his artwork to see what he was saying about race, racism, and identity. They then visited the Angel Island Immigration Station to learn more about the Chinese immigrant experience.

Next the boys were charged with learning the stories of New Americans they know personally (New Americans defined by the teachers as those who are first generation Americans), and sharing these stories through an interview and a profile feature.

Through this learning challenge, the boys’ assumptions about immigration and immigrants - Who comes? Why? How? - were tested. In an anonymous survey of the class given before and after the project, the greatest shifts in thinking were around ideas of fair immigration policies and the reasons for immigration. At the end of the unit, students were more likely to strongly disagree with the statements: “All immigrant groups have historically been treated fairly” and “All immigrants come to the U.S. solely to get on welfare.”

A display of the students' interviews are outside of the Literate Writer classrooms and represent people from over 25 countries.

Day of Service Speech by Rob Borsetti '19


Global Links and Resources

Intl. Teaching & Professional Development Opportunities

This is a living document of international teaching and professional development opportunities that are available for all teachers. When applicable, application deadlines and additional costs are noted.

Measuring progress towards the Global Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are targets for global development adopted in September 2015, set to be achieved by 2030. Data across all available indicators from the Our World in Data database track progress towards these goals.

Better World Ed

Incredible storytellers create empathy challenges alongside incredible organizations and communities to help youth practice empathy, global understanding, and social change while learning math & literacy.

Kiva Friends and Family Lending Team

Join the fun! We have $22,000 in lending as a school to date.

Town School for Boys

As an all boys’ school, Town provides a rich, challenging and rigorous educational experience that addresses the distinctive energy levels and developmental styles of boys. Town values being a diverse community that nurtures integrity, sensitivity and respect in its boys, and prepares them to become productive and contributing members of an ever-changing world.