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.

We are excited to announce that Town School has established a Global Education Committee, whose mission is to continue and enhance global education at Town, serve as advisors to global and glocal projects, increase global competence across grades and disciplines, and represent Town on the global education front. Committee members include Jessica Boualavong, Lizzy Laidlaw, Flora Mugambi-Mutunga, Christine Park, and Kim Stuart, who all 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.

7th Grade Global Goals Project

7/8 math teachers Hilary McArthur and Mike Conte asked 7th grade students, “As responsible global citizens, how can we use statistics and graphs to raise awareness about our Global Goals and help make progress towards reaching them?” Working in pairs, students collected data, created graphs, and prepared presentations for Town School students about the importance of the UN Global Goals.

The biggest challenge for students was finding reliable sources that provided adequate raw data to create compelling graphs. In order to complete their presentations, students consulted with librarians to find sources of data from places such as the UN, UNICEF, and the World Bank. They then created slides with original graphs that appropriately illustrated the Global Goal they were investigating.

Two students, Jay Aggarwal '19 and Vivek Patel '19, completed an exemplary presentation on overfishing and marine pollution, part of the UN Global Goal #14 Life Under Water. They discovered that China was responsible for capturing 63% of the world's fish and contributing more tons of marine pollution than any other country. Rather than vilify China, Jay and Vivek explored why these problems might exist. They read that China has a large percentage of the population on the coast, and as it became apparent that there was a connection between human factors and environmental outcomes, they dug deeper. After collecting more information, they were able to infer that China is most likely overfishing because many millions of people rely on fish as a cheap, nutritious source of food. Jay said, "Overfishing is just a microcosm of the issue...[We] can't tell people to stop eating fish because so many people rely on it. There is always a reason for things."

All of the students involved in this project hope that they raised awareness among students and teachers at Town about the important work of the UN Global Goals.

All About Me in Kindergarten

In their All About Me unit this fall, kindergarteners shared about themselves and their families. They discussed the concept of identity, created self-portraits, and talked about similarities and differences in looks and everyday lives. They also had the chance to learn how they are similar to and different from their 4th grade buddies. After learning about themselves and others in the kindergarten community, students and families shared their favorite foods as part of the longstanding Multicultural Family Traditions Tasting Party.

After Thanksgiving break, kindergarten launched a Project Based Learning unit focusing on the driving question, “Where am I from?” Kindergarteners created family trees and interviewed their families in order to learn how their parents and grandparents came to live in San Francisco. The boys then mapped their families’ individual paths to San Francisco and created shoebox floats and drew and glued on drawings that represented different parts of their identity including their family trees, their self-portrait, and interests. Kindergarten celebrated the end of the unit by sharing their floats with students in older grades.

This unit inspired curiosity about families and cultures and brought a greater sense of global awareness into the classroom. The boys will use these experiences to recognize that diversity and differences make our lives and the world stronger and more interesting.

More Global Work in Math 6!

Jimena Gomez-Lobo and her 6th grade math students spent a few weeks looking at the different use of data and numbers through the lens of natural disasters. Given the recent wildfires in California and the hurricanes that have struck the rest of the world, the boys started generating “I Wonders” while looking at images of the effects of these disasters.

They then brainstormed who would be most affected by the destruction and researched different events, finally creating different types of graphs and charts to visually display the information they found. The goal of this stage was to develop empathy and to connect concrete numbers to the situations. Jimena and the boys continue this dive into empathy with the question: How can we design small, beautiful homes to replace homes lost to natural disasters?

“I want the kids to develop empathy with those who go through this process [of rebuilding] and how difficult it is,” Jimena says. “Ultimately, it’s this idea that those who live in poverty are more impacted.”

Please stop by the bulletin board outside Jimena's classroom to see more!

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Teach With Africa Guest Educator Arrives March, 2018

Over the last 9 years, Town School has hosted 10 Teacher-Guest Educators from the Teach With Africa-USA Educator Exchange Program. The Leap Science and Math Schools are now in partnership with TWA, making the program even more robust. Our guest educator will be in residence at Town School from March 5th-March 30th. We are seeking 2-3 host families who might be interested in hosting our guest educator for a 1-2 weeks each. This has become a really special cultural experience for both host and guest. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Flora Mugambi-Mutunga, mugambi@townschool.com, or by dialing 415-746-1135.

Human Rights Watch Dinner

On November 9, 2017, members of Town’s Global Education Committee attended the Human Rights Watch’s annual dinner at City Hall as the guests of Tina and Joe Bou-Saba (parents of Nicholas Bou-Saba ‘24). Attendees celebrated milestones in the human rights community and heard stories from the front lines, as brave changemakers protected and defended human rights here and abroad. Thank you to Tina and Joe for their generous gift!

Antika Singh's 8th Grade History and Social Justice Through Film Elective

In this video, created for an Upper School assembly on empathy, Antika Sigh's students highlight projects from her 8th grade History and Social Justice Through Film classes. Through their work, they strive to cultivate empathy and understanding through the examination of difficult subject matter.

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.

Educating for Global Citizenship & Intl. Mindedness

From the NAIS Principles of Good Practice

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.