Snelling Connection - Hamline University
Newsletter of the Hancock/Hamline University Collaboration
been an inspiration
for me to go to college
because when I visit
Hamline or see
come here I get to
see the wonders of
college and can really
believe that college
truly does begin in
In This Issue:
Making it to Minnesota
Kids’ Artwork and Poetry
From the desk of ...
On the Issues
Dear Hancock Husky
Volume 12, Issue 2
Making it to Minnesota
The Karen represent one of St. Paul’s fastest-growing immigrant groups.
The Daw family arrived from Thailand last May, and are now learning what
life is like half a world away in Minnesota.
The Daw children stand outside their bamboo-built
home in the refugee camp they lived in until last May
when they moved to St. Paul.
By Angela Froemming
nticipation filled the air in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport late one
night last May. Something special was
coming. A large group of people occupied one
end of baggage claim, some pacing in front of
the sliding glass doors in excitement. Others sat
calmly. A few warmed up their cameras.
Finally, people began filtering into baggage claim
from the other side of the glass doors, looking
tired from a long flight. By now, everyone was up
on their feet, eagerly scanning the recent arrivals.
Then, the cameras started clicking. They had
The Daw family, made up of Ba Eh Ler Htoo,
Eh Tamwee, Eh Lertoo, Re Wah Lay, Pa Tha Soe
and their mother, Tha Htoo Daw, had left Thailand two days earlier. Five flights later, they were
finally in Minnesota. Family and friends, some of
whom had never been met, welcomed the new
family with hugs, tears, smiles and the promise
of warm food and additional family waiting for
them at their new home.
This is a familiar scene for several Hancock
students, as many students are first-generation
immigrants; many more have gone to an airport or
home to greet their newly arrived family member
or friend. Many of these students make up the
ESL (English as a Second Language) population
at Hancock. The majority of Hancock’s ESL
students come from Southeast Asia, Africa,
and Central and South America, with the most
common languages being Hmong, Karen, Somali
The Daws, who are ethnic Karen, contribute to
the growing number of Karen refugees settling in
Saint Paul. The Karen are an ethnic minority who
live primarily in Burma and Thailand, and are
currently the targets of a genocide being inflicted upon them by the Burmese military regime.
As a result, the Karen are resettling. The city of
St. Paul is estimated to have about 3,000 Karen,
making St. Paul the hub of the Karen community
within the United States.
The reasons a family may leave their country
of origin vary. Some come to the United States
to escape persecution or war. Others may be
looking for better opportunities in education or
work. Many Karen people, fleeing war and ethnic cleansing, initially set their sights on refugee
KAREN continued on page 2
KAREN continued from page 1
Lu, through an interpreter. Ka Lu also and getting to work with the school’s most
echoed her daughter’s sentiments, saying recent newcomers a very rewarding expethat she no longer has to live in fear, nor rience. Despite having to face many addoes she have to be running away. Finally, ditional challenges compared to students
she feels safe.
who have always lived in the United States
All of the children in the Daw family speaking English, ESL students still tend
were born in a refugee camp in Thailand. to be hard workers with good attitudes.
Years earlier when Tha Htoo and her
“We were excited to come to the United
family had come to
“I think that the cultural States,” Eh Lertoo and
the camp, they were
Re Wah Lay, who are in
given bamboo shafts
first and third grade at
and permission to all learn from each other.” Hancock, said through
build a house. Coman interpreter. “We like
ing from the camp
school and the food
to Minnesota was a
Eh Lertoo and Re Wah
involving a lot of paper work, interviews Lay also said they like not feeling scared,
The Daw family poses for pictures with family and friends and doctor visits.
and not being hit at school with a shaft of
minutes after arriving in Minnesota after their 2-day flight Claire Roberts, an ESL teacher at Han- bamboo for not doing their homework,
cock, believes that students who come getting an answer wrong or talking out
camps across the Burmese border in Thai- here from different countries around of turn. Tha Htoo appreciates the free
land. According to Tha Htoo, once a per- the world make Hancock a better place to schooling offered in the United States.
son is in the refugee camp, they no longer teach and learn. “I think that the cultural
The Daw family, while happy to be in
need to be afraid of being killed.
diversity is such a richness; we all learn Minnesota, still misses their friends and
“Living in the Minnesota is a blessing from each other,” she said.
other family members in Burma and Thaifrom God,” said Tha Htoo’s mother, Ka
Roberts considers being an ESL teacher land, and worries about their safety.
Building better voters, one student at a time
As part of the nation-wide Kids Voting program, Hancock students
participated in a mock election on November 4, getting a taste of
the voting experience.
By Hue Houa Yang, Caitlin Hare, Kelsey Donnelly, and
ov. 4 was an important day for people across the United
States. For Hancock students in grades 1-6, the day was
special as they got to experience the voting process by
casting their votes in the Kids Voting election.
Each classroom went to the designated voting area and used
their library cards as identification. An election clerk used this
information to find each student’s name in the sign-in log and
had the student write their signature on the sign-in log before
they received a paper ballot.
Students received a ballot and bubbled in their choices. The
election judges made sure the
ballots were put into the ballot box
correctly. Students were rewarded
with a Kids Voting bookmark or
tattoo and an “I Voted” sticker.
This was “real life” learning: If
a student’s name wasn’t on the
sign-in log they had to register at
Page a separate table. Students learned the importance of registering
ahead of time, thanks to Hamline Professor David Hudson’s
first-year seminar. Prior to the Kids Voting election, his class
taught Hancock students the importance of studying the
candidates, registering to vote and of remembering the right and
responsibility we have to vote.
Student Council members served as election judges, clerks
and inspectors. The votes were counted by hand, and later
Hancock students’ votes didn’t count in the real election, but
they did count in the Kids Voting election. Thousands of St.
Paul students voted at the polls along with thousands of students
across the United States.
Hancock election results:
McCain: 50 votes
Obama: 448 vote
Franken: 217 votes
Coleman: 110 votes
Hand-in-Hand lunch offers more than just a meal
By Alexis Lynch, Quinn Nelson and
very fall semester there is a special
lunch held in the Sorin cafeteria.
On Nov. 19, 85 pairs of Handin-Hand buddies had a great time enjoying a meal together on Hamline’s side
of the street. The buddies could choose
from foods like waffles, pizza, pasta, salad,
hamburgers, ice cream and more! Most
importantly though, the lunch gave the
buddies an opportunity to spend some
extra time together and get to know each
“It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing all
the kids together,” said Nicole Campbell,
a first-year student at Hamline and
volunteer for the Hand-in-Hand program.
Campbell, who wants to be a teacher,
recognizes the benefits of giving children
one-on-one attention. The Hancock
students appreciate and learn from this
individual attention as well as the Hamline
“This program just further confirms
my love of working with youth,” said
Cat Polivoda, who has volunteered her
time with Hand-in-Hand since last year,
and plans to continue working with the
organization until she graduates. “I love
Hand-in-Hand,” Polivoda said. “In my
opinion, it is one of the best organizations
we have on campus because it makes it so
easy for [Hamline] students to help out
the kids at Hancock.”
The Hand-in Hand program is a studentrun organization that involves Hamline
students volunteering their time with a
Hancock student once a week to play a
game or do an art project together.
For now, the Hand-in-Hand buddies are
looking forward to their spring picnic,
which will also be held at Hamline.
Hamline student Cat Polivoda waits in line for food
with her 5th-grade Hancock buddy at the Hand-inHand lunch at Sorin Dining Hall.
“Everyone should join [Hand-in-Hand],
I tell people that all the time,” Campbell
said. “You’re actually affecting someone’s
kids’ Winter Artwork and Poetry
All I Want for Christmas
(Lyrics re-written by Kiley Bigger)
All I want for Christmas is a
Hershey’s bar, a kick-n-go scooter and
a pink guitar.
All I want for Christmas is a CD
player, Guess Who Extra, and clothes
size eight ... I can’t wait!
Poem by Kiley Bigger
Frosted snowflakes falling to the ground
Twirling, swirling, all the way around
Planting a delicate kiss on your nose
Beckoning you to a new season
Artwork by Maya Winter
Poem by Ramla Dhamuke
There’s a powerful brisk this evening
While I was walking through the snow,
Artwork by Ramla Dhamduke
I noticed if I just listened for a moment
I would hear a lot of things I’ve never noticed before
Snow is cold, and so are you
I see your nose turning red
like a red-nosed kangaroo
so grab your hat and gloves
so when the snow hits the ground
we will go out and have some fun
Poem by Noel Young
Poem by Alanna Vennemann
Page Snelling Connection
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for the Snelling Connection.
President of Hamline University
Greetings, Hancock-Hamline students, parents and staff!
When I became Hamline University’s 19th president three
years ago, I was delighted to learn about the exciting
collaboration between Hamline University and HancockHamline Collaborative Magnet School. Our faculty, staff
and students gain so much from volunteering their time at
Sometimes students wonder how someone gets to be
president. When I graduated from college, my first job
was as a high school English teacher. All my life I have
loved teaching and learning, and in each new job I found
new ways to help students. Now, as Hamline’s president, I use all those skills to help make
sure that Hamline fulfills its mission, to be “a diverse, learning-centered university that
is rooted in a tradition of liberal education, dynamic and actively inclusive, locally engaged
and globally connected, and invested in the personal and professional growth of persons.”
Have a good year!
President Linda Hanson
On the Issues: Quinn Nelson, Madison Hare, Daliang Xiong, and Sabrina Yang ask,
“How do you celebrate a new year?”
---------------------------------“We listen to people talk abou the new year. Then people sing songs and do a Karen
dance. Then people talk some more and we eat noodles, egg roles and chicken. People
take pictures of the Karen flag.”
—Hser Eh Htoo, 5th-grade student
Hser Eh Htoo
“My family shares their favorite part of the past year and their hopes for the
upcoming year. Then we run out the back door of the house saying goodbye to
the old year and run inside the front of the house.”
—Mrs. Hvidhyld, 4th-grade teacher
“We go to the RiverCenter, and anyone can come. When we get in we can go
downstairs or upstairs. Upstairs there is a big stage. People with permission
can dance on the stage, sing Hmong songs and do the pageant. Downstairs
—Kalina Vang, 5th-grade student
“I celebrate by hanging out
with my friends and family.
We stay up until midnight and
watch the ball drop. Sometimes
we rip up newspaper and throw
it at midnight while shouting,
“Happy New Year!”
—Megan Anderson, HancockHamline Collaboration
Fifth-grade students Yu Pheng
Vang and Daliang Xiong
dress up in their traditional
“I celebrate Eid by not
going to school. Some
Muslims wake up in the
morning to a place called Masjad to pray to
Allah (God). After we are done praying we go
out to celebrate at places like restaurants or
the Mall of America.”
—Nasra Ali, 5th-grade student
Mini-grant aims to sponsor a warmer winter
By Carolyn Johnson
hen you step outside into a
Minnesota winter without a
coat, you feel the chill right
away. For many students at HancockHamline Elementary, this was a part of
their everyday life. Hancock staff such as
the school nurse and social worker, along
with student worker Whitney Klein, wanted to change this.
A Hancock-Hamline Collaboration minigrant helped Klein lay out a plan and put
it into action: a coat drive for Hancock
students. Creating a grant proposal didn’t
take long, and Klein found out soon
after submitting the proposal that it had
Page been accepted by the Hancock-Hamline
Craig Anderson, Hancock-Hamline
liaison and Hancock assistant principal,
explained that a mini-grant is an idea
funded by the Hancock-Hamline
Collaboration. The idea must benefit both
Hamline and Hancock. Anderson also
said that anyone from Hancock, Hamline
or the surrounding community may apply
for a mini-grant.
Klein’s mini-grant proposal was
approved in November, along with four
other proposals. Other mini-grants that
were approved will pay for a social worker
intern at Hancock, lifeguards to supervise
swimming lessons for Hancock students
during their gym time, a youth mentoring
project and supplies to replenish the
Hand-in-Hand art cabinet.
The goals of the coat drive were to collect
monitory donations along with as many
coats, hats, snow pants, mittens and scarves
as possible before Hancock’s winter break.
Organizations such as STOVE (Students
Together Organizing Volunteer Events)
and the Hamline Apartments collected
donations. The money collected was used
to buy coats from Goodwill and Kohl’s.
Overall, Klein says she is satisfied
with how the coat drive turned out, and
encourages people to create and apply for
their own mini-grant. To learn more about
mini-grants or how you can apply for one,
Dear Hancock Husky ...
Sometimes I see kids in my class copying answers
from each other. To me, this looks like a quick
and easy way to get the work done. I have heard
that copying can get a kid in big trouble, though.
I don’t want to get in trouble; I just want to get
my work done!
4 - 9 p.m.
What you are seeing in your class is called
cheating, and it is never a good idea to cheat.
Cheating at school can get students of all ages in
a lot of trouble. Cheating, and copying answers,
is like lying. It is taking credit for work that you
didn’t do. If you are concerned about getting
your work done, set aside some time each night
before the work is due to get it done. Taking the
quick and easy route to finish something almost
always fails. Instead, take the time to do the
work right, and be proud of yourself!
Homework and tests are not always easy. But
if you are tempted to cheat, remember that the
person you are thinking of copying from might not
even have the right answers. And if the teacher
sees you copying, or letting someone copy from
you, you will have to face the consequences and
miss out on the opportunity to feel good about
your hard work. Remember, honesty is always
the best policy.
—Caitlin and Madison Hare
Collaboration is hosting a benefit
concert and silent auction to
raise money for the HancockHamline scholarship fund.
The concert and silent auction
will take place on Thursday, Feb.
12 from 4 to 9 p.m. at O’Gara’s
Garage located on the corner
of Snelling and Selby. Music will
include the local modern and
classic rock band Sugar Buzz.
All ages are welcome, and sure
to have a fun time! The event
is open to the pubic, with a
suggested donation of $5 per
person. See you there!
Snelling Connection Contacts:
Editor: Angela Froemming, Collaboration Assistant, Hamline University
Hamline Liaison: David Hudson, Hamline University English Dept.
[email protected] 651-523-2893
Hancock Liaison: Craig Anderson, Hancock/Hamline University
Collaborative Magnet School
[email protected] 651-292-3499
Hancock Student Advisor: Glynis Grostephan, Hancock/Hamline
University Collaborative Magnet School
[email protected] 651-293-8715
Page Snelling Connection