Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Hillwood Holiday Party Is This Friday!

Merry Christmas and lots of holiday cheer!

Now that it is almost Christmas day, Hillwood Academic Day School, its students and teachers, are preparing for the big party on Friday, December 10. So, now is the time to get read for the talent show and another free dress day. There will also a gathering for parents upstairs with lots of food that students and their families will be bringing in to share.

We will also be giving presents to one another with the Secret Santa event that we do at Hillwood each year. Students pick a name from a hat and then either make or buy a gift for that individual. Zack, an eighth-grade student, has been appointed the Deputy of Santa at the North Pole, and he will be assisted by the sixth-grade students. Zack will begin gift-giving first thing Friday morning.

Parents are welcome to join the Hillwood festivities from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The talent show will be from 1:30 to 2:30. Students will be singing songs in Spanish, performing skits, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Even the kindergarten kids and first graders will at the front of the center room performing. The parent gathering upstairs begins at 2:30.

Below is a holiday card for readers of The Hillwood Herald. Have a safe and wonderful holiday, and remember that the school will be closed until Monday, January 3, 2011.

Links: Animoto

By Jennifer and Angela

Happy Hanukkah and Best Wishes for the Holidays and New Year!

December Fun at the California Academy of Sciences

The Academy of Sciences is in the holiday spirit. Guess what, the museum even has live reindeer and Santa Claude, the alligator mascot. The reindeers' names are Yukon and Windy. Also, you can take pictures with Santa Claude. Other events include scavenger hunts, a show of northern lights in an igloo, a performance by the circus, and more.

One fun thing in particular is the Penguins+Pajamas sleepover party. While at the party, you stay at the Academy of Sciences from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M. The party includes breakfast, snacks, free admission the next day, and a commemorative gift.

If you want to go to the sleepover, you must be at least 6 years old, and have a chaperone. Tickets cost $99 for members, and $119 for non-members. If you want learn more, click here.

Below is an Animoto video highlighting some of the holiday happenings at the Academy of Sciences.

Holidays at the White House

Yesterday at the White House, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had a gathering about Hanukkah celebration at the White House on the second night of the Jewish festival lights.

The gathering was held in the East Room Thursday, December 2 ,2010. The guest delivered traditional prayers while lighting menorahs, or a candle with seven branches. The Obamas looked on as the lighting took place.

For those that don't know, Hanukkah is an eight-day-long Jewish celebration. Over Hanukkah, people commemorate the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The Obama family recently got a Christmas tree for the White House. The tree was brought to the White House by a horse drawn carriage. The Douglas fir is over ten feet tall and thirteen feet wide. It's known as the centerpiece of all decorations.

The following video is from the White House website, and it shows the entire process of decorating the tree through time-lapse photography.

Hillwood's Christmas Party

Every Christmas, Hillwood School has a party, where all of the students and the students' parentsget together and celebrate another year. There's lots of food, and the students of Hillwood have a talent show that they put on for their parents.

The upper graders are going to sing, "A Happy Christmas" by John Lennon and "Silver Bells." The upper graders are also going to pretend they are famous artists, and talk to the audience about themselves in Spanish. The little kids   are going to sing a song in Spanish.

In addition, many of the students are going to do their own thing in the talent show, from playing a musical instrument to acting out a skit.

Also every year, Hillwood has its Secret Santa tradition. During this event, one of santa's deputies comes down and uses reindeer antlers to see if all the students have been naughty or nice. If they are nice, they get a present. Then, they have to guess who gave them the present. Miss Schmitt, shown in this picture in Muir Woods at the Hillwood cabin, will be leading much of the musical festivities.

Curious George Is in Town

H.A. Rey, the illustrator of Curious George, and Margaret Rey, the artist and author of Curious George, have made thirty books about the famous little monkey, Curious George. The books soon became big hit on PBSkids through a television show.

The exibition in the Contemporary Jewish Museum will be showing eighty original drawings of Curious George and other of the famous characters. 

If you go, and I hope you have fun! The exhibit is open through the holidays and might be a nice outing while we are on winter break.

The Hillwood Foundation: What It Is and How it Came to Be

The Hillwood Foundation gives scholarships to the graduating eighth graders who have had a "outstanding academic records" at Hillwood school. The scholarships help the graduates create their college funds. The Hillwood foundation also donates to charity groups. The nonprofit also donates to Salvation Army and the trust for public lands. Alysen and I interviewed Mr. Grantz about the foundation.

Q:Who started the Hillwood Foundation?
A:"My grandmother. She started it to help the Hillwood students with their high school and future careers."

Q: When did the Hillwood Foundation start?
A:"on February 6-1967."

Q: Why did your grandmother start the Hillwood Foundation?
A: "She thought it was a good idea at the time and wanted to help students."

Q: How has it evolved over the years?
A: "We have more money than we did at first but in general it hasn't really evolved in the sense that its goals still the same."

Q:"How is the Hillwood Foundation funded?"
A: "The funds for the Hillwood Foundation come from contributing parents, staff, and any other generous San Franciscans. "The Hillwood Foundation is a nonprofit volunter organization."

If anyone would like to contribute to the foundation, parents can write a check for 5 or 10 dollars, or whatever amount of money they please. If anyone would like to write a check, make it payable to the Hillwood Foundation, and send it to school with their child. This year, especially, the need for the contribution is great. Thank you!

By Clara and Alysen

The Nutcracker

The San Francisco Ballet is performing The Nutcracker again this year. Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky wrote The Nutcracker.

The very first performance of The Nutcracker outside of Russia, first took place in England in 1934. The performance was staged by Nicholas Sergeyev. It was an unabridged version of The Nutcracker. The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performed The Nutcracker in New York. But it was an abridged version. It was set in 1940 by Alexandra Fedorova.

The ballet's very first full performance was set on December 24, 1944, by the SF Ballet. It was staged by William Christensen.

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 and died on November 6, 1893. Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer im the Romantic era. He wrote symphonies, operas, ballets, instrumental and chamber music.

Written by: Rubina H.

Did Reindeer Fly With Santa to The Zoo?

Starting Saturday and running to New Year's, people can see reindeer at the San Francisco Zoo. Although, you can't pet the reindeer, you get a very close view at them the zoo.

Reindeer range from 3 to 5 feet tall, 150 to 200 pounds, and antlers 3 to 4 feet across. Did you know that reindeer are a part of the caribou family?

Reindeer live in Sweden, Russia, Mongolia, Alaska, and Canada. Reindeer have the same antlers every year, even though they shed their antlers. Their antlers grow the same way every year. No two reindeer have the same antlers. Reindeer are farmed to eat their meat.

Below is video to celebrate both the holidays and the reindeer visiting our city.

By: Jay and Erion