Garfield's Enrichment Program
In addition to the GATE, music, art, and P.E. programs that are offered at all elementary schools throughout SFUSD, Garfield partners with community-based organizations to provide enrichment opportunities for its students and their families. Funded in full or in part by the PTO, enrichment programs at Garfield generally fall into three categories: Nutrition & P.E.; Arts & Music; and Technology.
Finally, Garfield’s school mascot is a Mighty Dragon, and the entire school community works to instill a Mighty Dragon culture by holding weekly activities that encourage students to develop in themselves six Dragon Principles.
Nutrition and P.E.
Garfield partners with the Chinatown Y.M.C.A; the American Heart Association; CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), and the San Francisco Food Bank in support of Nutrition and P.E. programs at the school. The Chinatown Y.M.C.A. provides a part-time P.E. teacher who supports Garfield’s P.E. curriculum and supplements part-time P.E. instruction funded by SFUSD.
Garfield’s teaching garden, funded in part by the American Heart Association, plays a critical role in helping teachers promote nutrition while teaching students where and how food grows.
In addition, Garfield students participate in CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – please view this excellent video (above, right) with highlights from a recent 2nd grade field trip.
Finally, Garfield hosts a weekly Food Pantry for any/all members of the Garfield community in need of supplemental nutrition. The food is donated by the San Francisco Food Bank, and the Food Pantry is run by parent volunteers.
This takes place every Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. in the upper yard.
Arts & Music
Garfield partners with LEAP Arts in Education; the San Francisco Symphony; the San Francisco Opera’s ARIA program; the San Francisco Opera Guild, and others to provide meaningful access to the arts for Garfield students. Every year, students are presented with a variety of arts programming options, and then each grade votes on what they would most like to do.
During the 2013/2014 school year, these arts enrichment activities at Garfield will include:
- Hip-hop dance for Kindergarten students
- Drumming for 1st Grade students
- Dance & Movement for 2nd Grade students
- Literature through Theater for 3rd Grade students
- Architecture for 4th Grade students
- Theater and Storytelling for 5th Grade students
Opera is also a big part of enrichment programming at Garfield this year.
During 2013/2014, K - 4th grade students will participate in a Chinese opera performance in the winter.
In November, 10 students from grades 3 - 5 learned and performed an abridged version of Rossini's The Barber of Seville in partnership with the San Francisco Opera Guild's Opera à la Carte program. Finally, Kindergarten and 3rd grade students will participate in San Francisco Opera’s ARIA Residency Program.
Computers and technology provide creative, educational opportunities at Garfield in many formats. For example, Garfield’s new Computer Lab opened during the 2012/2013 school year.
Funded by the PTO, the Computer Lab has since provided a dedicated space for teachers and students to supplement classroom learning with myriad educational software and activities.
These include RazKids; the Stanford University EPGY Language and Writing Course; BrainPOP; Star Fall; Grammar Gallery, IXL Math & ELA, and much more.
In addition to the Computer Lab, individual classrooms at Garfield each have computer “stations” and also employ interactive learning tools and equipment, such as document cameras; interactive boards; iPads; audio-visual technology; interactive language tools; and more.
The 6 Mighty Dragon Principles
What does it mean to be a Mighty Dragon?
One way in which Garfield promotes a climate of citizenship and a unique campus culture is through its six Dragon Principles: Caring; Respect; Helpfulness; Fairness; Responsibility; and Effort.
Whenever a teacher or staff person witnesses a Garfield student demonstrating one of these principles in action, they immediately reward the student with a Dragon Scale.
Dragon Scales are collected throughout the year. Every Friday during morning assembly, Garfield’s principal chooses 10 Dragon Scales from a box, recognizing those 10 students and rewarding them for their effort.