Life Lessons of 2020 in a Zine

What is a zine? A zine is short for Magazine and is a self-made booklet that tells a story, informs about an issue, and is fun to make! It’s origin dates back to 1776, with Thomas Paine’s self-published pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated for the thirteen colonies to become independent from Great Britain

In returning from Winter Break online and entering into the new year, 1st-8th graders were asked to reflect on what lessons they learned about themselves and the world in 2020 and what they were excited about striving for in 2021. 2020 forced the world to face reality, good or bad, and with so much to learn from, the children triumphed over all of these obstacles to share what they found most rewarding, difficult, and inspiring. In seeing these zines created, we hope it inspires us all to continue to persevere, fight for justice, and take care of each other and ourselves.  

#SaklanCreative #SaklanThoughtful

Tiny Homes

Saklan students recently created tiny homes in art class. With all of us staying home this break, building a house made a whole lot of sense to the students.

The Tiny Homes Series was completed by most grade levels and was inspired by Ms. Natalie’s grandmother and her personal collection of ceramics. 

This was the artists first 3D project of the year and what’s more fun then clay?! Developing their craftsmanship, the students stretched and explored their capacity to create the tiny homes they had envisioned.

Normally the students would have used glaze, but for this project, watercolor and tempera paint was used to give each home detail and uniqueness. Check out some the the tiny homes below!


Holiday Spirit Days

The holidays are quickly approaching and the Student Council wants to help the Saklan community get into a festive mood! It has been a very difficult year and dress-up days are a fun and easy way to lift our spirits. All students and teachers are invited to join the Student Council in dressing up on the following days:

  • Wednesday, December 16th: Ugly Holiday Sweater Day
  • Thursday, December 17th: Holiday Pajama Day (Regular PJs are okay too!)

Participation is optional. If you choose not to dress up, please wear free dress on Wednesday and your uniform on Thursday. Please note that students need to wear shoes both days (no slippers, please).

Happy Holidays, Saklan!


Join the Student Council in Helping Struggling Families

The Student Council is hosting a food drive for the Monument Crisis Center. This organization serves families in East Contra Costa County. Since many families are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and need help, the student council decided that donated food would be the most practical. There will be large bins in the breezeway near the main office starting early next week and ending on Thursday, December 17th. The following food items are requested: peanut butter, tuna, canned food (including soup, stew, vegetables, etc.), dry pasta, and rice. If your family does not want to donate food but still wants to help out, please click here to make a monetary donation. Thank you for showing compassion to our local community!


Magazine Submissions Needed

Eighth graders Levi, Makenna, Reese, and Evy are working on creating the next edition of Saklan’s Literary Magazine. The theme for this edition is time! The eighth graders are looking for submissions of poetry, short stories, photographs, digital designs, and/or artwork connected to the theme, to be featured in the upcoming edition. Submissions should be placed into the large envelopes in each teacher’s classroom. All Saklan students are invited and encouraged to participate!

#SaklanCreative #SaklanLeadership

A Change is a Chance

Saklan seventh grader, Ryan Lo, was recently featured in Plastic Free Living Magazine. It is Ryan’s podcast, “A Change is a Chance,” that interested the magazine’s editor. In his podcast, Ryan aims to help young listeners understand some of the environmental challenges we face today. The magazine specifically highlighted the episode on Ryan’s podcast about Plastic Free July, in which he interviews Ms. Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, the founder of the Plastic Free July Foundation, to better understand what it’s like to be plastic free and how everyone can take small steps to reduce plastic usage.

Thank you, Ryan, for helping us all become more aware of the environment and individual changes we can each make to help the world become a better place!


Duffel Bags for Foster Kids

Saklan’s 8th grade students completed another Pledge to Humanity activity last week. This time they partnered with Together we Rise, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care, to decorate and fill duffel bags. Each student got to be creative and spread a unique, positive message to kids in the foster system through the decorations on the bags. After decorating the bags, the eighth graders stuffed them with a teddy bear and coloring books for the foster kids to enjoy.

Thank you to Kim and Jack D. for taking the lead on this project. 


Element Fashion Show

The eighth graders have been learning about the periodic table. From researching what all the symbols mean, to understanding what the atomic number and atomic mass tell us about each element, the students are quite knowledgable about the massive amount of information the periodic table has to offer.

As part of their periodic table study, each eighth graders picked one element they wanted to research and learn more about. The students then designed t-shirt to showcase their element of choice and the information they learned. The eighth graders then modeled their element t-shirts for their classmates. Click below to see our eighth graders showcasing their periodic table research, art and modeling talents!


Creative Counting Systems

In Math class, the 6th graders learned about the Yuki base-8 counting system. As part of the unit, Mr. Zippin asked the students to invent a new counting system that is greater than base-10. The sixth graders were reminded to research historical counting systems for ideas and given the option to make up imaginary civilizations. Here are some examples of what they came up with- great work, 6th graders!


8th Graders Give Back

On Tuesday, there was no school for middle school students as their teachers prepared for in-person learning, so nine of the eighth graders and some of their parents volunteered for an organization called Pledge to Humanity. Pledge to Humanity works to “inspire youth to become compassionate change makers,” by pairing young volunteers with organizations that improve the quality of life for others in need through both local and global initiatives.

Pledge to Humanity partnered the eighth graders with Kids Against Hunger. The student and parent volunteers met at the Kids Against Hunger warehouse in Pleasanton, where they spent 90 minutes making nutritionally dense meals for families all around the globe.  The staff at Kids Against Hunger taught the volunteers how to make the meals, their nutritional content and their impact to the families that receive them. 

A big thank you to Saklan parent, Heather Chaput, for organizing this wonderful volunteer opportunity. The students enjoyed the opportunity to act compassionately by helping to feed hungry families around the world.