A Sunny September Morning

On this beautiful September morning there was quite a bit of activity in the garden as much as inside the classrooms. We kicked off our BTS library's book lending spree for the semester. We enjoyed lovely conversations over coffee and had some delicious Gumushane style helva offering in memoriam of Murat Altan, Sema Hanim's father and Basak Altan's grandfather under the Oak tree. We thank our volunteer coordinator Deniz for our smooth transition of signing in and out our students. Here are some pictures from our day.



Our Second Weekend At Berkeley Turkish School

The Fall semester at the Berkeley Turkish School began in an exciting way. The buzz over coffee at the school was the fantastic Nostalgia Night Fundraiser event that was hosted by Nurdan Civi in San Ramon where over 100 guests attended. We thank our teachers Gulten, Sema and Fatos who helped us at the gate with ticketing. We also thank Mark Schirmer for being the keeper of the bar. In addition many thanks go to all who attended, or couldn't attend but donated to support our school's mission. What a meaningful way of getting our extended community together. Thank you Nurdan and Ester for the lovely songs. 

This morning we also had quite a busy morning with all four classrooms getting in the swing of the year.  Here are some photos from our weekend's activities.  Looking forward to seeing all of you next weekend!

Below are photos from our second weekend at our school. 

We Started our Fall 2017 Semester with a warm welcome!

Berkeley Turkish School opened its doors today welcoming 27 families, and 35 students. There was a lot to cheer for: 

  • We now have a beautiful new location- thanks to Jefferson Elementary.
  • A new and improved curriculum that incorporates music,theater and mathematics to our  classes.
  • An expanding lovely teaching team
  • Mostly a growing student and family community.

Here are some lovely photos from the day that were taken by our teacher Hande. We are looking forward to celebrating many Sundays together!



Our Partnership with the Industrial Design Department at California College Of Arts

Today was the first day our school was open post our festival. While our students were in class, the parents over Yildiray Bey's delicious suboregi reflected on the great results our community achieved at our festival fundraiser.

Basak Altan's CCA Industrial Design Students visited BTS and presented their final projects and educational products as a conclusion of their ID Semester program with the Engage Program. This year is our second year of collaboration with CCA.  Our own students and teachers were directly involved with the design process by testing and providing essential feedback to the industrial design students, so there was quite a bit of excitement about seeing the end result.

Since it is May, we are opening the season of camping in the Bay Area. Thank you Ezerhan for showing the little ones how you set up a tent... and put it back together.

Here are some images of this fun day including one of our parent Irem Radzik's mindfulness workshop for the Elma Agaci classroom... Happy May and see you all next weekend!

International Children's Day Festival

Over 300 guests attended our International Children's Day Festival today... Here are some images that show the passion and the energy of our day. We thank our amazing community for helping us put this meaningful event together to celebrate our children, and the value of democracy and the richness diversity brings to our lives.  Ulusal Egemenlik ve Cocuk Bayraminiz kutlu olsun!

Hepimizden sevgiler...

We would like to send our our sincere gratitude to the following organizations and persons for donating their services and products as a part of our fundraising for the Berkeley Turkish School:

·         Bay Area Discovery Museum in Marin, Two Family Visit Passes

·         Bay Area Discovery Museum in Marin, Two Guest Passes for Two

·        Irem Radzik Mindfulness for Families Workshop

·         Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, Tour and Tasting for 40 at

·         Trader Joe’s in Berkeley, Gift Bag from

·         Troya Restaurant in San Francisco, $40 Gift Card to

·         Alegio Chocolate Tasting for Six in Berkeley or Palo Alto

·         Visual Expressions Optometry in Danville $250 Gift Card

·         Walt Disney Family Museum in SF, Four General Admission Tickets

·       Evolve Executive Car Service, One-Way SFO or OAK Airport Luxury Transportation from

·         Upcider Cider House-Gastropub in San Francisco, Two $50 Gift Certificate

·         Meritaj, Four Bottles of Turkish Wine

·         Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Two Tickets

·         Berkeley Symphony, Two Tickets

·         California Shakespeare Theater in Berkeley, Two Tickets

·         Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, two Tickets to a Performance at

·         San Francisco Ballet, Two Tickets

·        California Academy of Sciences in SF, Four Tickets

·         Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, Four Tickets

·         deYoung Museum or Legion of Honor in SF, Four Tickets

·         Gilroy Gardens, wo Tickets

·         Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, Four Tickets

·          Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley,  Family Guest Pass

·         Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek, Four Guest Passes

·         Pier 39 Family Fun Pack ($313 Value)

·         Kate Truka-Tartuk in SF, Integrative Medicine and Consultation and Treatment

·         The Dailey Method in Berkeley or Piedmont (New Clients Only), Unlimited One Month Pass

·         Athletic Playground in Emeryville, Summer Camp Pass or Drop-In Pass

·         Children’s Creativity Museum in SF, Two Tickets

·          Galileo Camps in the Bay Area, $200 Off One Week of Camp at

·         Burke Williams Spa Gift Basket ($435 Value)

·         Chuck Smith Handmade Redwood Furniture: Kids’ Picnic Table (30L x 36W x 18H)

·         Chuck Smith Handmade Redwood Furniture: Garden Bridge

·         Chuck Smith Handmade Redwood Furniture: Birdhouse

·        Mr. McGroovy’s Rivets, Building Supplies and a Book of Plans

·         Books, Inc.$20 Gift Card to

·         Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, Four Passes to

·         Oakland Zoo, One Day Family Pass to the

·         Keller Williams Real Estate, Elif Top 150 for rental tables

·        Sports Basement, $25 Gift Card


Thank you Roxanna, for an enlighting parent seminar on pursuing excellence. It was a luxury to take a break from the daily parenting tasks to reflect about the different stages of executive coaching and development. Here are some photos from our workshop. We would love to have you over again Roxanna! For those of you missed this seminar, below is Roxanna's link.



One way of us reaching out beyond the Berkeley Turkish School Community is hosting parent seminars and inviting other schools. This Sunday, BTS hosted a fantastic workshop with Kid Power. Over 42 participants attended this seminar where both parents and children learned and practiced about safety plans. Check out our events page for more seminars to attend at our school.

On this busy day we also celebrated our fabulous co-founder Başak Çakıcı Adams's birthday. We are so lucky to have her and her lovely family as a part of our community. Cheers to many years together Basak'cim!

Here are some photos from our day.




After two months of break we started our Spring Semester today with great energy and momentum both inside the classrooms as well as outside.

During turbulant times like these, we are reminded of how important it is to belong to a larger community that values diversity and peace. While our little global citizens joined their classmates with their teachers in their classrooms, we the Berkeley Turkish School Parents brainstormed together over coffee about what this community school means for each of us. We elaborated on what and how each one of us could help to achieve these goals as a community school. Out of this very valuable brainstorming session came out some great insights, and information. We realize this is just the begining and it takes diligence, commitment and time to deliver on these.  However we are confident that they are attainable, because we all witnessed the level of commitment and energy behind all of our parents who participated.  We are very excited to report that we now have key parents leading certain tasks to grow our community school.

Thank you for being a part of this meaningful community. We couldn't do without your support and dedication.

As we receive photos from our first day we will be posting to our blog.  See you all next Sunday!


Our teachers and directors just completed a fruitful and productive leadership workshop last week, conducted by Roxanna Draddy, a professional executive career coach. Roxanna will also visit our school in March to hold a seminar for parents. Irem Radzik also introduced our teachers to mindfulness practice to help in their teachingand she will be visiting our classrooms for numerous activities/exercices with our children. This was a great opportunity for our team to get to know each other better, and strengthen the foundations of our core team.

Here are some photos from our event.


We thank all those who attended and participated at our open house and registration event this morning.  It was a great venue for many reasons.

We were excited to meet new faces, and catch up with old friends. It was also great to hear from our teachers whom each gave an overview of their classrooms' goals and activities for the semester and how parents can support their efforts. We also went through what is new this semester.

On the first day of school we will be asking our parents to sign up for the following:

  • Monthly Parent Classroom Coordinators
  • 2 Library Coordinators for the semester
  • BTS Ambassadors for:
    • Hosting Fundraising DInners
    • Organising Mothers' Day Brunch
    • Graduation Day Celebration & Gifts for Children
    • Hosting Teacher Appreciation Dinner

If you are interested in registering for this semester, please make sure to fill out our online registration here by JANUARY 25th, 2017.

Our teachers will be preparing for their classroom needs based on this roster, so please go ahead and sign up now. First day of classes are on February 5th, 2017.

Thank you and looking forward to a great semester together.

2017 Open HouseSM.jpg

Wrapping up another semester at the Berkeley Turkish School

On this brisk December morning with some recent sad news from Turkey, we sang along to songs accompanied with one of our parents Tuğsan and his guitar that warmed our hearts. We watched slide shows that reminded us how much we had all grown together and how much we all had accomplished in such a short time. We enjoyed lovely conversations over coffee while tasting delicious suböreği, pide and many more Turkish treats our parents brought. Together, we managed to squeeze a lot of meaningful moments of appreciation of this community, hugs, laughter and a few tears here and there. As we wrapped up the ending of another semester at the Berkeley Turkish School we were yet reminded of how precious life is.  Here are some scenes from the day.  Wishing you Happy Holidays from all of us at The Berkeley Turkish School.

Teacher Appreciation Fundraiser Dinner Hosted By Leyla & Ross Benson

We thank our lovely Leyla and her husband Ross Benson for hosting an amazing evening with the most delicious Turkish food prepared by Leyla's lovely mother Nil Hanim. It was truly a lovely get together for a very meaningful cause. Lovely company, lovely conversations and much appreciation of what a supportive community our small school has...Here are some images from the evening. We also thank all of our school parents who donated to this event but couldn't be there with us this evening.


We had an amazing mindfulness workshop by Irem Radzik.   We were given many reminders as parents, and simple ways in which we can bring mindfulness to our daily life. It was so great that we returned back to the workshop for a second session after snacks. Irem provided our parents minfulness exercises and games for our kids. We are looking into incorporating these amazing new skills into our own classrooms with our teachers in the spring semester.

Thank you for all who attended!

"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." Bill Keane


Together we celebrated the Republic Day on this rainy day at the Berkeley Turkish School.  While the Elma Agaci and Manolya classrooms sang along to "Bak Postaci Geliyor " accompanied with Tugsan's guitar, The Cinar Agaci Classroom sang and danced along with their parents to the republic march. The Ceviz Agaci classroom was busy playing games. 

No "Bayram" would be complete with delicious "su boregi" and helva along side of coffee.. so thank you Yildiray Bey for the delicious food!

We also had great participation for our Fall Fundraising Initiative. We have so far raised $3160 dollars, with 56.4% participation! If you haven't donated yet, please do so online. Our fundraiser ends on November 15th. 


Thank you for your donations! Berkeley Turkish School Has New Library Books!


We are very happy to announce that our BTS library just received a new shipment of brand new books, and they look amazing!!!

We are very thankful for our 4th classroom teacher Zeynep Civcik's parents who have generously offered to carry our books from our bookstore in Izmir... The cost of shipping is sometimes equivalent to the cost of ordering the books. We really appreciate our community's help in carrying our books for us. This is one of the great examples of how your donations to our school, return back to your children, and your community.

Incase you would like to order Turkish books for your children, we work with a great modest bookstore in Izmir. They hand select great children's books for us and are also kind enough to personally box and mail your shipment. You can email them directly, place your order and they will ship it to you. You can also reference our library for titles and names.

The bookstore contact is:

cemal kitabevi <cemalkitabevi@gmail.com>





Thank you Neslihan for an amazing seminar on multi cultural parenting that was extremely resourceful and full of laughter!

We again had a full participation, with lots of great questions and thought provoking issues raised. We feel that this was just a beginning and would love to have Neslihan visit our school again. For those of you who are interested in connecting with her, please email her directly at Neslihan Pinar: nespinar@gmail.com. We will soon share the forms as well as her presentation that Neslihan had shared with us at the end of her workshop.

Thank you all for participating!