September 21st, 2017

Yundi and Nellie ran towards Coach Campbell yelling, “Hey Coach!” Coach answered, “Hey – What’s up? How is everybody?” “Good Coach, said Yundi. “Yeah,good. Visit any more mines Coach?”

“Ha, ha – no, no – I am not going back down in those mines again,” said Coach. Nellie nodded her head and said, “Yeah, that was not a place I would want to go. So dark, and dirty. Scary.”

“Sure is,” shared Coach, “Coal mining is a dangerous job.”

Nellie asked,“Hey Coach, remember you said you would tell us about what the young girls did for work?”

“Sure do,” answered Coach. “They were nicknamed Bobbin Girls, and they worked at the local textile mill. They were called Bobbin Girls because their main job was to work with the bobbins of cotton thread.

image of thread bobbins

 

 

Bobbin Girls working in textile mill

The Bobbin Girls would run back and forth with the bobbins of thread to keep the looms working. The loom machines wove the threads together to make fabric for clothing.”

“Yundi and Nellie both looked amazed, and Yundi said,  “That looks like a lot of running!

I bet those Bobbin Girls were real tired after working. How long a day did they work Coach?”

image of one of the Bobbin Girls in the textile mill.

“The Bobbin Girls put in a long-long day,” answered Coach; “10 hours or so. Plus, the big room with the big looms had the windows closed to keep the wind from messing up the threads of cotton. A little breeze could get them mixed up and stuck. That stops the loom from working.”

“The windows were closed? It must have been so hot,” said Nellie.“Oh yes, very hot and very loud. The giant looms make an awful racket,” added Coach.

Coach pulls out his phone, and says, “I have a youtube movie of a working mill room at the Boott Mills in Lowell. Let’s look at it together. This video shows several machines working at the same time.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmYV3J5JU4

Yundi shook his head and said, “Wow Coach, sure am glad my classroom at school is air conditioned. But, my classroom can kinda get just as loud – SOMETIMES!!”

Coach laughed and shook his head in agreement and Nellie just giggled. Then Nellie added, “I’m glad that, in this country, young girls like me don’t have to work in factories like the Bobbin Girls did.”

Story by:

image of Coach Campbell, author

Ned M Campbell is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches United States history at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY. He is a published writer, and a volunteer contributor to “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street program.

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September 14th, 2017

HectorHector was enjoying and afternoon of skateboarding when his dad called him into the house.

Not good thought Hector. It is only 4 o’clock, too soon for supper.

When Hector  went inside he saw his mom and dad sitting at the dining room table. They asked him to sit down at the table with them.

Uh, oh thought Hector, did I forget to do a chore? Did my sister, Maria, snitch on me for eating her snack last night? He couldn’t think what else he might have done wrong.

His dad said, “You’re not in trouble, Hector. We just want to talk with you about homework  now that the school year has started. We want you to get off to a good start. We want you to have good homework practices.

Last year, you had a hard time doing homework, not because it was hard, but because you kept putting off and then you would rush through it and not do your best work.

This year, Hector, you will have more homework than last year. It will take time to do. I know there will be times when you would rather be doing other things, like skateboarding or watching TV. But, when you put homework off to the last minute, you make it hard on yourself.

So, make up your mind to do your homework first thing , when you get home. Then you will be able to have fun. You won’t have to be worrying about getting your homework done.

So, Hector, do you promise to do your homework as soon as you get home?”

Hector was glad he wasn’t in trouble, but he wasn’t happy to have to promise to do his homework as soon as he got home from school.  He could see by the look on his dad’s face that his dad meant business. He looked at his mom. She was nodding yes to everything dad said.

His dad said, “Well Hector, we are waiting for your answer. Hector answered, “I promise.”

“Good,” said dad. “Now you can go back out and skateboard until dinner.”

As Hector picked up his skateboard and walked outside he couldn’t help but think that making promises and keeping them is tough!

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September 8th, 2017

image of Beagle puppyWhen Willie, Hector and Bobby arrived in homeroom class all they could talk about was Coach Campbell’s new puppy. They got the rest of the class all excited about puppies and having pets.

Teacher Pat, decided to use this conversation to talk about responsibility. Pets are a big responsibility and she didn’t think the “Can Dos” knew just how much of a responsibility they are, especially puppies.

“Class, pets are wonderful. Puppies and grown up dogs and kittens and cats make great companions. But…they are living things that need care. Just like you, they need to be fed and given water at certain times. They can’t do this for themselves.

They also need other things, like trips to the the vet, which is their kind of doctor to keep them healthy.

Let’s talk about a puppy. Coach Campbell told you that a puppy needs to be walked several times a day until he or she get older. Otherwise there will be accidents. A puppy need to be trained to behave, never hit, but trained by someone who knows how to train a puppy, or learns how to train a puppy.A puppy need to learn to follow commands such as …sit…stay…down.

Puppies need lots of exercise. They need to run and to play and they need lots of affection.”

Teacher Pat could see by the looks on the “Can Dos” faces that they still wanted to ask their parents about a puppy.  So she asked the big question,”Are you willing to get up a half hour earlier every day to walk your puppy in the rain and the snow and the cold weather, not just on sunny days?” A look of concern came over  some of the “Can Dos” faces.

“Are you ready to walk your puppy again after school, and before bed? Are you willing to clean up after him if he has an accident in the house?

Who will train your puppy to behave? Who will walk your puppy when you are in school? Will you give up after school activities to go home and walk your puppy?”

Now most of the class looked concerned.

Then Miss Pat said,”If this is your puppy, than you are responsible for him, not your mom, or your dad, or your older brother or sister…you are responsible.”

Hector raised his hand. When Miss Pat called on him he said,”I sure would like to have a puppy to play with from time to time, but I don’t think I’m old enough for a puppy, yet.” Most of the other “Can Do’s were nodding their heads in agreement.

Miss Pat smiled and said, “Good thinking, Hector. Getting a pet is a big commitment. Waiting untill you are a bit older, and can really take care of a puppy is the right idea.”

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September 1st, 2017

picture of Miss Pat, Kids teacherMiss Pat couldn’t help but notice that some of the “Can Do” Kids were not using good table manners in the cafeteria.

She had money left from a class trip in May, so, she decided to take the “Can Do” Kids out to the local diner in the hopes that eating in a restaurant might help them to remember their manners, at least she hoped they would.

Before they walked to the “Can Do” Diner. Miss Pat reviewed the rules:

  • When ordering, speak clearly and politely and say please and thank you.
  • Order what you know you will eat.
  • Use your napkin to wipe your face and hands, don’t wipe your hands on your clothes.
  • No pushing or seat grabbing.
  • No throwing food, touching other kids food or using straws to blow milk at each other.

The “Can Do” Kids all agreed to mind their manners and behave. Grandma Hattie and Grandpa Dooley agreed to come along and help Miss Pat.

The walk to the restaurant went well. The “Can Do” Kids were fine sitting down. Things didn’t get tough until the menus came out and each “Can Do”had to decide what to order. Naturally most of the “Can Do” Kids wanted French fries and a soda with their meal, but Miss Pat wanted them to take a veggie and low fat milk.

Grandpa Dooley suggested a compromise. Every “Can Do” who chose a veggie over French fries and milk over soda got to have a dish of ice cream for dessert. All but one “Can Do” chose veggie’s and milk. The one who held out for French fries, was, you guessed it…Hector. So, his dessert was a small fruit salad. Miss Pat wouldn’t give in on the soda; Hector had to drink milk!

The “Can Do” Kids made Miss Pat proud;they were well behaved. Miss Pat proved to herself that the “Can Do” Kids did have table manners.

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August 24th, 2017

Bobby, Hector and Willie were passing by Grandpa John’s store when they saw “Can Do” cat walking on a narrow ledge above the front door. 

image of catThe “Can Dos” ran in to tell Grandpa John. “Grandpa John, Grandpa John they shouted,  “Can Do” cat is going to fall. Come quick.” Grandpa John dropped what he was doing and quickly went outside to see if “Can Do” cat was okay. He looked up to see Can Do” cat balancing himself on the ledge. Grandpa John smiled and said, “Can Do” cat is fine. He is just doing what he always does.”

Hector asked, “Is it true cats have nine lives”? How many lives has “Can Do” cat used up already”? Grandpa John chuckled and said, “Boys, that is just a saying. Cats have a quickness, and the ability to land on their feet, which has kept this saying around for a long time.

Cats are amazing. They seem to be able to get themselves into trouble and get out of trouble unharmed, but…they don’t have nine lives. They are good at running from a dog, dodging a car, or jumping from a high level. Their muscles, bones, and even their inner ears are constructed to help them right themselves during a fall and increase their odds of  landing on their feet, and absorbing the shock. Even with these survival skills, cats do get injured.

I do everything I can to help “Can Do” cat live a long life, so I can enjoy him for many years. I am a responsible pet owner. If someday your mom lets you adopt a  kitty, and give him or her a place to live, remember that this is a lifelong commitment.

A cat is not a toy or a decoration, but a living creature that deserves your love and care as long as he or she lives. If well cared for, a cat can live up to 20 years. That’s how long I hope “Can Do” cat lives.”

The boys nodded. Grandpa John started back into the store, and “Can Do” cat just kept walking on the ledge.

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