Archive for June, 2012

Orrie’s Wish Comes True!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

OrrieFor as long as Orrie could remember, he wanted to learn to horseback ride.

He heard about other children with physical disabilities riding horses, but he had never visited a program where children who used wheelchairs learned to ride well enough that they eventually could ride horses on their own.

Orrie’s mom and dad had spoken to Orrie’s doctor who felt that the motion of the pony as it walked and trotted would be good exercise for Orrie’s legs. As the doctor put it, “Riding would be very therapeutic for you, Orrie.”  Great, thought Orrie, the doctor is all for it. Now I have to find a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program I can get to and my parents can afford.

There were no Therapeutic Horseback Riding Programs on or near “Can Do” Street. So, Orrie got on the Internet and found a program about 50 miles away. When his birthday rolled around in May, he asked Grandpa John to take him to see the program as his birthday present. The two of them set off one Saturday morning. Before they knew it they were there!

The Unicorn Therapeutic Riding Program rents space at a beautiful riding center with an indoor and an outdoor riding area. The program accepts children as young as three. The Unicorn Program has ponies for the little kids and horses for older kids and adults.

OrrieThere are 3 certified riding instructors leading classes, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist on-site whenever the program is in session. There are also three volunteers for every rider; one leads the pony or horse around and the other two serve as side-walkers to make sure the rider was safe at all times. Orrie watched as a little boy took a lesson .

One of the instructors let Orrie sit on Oatmeal, the pony, and go for a brief walk around the ring with a leader and two side walkers. He was in heaven!

Driving back to “Can Do” Street, all Orrie could think about was how could he get to the Unicorn Program and take lessons?”

The lessons are free. They are supported by donations from generous people.  Orrie kept thinking that there had to be a way to get there.

Grandpa John knew what he was thinking and said,”Orrie, we need to think about how you can get to the Unicorn Program. I don’t think I can take you every week. Grandma and I have the store to take care of. Your dad works weekends and your mom has three other kids to take care of and get to activities.

Orrie shared his wish and his visit to the Unicorn Program with Miss Pat and the class the following Monday. A few days later, Mr. Markle, the manager of “Can Do” Street Bank visited the class. After he greeted Miss Pat and the class he announced,” I’m here to present a cash award to the student of the year.”

Well, the class got quiet, very quiet. Then Mr. Markle announced,”The award goes to Orrie for not only being the best prepared for his lessons and getting the highest marks on his tests, but for always being willing to help other students with their studies.”

A cheer went up for Orrie and Mr. Markle handed him a check for 300 dollars.

Everyone wanted to know what he would do with the money. “That’s easy,” said Orrie,”I can pay someone to drive me to and from the riding program when my family can’t do it.”

Orrie turned to Mr. Markle and said, “Thanks for making my wish come true.” Mr. Markle smiled and said, “No Orrie, you did that by working hard. You earned that cash award. The bank is just recognizing your hard work.”

Orrie couldn’t wait to get home and tell his family that wishes can come true!

Mall Manners

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

mallThe “Can Dos” were all excited about the day’s field trip to a new mall in the next town.

They were going to visit a children’s bookstore where, in addition to seeing and hearing about all the new books for sale, they would be participating in a story time.

After spending most of the morning in the mall book store, they would have lunch in the food court.

Miss Pat called the class to order and said,”Please take your seats. I have an announcement to make and then I want to go over mall manners before we line up for the bus.

The book store owner has offered to give each one of you a free copy of the new book she will be reading from during story time.” The class broke out clapping. When they quieted down, Miss Pat continued, “Before we are can think about whether or not we are getting a free book, we need to think about our behavior in the mall. Did we earn a free book by showing that we know how to behave in a mall. Do we have mall manners”?

The “Can Dos” all got questioning looks on their faces and Hector blurted out,”What are mall manners”? Miss Pat smiled and said, “That’s what we need to talk about. I have seen some of you in a mall and you were not practicing mall manners. You were running and  bumped into other shoppers. One or two of you were fooling around on the escalator…a dangerous thing to do. In the food court you cut in line in front of people who were in line before you got there.”

The “Can Dos” all got quiet. Most had done one of the things Miss Pat mentioned. Then Nellie asked,”What are some other mall manners that we need to know”?

“Well, said Miss Pat, “Here are some other mall behaviors that are important:

  • No yelling or making funny mouth noises
  • No throwing punches, pushing each other, grabbing each others clothing
  • When you use the public bathroom, close the stall door, flush the toilet, wash your hands, and throw the paper towels you use in the trash
  • In the food court, be ready to order when it is your turn, clean up after yourself at the table and throw your garbage in the trash can.”

“Wow,” said Hector,” That’s a lot of things we can’t do. That’s a lot to remember. What can we do”?

Miss Pat smiled and answered,”You can walk and talk with friends, tell jokes, share snacks, look in shop windows, enjoy the book store, have a lunch with friends and see new things. Most of all you can be the proud owner of a new book!”

Later that day, when the class got back from their mall trip, Miss Pat told them how proud she was of their mall manners. Then she opened up the box of new books that the store owner had given her and handed one to each of the “Can Dos!”

You guessed it…the entire class practiced mall manners!”

The Steps to Good Personal Hygiene

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

At the last parent-teacher meeting some of the parents asked Miss Pat if there was a computer game that could help their children practice the steps of good personal hygiene.

stepsIt seems that some of the “Can Dos” were having trouble with the steps for wash their hands and keeping themselves clean.

Miss Pat decided to make up a game, two of them to be exact.

The first game reminded the “Can Dos” of the correct steps to hand washing. The second game Miss Pat made reminded the “Can Dos” of the steps to washing and grooming.

Well, at first the “Can Dos” couldn’t see the need for the games as they all thought they knew the steps of hand washing a personal grooming. Wow, were they surprised when they didn’t do so well in the two games.

Let’s see how well you do with the “Steps” games.

Just go to the “Can Do” Club House, go to games and choose Steps.

A Summer Breakfast Treat…Fruit Pizza

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Grandma Hattie decided to make a new breakfast treat for Willie and Nellie. They were bored with the same old cereal with fruit breakfast.

breakfastGrandma looked through a number of cookbooks and came up with a recipe that had all the things that Willie and Nellie like for breakfast…fruit, cream cheese and an English Muffin. It’s called Symphony of Fruit Pizza.

Here is the recipe in case you want to try it with your mom or another adult.

Symphony of Fruit Pizza

Preparation time: 10 minutes

 Ingredients:

1 English muffin

2 tablespoons whipped fat-free strawberry cream cheese

1/3 cup strawberries, sliced

¼ cup red grapes, quartered

¼ cup canned mandarin oranges, drained

 

Instructions:

Toast the English muffin until golden brown. Spread cream cheese on toasted muffin.

Arrange sliced strawberries, grapes, and orange slices on top of the cream cheese.

Slice into quarters and “yummy – fruit pizza!”

 Serves: 1
½ Cup of Fruit per Serving
Fruit and/or Veggie Color(s):
Red, Orange

 Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 228, total fat: 1.3g, saturated fat: 0g, % calories from fat: 5%, % calories from saturated fat: 0%, protein: 10g, carbohydrates: 46g, cholesterol: 5mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 374mg

Each serving of this breakfast treat provides An excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folate and fiber.

 Recipe is courtesy of Produce for Better Health Foundation and Shoney’s, Inc. This recipe meets PBH and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) nutrition standards that maintain fruits and vegetables as healthy foods.

Recipe from the Cool Fuel for Kids cookbook.

Water Safety

Friday, June 15th, 2012

water“Okay boys and girls,” said Coach Campbell, “Who can tell me the different water places you can swim and play in?”

Nellie raised her hand and said, “You can swim in the ocean.”Jay added,”You can swim in a lake, a pond or even a deep mountain stream.” Bobby called out,” You can swim  in a pool.”

“You are all right,” answered Coach Campbell. “Now let’s talk about being safe in these water areas.

First let’s talk about things we like to wear in the water that won’t keep you upright. They are fun, but won’t keep you safe. Here they are: Water wings, bubbles, and pool noodles .

What should you wear around the water? You need to wear a life jacket, that is  U.S. approved, appropriate for your size, fits snugly and is the correct type for you, your age, and what kind of water you will be near.

For instance, children and teens should wear a life jacket any time they are on a boat, raft, using an inner tube or swimming in open waters like lakes, rivers or the ocean.

Children under 5 years old should also wear a life jacket while in or near water. This includes while they are on a beach or dock.

Children between the ages of 6 and 11 should also wear a life jacket while standing on docks and swimming or water play in a river. Why, because they could accidentally fall in the water from the dock. Rivers have currents that can push and pull you along. They can have deep spots that you don’t know about. One minute you are able to stand in shallow water and a few steps later you are in over your head. A life jacket keeps you safe if that happens.”

The “Can Dos” all had thoughtful looks on their faces. Coach Campbell could see that some of them had not thought about some of the things he was saying.

“We know there should be no running or fooling around near a  pool, no diving , except where it says you can dive, and no holding one another underwater in a pool.

When we are at the ocean, we need to stay out of the water until a parent or other adult we trust can take us in the water. Waves can make it hard for children to stay upright. Wear a life jacket and only go in the water when the life guard is on duty and can see you.

Lastly, let’s talk about lake water swimming and play. Wear water shoes as they will protect you from sharp rocks and other things hidden on the bottom that can hurt your feet.

Swimming and water play are fun activities if we know how to keep safe. Don’t give your mom or dad a hard time about wearing a life jacket, or water shoes or making you observe water safety rules.

So be safe and have fun!”

Answers to Summer Safety Quiz

1. Sunscreen

2. Prevent tick bites

3. Water, boating, or on a dock

4. Water

5. When there is no lifeguard on duty

6. No

7. Helmet

8. Swim

9. Tell lifeguard or other adult

10. No!