Archive for the ‘What Can a “Can Do” Do?’ Category

Cold weather…a Play Date…Making Resolutions

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

resolutionsIt was bitter cold out, too cold to ice skate, or to go sledding, or even take a short walk. School was closed. So any “Can Do”who could catch a ride was welcome for a play date at Orrie’s house.

Grandpa John and Grandma Maureen had come by to help out with table games and serving snacks Willie asked, “Grandpa John why do adults make New Year’s Resolutions”? Before Grandpa John could answer, Annie asked,”What are resolutions anyway”?

Grandpa John stopped handing out fruit and sat down at the table with the “Can Dos”. All eyes were on him as he thought of the best way to explain what a resolution is.

He cleared his throat and began by saying, “Well, resolutions are kind of like promises to do things that you need or want to do. It’s about doing things that you need to do but may not having being doing such a good job about doing so far.

For instance, let’s take sharing. You know that sharing is usually the right thing to do, but it is hard to do. So, you might make a resolution, a promise to yourself or to someone else that you will be better at sharing.”

The “Can Dos” were all quiet for awhile, then Nellie asked,”Why do people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day”? Grandpa John smiled and answered. “That’s a very good question Nellie. The new year is seen as a new beginning, a time to begin again. A time to do things you want and need to do. So people promise themselves and their family to make changes in themselves and their lives.”

“Hmmm,” said Arthur J. “Maybe we should each make a resolution for the new year.” Hector shook his head. “Not me,” he said. “I like myself just the way I am. I don’t think I need to change a thing about me.”

Maria, his sister tossed her head and said, “Think again brother. There are a few things you need to change… like being late for school a lot and using my stuff without asking.” Hector turned red and answered, “Okay, I’ll stop taking your stuff without asking but I can’t make two resolutions, so I’ll have to wait on promising not to be late for school.” Everyone laughed.

Grandpa John said, “Let’s go around the table and each make a resolution. I’ll start. “I promise to help Grandma Maureen around the house more.” Grandma Maureen gave Grandpa John a big smile and said,”You heard that children. You are my witnesses, he promised to help me more.” The “Can Dos” all laughed.

Then it was their turns to make resolutions. Nellie promised to help Grandma Hattie with the housework. Orrie promised to turn off his computer each night the first time he was asked to do so. Willie promised to empty the trash without moaning and groaning about it. Kathy promised to share with her sister Annie more and fight less. Arthur J. promised to help his brother with his math homework when he was having a problem.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you going to make any resolutions? What do you promise to do?

Giving Thanks by Giving

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Miss Sue and givingMiss Sue waited until all the “Can Dos” got settled in their seats before she began to speak. “Good Morning children, she said. “Thank you Miss Pat for allowing me to speak to the class this morning about a new program of the ‘Can Do” Street Community Center, Giving Thanks by Giving.”

Yundi and Wendy beamed with pride as their grandma, Miss Sue, continued to speak to the class. “Thanksgiving is coming and I want to invite you all to be a part of keeping the spirit of giving alive in Thanksgiving,” said Miss Sue.”We have a few weeks to work together on a few projects. I am going to tell you about they projects and then you can each decide what project is for you.

First, there is the clothing drive. We need to collect warm clothing such as coats, hats, gloves and such to give to those families who need warm clothes for the winter. We need men’s and women’s clothing as well as clothing for children and teens.

Second, there is the food drive. We want to stock the food pantry in town with canned goods and boxed foods like pasta and rice for those who need food for their families. We need lots of families giving what they can.

Third, there is the school supplies drive. We want to be able to help out families that can’t afford school supplies by giving their children what they need for the school year.

Willie raised his hand and Miss Sue called on him. “Miss Sue why do people need all these things?” Miss Sue smiled and answered, “That is a good question, Willie. Some families have been having hard times and need a little help to get through until things get better for them.  Some dads and moms, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs. In other families, a dad or mom has been sick and unable to work, so there isn’t much money to buy what the families need.”

The class was quiet for a few minutes, then Hector raised his hand and said, “I’ve got lots of cousins, uncles and aunts. I will ask them to go through their closets and donate anything they haven’t worn in a year and don’t think they will be needing. I’ll ask my mom and dad and grandparents too.” A few of the “Can Dos” also signed up along with Hector.

Annie volunteered to collect food from family and neighbors for the food pantry. A couple of the other kids in the class did too.

The “Can Do” Kids Cooking Club volunteered to holding a bake sale at the Community Center and said they would be giving all that they raise to buy school supplies.

Soon everyone in the class was signed up for one of the three drives as their way of giving thanks at Thanksgiving.

What about you? Is there a way you can practice giving at Thanksgiving time?

Coach and Jay Talk About Being a Good Sportsman

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

coach campbell talking about being a good sportsman“Hey Jay,” said Coach Campbell, “I watched your ping pong game with Bobby this morning and I could tell from far away that you lost. I watched you throw the ping pong paddle down in anger and storm off from the game room yelling and kicking.  It was like you “melted down.”

Did Bobby say something that made you angry, or where you just upset that you lost the game?”

“Just that I lost the game,” answered Jay.

Coach Campbell nodded and said, “Look Jay….no one LIKES to lose…but, part of playing the game is knowing that you might lose. I mean it is a game and someone wins and someone loses, but you can’t let losing make you put on a show like this morning. You have to be a good sportsman.”

Jay looked puzzled and asked, “What’s a sportsman?”

“Ha, well…let’s see,” said Coach, “A sportsman is someone who even in defeat acts with grace.”

Hmm, said Jay, “Is defeat the same as losing?”

“Yes,” answered Coach.

“And, what’s grace,” asked Jay.

Coach thought for a moment and then said, “Being someone who had fun playing the game and wants to play again. The game, that’s the fun part. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but…you keep playing and that keeps you getting better…being better.”

Jay’s face brightened and he said, “Oh, I see.”

“Good,” said Coach.  “Look, next month there is a big ping-pong tournament and I think you can do well and maybe even get to the finals.  If you work hard and keep learning from your mistakes, it can happen.  But, I need to know you will not ‘lose it’ like this morning if you lose…will you be a good sportsman?”

Jay asked, “You really think I can do well?”

“Yes,” said Coach, “But you have to give me your word you will be a good sportsman.  No more melt downs.”

“YES,” said Jay, “I can do it. I can be a good sportsman. I know I can!”

Hector Gets the Homework Talk

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

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 before the school year starts. 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 ill 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 thought to himself…sometimes being a big boy and making promises I have to keep is tough!

It’s That Time Again…School Time

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Can Do SchoolIt’s time to go shopping with your parents and grandparents  for new shoes, and clothes, and backpacks and school supplies.

The “Can Do” Kids were all sitting around the table in the community center recreation room talking about going back to school.

Kathy shared that she had gone to the doctor for a check up before going back to school. Willie asked, “Did you get a needle? Did it hurt? All the “Can Dos” looked at Kathy waiting for her to answer. “My doctor is really good at giving shots. Before I knew it, the needle was in and out and I hardly felt it,” said Kathy.

Bobby shared about his trip to the dentist. Eulyn looked scared and said, “I have to go to the dentist before school starts. What did he do to you? Bobby answered, “He checked out my teeth for cavities and then cleaned and polished them.”

The “Can Dos” were quiet for a few seconds then Eulyn asked,” Did it hurt? Did you have any cavities? Bobby looked all sorts of proud and answered, ” Nope, no cavities and it didn’t hurt a bit to get my teeth cleaned.”

Annie noticed that Hector, who always has something to say, hadn’t said anything at all.  Annie said,” Hector, you’re very quiet and you look nervous. Is something wrong?”

“Yeah, there’s something wrong alright. I in trouble already and school hasn’t even started,” said Hector. The “Can Dos” just stared at him. Then Annie said, “What kind of trouble could you be in before school even starts?”

Hector answered, “I only read one of the books on the summer reading list for school. I didn’t attend the weekly summer book club at day camp to discuss the books on the reading list. I don’t know what any of the other books are about.”

“Uh,oh,” said Orrie.” You are going to be in trouble when Miss Pat finds out you didn’t do your book assignment before school.” The other “Can Dos” nodded.

Hector thought for a moment and said, “Well I won’t get in trouble if you all tell me what each book was about.” The other “Can Dos” shook their heads no and Jay said,”Why should we help you? We did the work and you didn’t. Plus that would be cheating.”

Hector answered, “Ah, come on guys. I thought you were my friends. If you don’t help me out, I will have to stay in all next week and just read to get ready for school!”

The “Can Dos all answered at once, “We are your friends. Friend don’t help friends cheat. Do what we all did…read the books and be ready for school!”