November 1st, 2016

When the “Can Do” kids arrived in class the Monday after Halloween, they were not in the mood to see a huge mound of candy on Miss Pat’s desk.

Most of the  “Can Dos” had their fill of Halloween candy over the weekend. Some of them had eaten more candy at one time than they should have and now they had the tummy troubles.

When Miss Pat looked at the Halloween candy, she saw a note that said, “This is from the “Can Do” Street Chamber of Commerce.” She turned to the class and said, “What should we do with all this candy?”

Hector was the first to answer saying, “I think we should split it up among the class. That way we will have extra candy for when we eat all of the Halloween candy we have at home.”

Miss Pat didn’t say anything. She just looked at Hector in a way that meant she didn’t think it was such a great idea.

Nellie raised her hand and said, “Why don’t we give it to people who may not have gotten any candy for Halloween?” Miss Pat smiled and said,”Nice idea, Nellie. That is a generous and thoughtful suggestion. Let’s take a vote. All in favor of sharing the candy with others raise their hands.”

Well, everyone but Hector raised his or her hand. When Hector saw that the whole class was for the idea, he slowly raised his hand and said, “Okay, but who should get the candy?”  Everyone through for awhile, then Eulyn raised her hand and said,”There is a home for seniors nearby. I bet they didn’t go trick or treating. I bet they would love some candy.”

Miss Pat said,” Great idea, Eulyn! I think more than the candy, they would love a Halloween visit from us. If there are some seniors who can’t eat candy, well they can give it to someone else as a treat.”

With that, Miss Pat directed the children to each make a card to give each senior at the residence.  Arthur J, Willie and Bobby brought out the plastic pumpkins they use for trick or treating  and Kathy, Nellie, Maria and Annie put candies in each pumpkin to bring to the senior residence.

Miss Pat called the principal and asked for permission to take the children on a field trip the next day to distribute the candy. The principal agreed and said Miss Pat could have the use of a school bus from right after lunch until dismissal time. Then Miss at called each parent and got their permission for the field trip.  Two parents volunteered to come along and help Miss Pat. When Miss Pat had all the permissions, she called the senior residence and made sure that they could stop by and visit, not just drop off candy.

Miss Pat turned to the class as they were completing their cards and said, “I am very proud of all of you for wanting to share your Halloween  candy.”

The “Can Do” kids all smiled and looked very pleased with themselves, the way kids do when they know they’ve done something special.  Nellie said, “I can’t wait until tomorrow. I bet the seniors will be so happy to see us and the Halloween candy!”

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October 24th, 2016

Halloween

Halloween is always a big event on “Can Do” Street!

Just about everyone participates in Halloween, even adults who don’t have kids or grandkids, because it is always so much fun.

The Halloween celebration starts at the recreation center, which is decorated both outside and inside to look like a haunted house. Everyone gathers around 2 PM. The “Can Do” kids carry and hang up their Halloween costumes in the storage room to be put on just before they go trick or treating.

They walk through a pumpkin patch and each “Can D0” picks out a pumpkin to paint in the crafts class. There’s a hall of funny mirrors maze where the “Can Dos” walk through and see themselves as all different shapes and sizes.

Then the “Can Do” Kids take a tour of the haunted house, stopping to look at the decorated rooms. If they want, they can paint a window pane on one of the windows of the house and the best window painter gets a prize.  Some of the “Can Dos”  make Halloween desserts that everyone can enjoy at supper before going trick or treating. The seniors club members help the kids make and decorate:

  • popcorn balls
  • eyeball in mud pudding ( marshmallow with a dried cranberry stuck in the middle and sitting in a small bowl of instant chocolate pudding )
  • pumpkin bread
  • ghost and witch cookies

Just before supper some of the “Can Dos”, who have been taking square dancing lessons put on a show of what they have learned. Then the choral group, directed by Grandpa Dooley, the music instructor, sing Halloween songs and the audience sings along.

At dinner, in the recreation center cafeteria, the “Can Dos” eat with all their parents and friends and other adults.

Then it is time…time to have faces painted to match costumes…time to get into costumes. Then the big event…the ragamuffin parade, when all the kids parade around in their costumes, parents and grandparents take pictures and there are prizes for the best costumes.

Just when the “Can Dos ‘ think they can’t possibly have any more fun…it is time to trick or treat up and down “Can Do” Street and all the side streets!

Some of the adults leave to get back home in time to give out Halloween treats to the kids as they go from door to door.

Parents and grandparents walk with the children and stay with them as they go from house to house tick or treating. The “Can Dos” all mind their manners, saying thank you when they are handed a treat.

After they visit the last house, it is time to go home. Once home, each “Can Do” spills out his or her bag of  Halloween treats to see what treats the bag holds.

The moms and dads usually say, “You can eat one treat now, then it is off to bed. Tomorrow is soon enough to portion out your treats over the next few weeks, so you don’t get a stomach ache”.

And that is how Halloween happens on “Can Do” Street!

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October 17th, 2016

Here are some Halloween facts to share with your family and friends.

Halloween is a very old holiday begun about 2,000 years ago in Ireland.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who celebrated the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.

According to folklore, the Halloween jack-o-lantern got his name from a man named Jack.

Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.

Jack o lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the holiday.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!                                                         Halloween pumpkin

Pumpkins originated in Central America. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found pumpkins plentiful and used in cooking by Native Americans. They took seeds back to Europe where they quickly became popular.

Growing big pumpkins is a big time hobby. Top prize money for the biggest giant pumpkin is as much as $25,000 dollars at fall festivals.

A pumpkin is a berry in the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds. All these plants are native to the Americas.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters.

It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

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October 4th, 2016

Your dog is your best friend, and friends share. But, some of the things you eat are not good for dogs. For example, chocolate can make a dog very sick.

So, be a real best friend. Don’t feed your dog human treats and watch what he eats outside.

Below is a word scramble of things, that if your dog eats them, will make him sick.

dog

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September 27th, 2016

classroom_scene 

Maria’s  chair was empty. Hmmm, thought Kathy where is Maria?

Kathy went back to reading the story that Miss Pat gave them as an assignment in class. A little while later, Kathy looked over again  to see if Maria  was back in her seat…no Maria. Now she was worried that maybe something had happened to Maria . Did Miss Pat know where she was? Did Miss Pat even know that Maria was not in class?

“That’s funny,” said Kathy. Miss Pat looked up and said, “Kathy, are you talking when you are supposed to be reading?” Kathy looked up and answered,”Sorry Miss Pat, I was talking to myself.”  Miss Pat smiled and said, “Is it something you want to share?” Kathy shook her head no and said, “Can I come to your desk and ask you something in private?” Miss Pat shook her head yes and Kathy got up and went to Miss Pat’s desk.

In a low voice Kathy said, “I am worried about Maria. She hasn’t been in her seat since we got back from lunch. We ate lunch together and she didn’t say she was going anywhere after lunch. May I check the girls room to make sure she isn’t sick?” Miss Pat smiled at Kathy and said, “You are a good friend to worry about Maria  like that, but there is no need to worry. Maria is just fine. She had to go somewhere.”

“Where did she go,” asked Kathy. “That is something you will have to ask Maria,” answered Miss Pat.

Later, as Maria and Kathy walked home from school together, Kathy asked Maria  where she went after lunch. Maria got all red in the face and looked like she was about to cry. “What’s wrong?” asked Kathy. Maria started to cry and said,”If I tell you, do you promise not to tell anyone?”

Kathy nodded yes and Maria  said, “I am having trouble with reading, so I go out of our class to another room for extra help with reading.”

Kathy said, “Wow,  for a minute there you really had me scared. I thought something was really wrong, because you were crying and made me promise not to tell.”

Maria  answered, “I don’t like needing extra help. I’m afraid the other kids will make fun of me.” Kathy nodded that she understood. Then she said, “Maria, you are good at lots of things, you don’t need to feel bad about needing help with reading. Everybody needs help sometime with something. Besides, no one is going to make fun of you.

Remember Maria, we’re “Can Do” Kids and “Can Do” Kids don’t make fun of anyone!”

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