June 21st, 2015

petBobby lives in an apartment building where you can’t have a dog as a pet. Bobby has a cat, but she has her own way of doing things and doesn’t always want to play when Bobby wants to play.

Some of the “Can Do” kids are getting puppies. Each time Bobby comes home from a friend’s who just got a new puppy, his mom can’t help noticing he looks kind of sad.

At dinner one evening, Bobby’s mom and dad began talking about another pet that Bobby could have in the apartment. It didn’t take Bobby long to say,”I really like turtles. They don’t take up much space and I promise to take good care of them and the tank where they will live.”

Bobby’s dad answered,”You said turtles, are you thinking about more than one pet turtle?”

I really think I need two turtles,” answered Bobby. “If I only have one, he might get lonely.”

Bobby’s dad smiled at him saying, “Well, we wouldn’t want a lonely turtle. You can get two small turtles and keep them in your bedroom.”

The next day was Saturday. Bobby and his dad set out for the pet store to buy the turtles. It was a tough decision, but Bobby finally decided on two turtles that he thought looked like brothers.

When he got them home, he set up the tank on the desk in his room, filled it with water and put the turtles in their new home. He spent the rest of the night trying to think of names for them. The next morning, he still hadn’t named them.

A week went by and the turtles were doing just fine. Bobby loved to watch them slip into the water and swim around. Then it happened; he was late getting out to the school bus and left the house without closing the door to his room.

When he got back from school, he went to check on the turtles. Oh no, they were gone! He looked all around his room, but he didn’t see either of the turtles. He called his mom to help him. No luck until they looked for the cat. Sure enough, Lisa had one of the turtles and was scooting him around on the floor!

The turtle looked dry and tired! Bobby grabbed him up and put him back in his tank. He remembered to close the door as he went to look for the other turtle.

When Bobby’s dad got home, he suggested looking for the other turtle in a dark place. Bobby remembered that his closet door was open. He ran into his room, closed the door and began looking all around the floor of his closet. Just as he was about to give up, he saw something peeking out of his slipper; it was the turtle!

HE put the other turtle back in the tank. Bobby thought the turtles looked happy to see one another.

At dinner, Bobby was very quiet. As he was finishing desert he said,”I named the turtles. I named them both Irvie. His dad smiled and asked who was who. “That’s easy” answered Bobby,”Slow Irvie is the one who Lisa caught, and Fast Irvie is the one that hid in the closet.”

The next morning, Bobby asked his dad to help him find the Fast Irvie and Slow Irvie a new home. He said, “I’ve made a hard pet decision. The turtles aren’t safe here; they could have been seriously hurt yesterday. I have to find them a safe home; a home where I can visit them.”

Bobby’s dad agreed that he was making a good choice.

After breakfast, Bobby and his dad took the two pet turtles to a pond just beyond “Can Do” Street, where they knew there were other turtles. Bobby said goodby to each pet turtle and set them free in the pond. He turned away, so they wouldn’t see him crying, and called out, “Bye Fast Irvie, Bye Slow Irvie , see you soon.”

Turtle

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June 14th, 2015

flag

The United States has had a flag for 238 years!

Our flag is one of our most important national symbols.

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution, which said that the flag would be made up of thirteen alternating red and white stripes and thirteen white, five-pointed stars on a blue field. Stars have been added to the flag as new states join the Union.

The flag has 13 horizontal stripes that stand for the 13 original colonies; seven are red, and six are white. In the upper left corner there are 50 white stars on a blue background; these stand for the 50 states in our United States. The 50-star flag we use today dates from July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state, but stars were added in the past as new states joined the Union.

Images of the United States flag can be seen in many places: flying from flagpoles of public buildings, flown from private homes during Flag Day and Federal holidays such as Independence Day, and worn as a lapel pin, among many others. The flag is also referred to by other names including the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star-Spangled Banner.

Since 1916, Flag Day in the United States has been officially celebrated on June 14. Title 4, Section 6 of the United States Code (4 U.S.C. 6) has the official information on the flag, including the standard proportions, rules to observe when displaying the flag, and how to treat this national symbol properly.

American Flag Facts and Figures:

  • When Kentucky and Vermont were admitted to the Union, the flag expanded to 15 stars and 15 stripes, but was later changed back to 13 when it became clear that adding a stripe for each state would make the flag unmanageable.
  • The official first flag to have the present design with 50 stars was flown at Fort McHenry National Monument at 12:01 a.m in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 4, 1960.

Source: Kids.gov

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June 9th, 2015

skateboarding Hector loves to skateboard and he is really good at it! The instructor, who teaches the skateboarding class at the community center, has Hector demonstrate skateboarding.

Hector is smart and so are his parents. Before he tried using the skateboard he got for his birthday last year, he took a class on how to be safe and have fun skateboarding. Now he helps other kids to learn what he learned in class last year.

The instructor begins each class by going over the need for safety when skateboarding. He reminds parents and children that as much fun as skateboarding can be, it can also cause accidents if you don’t know what you are doing and are not wearing safety gear.

Here is what he shares:

Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.
Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult when they ride a skateboard.

Wear proper protective equipment

Before getting on your skateboard, empty your pockets of all hard and sharp objects and put on your protective gear.

Aways wear your gear whether or not you are simply going from one point to another or attempting a new trick or not.

Wear your gear every trip, every trick, every time. Essential protective equipment includes:

A properly fitting helmet
Wrist guards
Knee and elbow pads
Shoes
Helmet

To protect your head from injury, always wear a properly fitting helmet. This is true no matter what your age, level of experience or location where you are skateboarding.

Get a quality bicycle or multi-sport helmet. It should meet or exceed safety standards of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell Memorial Foundation. You may need to try on several sizes and models to find a helmet that fits your head correctly and securely.

A properly fitting helmet:

  • Is worn flat on your head with the bottom edge parallel to the ground
  • Sits low on your forehead but does not interfere with your movement, vision or hearing
  • Has side straps that form a “V” shape around each ear
  • Has a buckle that fastens tightly (there should be room to put only two fingers between the strap and your chin)
  • Has pads inside that you install or remove so the helmet fits snug
  • Does not move in any direction when you shake your head in any direction
  • Replace your helmet when it is damaged, outgrown or at least every five years. You may need to replace it sooner if the manufacturer recommends it.

How to Fall
Learning how to fall may help reduce the chances of a serious injury. If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have as far to fall.

Tips for Using a Skateboard

  • Give your skateboard a safety check each time before you ride.
  • Always wear safety gear.
  • Never ride in the street.
  • Obey the city laws. Observe traffic and areas where you can and cannot skate.
  • Don’t skate in crowds of non-skaters.
  • Don’t skate on another person’s or business’ private property.
  • Only one person per skateboard.
  • Never hitch a ride from a car, bicycle, etc (skitching).
  • Learn to fall—practice falling on a soft surface or grass.

After the instructor finishes talking about safety, Hector demonstrates putting on gear, how to check out the skateboard before using it, the proper way to skateboard and how to fall. Then the instructor invites the class to try skateboarding.

At the end of the class, the instructor reminds kids to, “Practice safety, wear gear, only skate with adult supervision and you will have fun skateboarding”!

Sources:  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The National Safety Council offers these skateboarding tips:

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June 2nd, 2015

Jay making something for Father's DayJay and Hector were making their way to the community center when Jay asked Hector,”What are you giving your father for Father’s Day”?

Hector looked surprised and then nervous and said, “Uh Oh…I hector needs a gift for Father's Dayneed a Father’s Day gift for my pop”! Hector thought a bit more and then said, “I need one for my grandpa too! This is going to be expensive and I don’t have any money saved and Father’s Day is the 21st of June. That’s only a few weeks away. What am I going to do”?

Take it easy, Hector”, answered Jay. “We can ask Miss Hattie, our crafts teacher, to help us make something for our dads and grandpas for Father’s Day.”

picture of grandma hattie with her hand on her hipJust then they arrived at the community center and went to see Miss Hattie, the crafts instructor. Miss Hattie listened very carefully and said, “I have just the thing you can make for your dads and grandpas for Father’s Day. Something I know they will like…a decorated picture frame with a picture of you in it.” Hector looked concerned and said, “That sounds hard to do. I don’t think I can make a picture frame.” Miss Hattie smiled and said, “I have small wooden frames in my storage closet. You can each have two. All you need to do is decorate them with different shaped  pieces of small, dried pasta and dried beans.”

Jay asked, “Can we make them now Miss Hattie? Do you have paints and glue we can use”? Miss Hattie nodded and began handing the boys the supplies they needed: 4 small picture frames (one for a grandpa and one for a dad), containers of glue, dried beans, and small, dried pieces of pasta and non-toxic paints in different colors to paint the beans and the macaroni before gluing the pieces to the frame, and of course, the paint brushes.

Jay and Hector covered the crafts table with a plastic cloth. They chose the colors they wanted to use on the pasta and the beans and began painting. When the beans and pasta pieces were dry, Jay and Hector both laid out their pasta and beans and when they were satisfied that the frames looked the way they wanted them to, Miss Hattie guided them in gluing  each  piece in place.

Once the frames were completely dry, Miss Hattie gave each of the boys a box to put the frames in and take home with them.

Each of the boys thanked Miss Hattie and started for home feeling good about the gifts they made for their dads and grandpas for Father’s Day.

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May 25th, 2015

makeOn the bus ride home from a class trip to a working farm and farmer’s market, Miss Pat challenged the “Can Do”Kids with a game of what can I make with what I saw at the farmer’s market.

Miss Pat said, “Okay, who is going to go first?

Bobby raised his hand and said, “I saw apples and  I can make applesauce with apples.”

Kathy went next saying she saw peaches and she can make a peach pie with her mom’s help.

Hector shared that he saw cherries and he could make an ice cream sundae with a cherry on top.

Eulyn saw celery and she knows she can make a tuna salad with cut up celery in it.

Willie saw tomatoes and he can make a salad with them.

Now it is your turn. Name one thing you make with the following things that the “Can Do” Kids saw at the farmer’s market?

eggs                         milk

butter                    cheese

strawberries       blueberries

potatoes               corn


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