Posts Tagged ‘community center’

It’s Flag Day!

Sunday, 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

A Chocolate Bunny for the Winner of the Easter Egg Hunt

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

 bunnyOn Sunday afternoon, the “Can Do” kids all gathered at the “Can Do” Street Community Center for the annual egg hunt, and the awarding of the chocolate bunny for the most eggs collected.

With the blowing of a whistle, the “Can Dos” all set out to find the colored eggs hidden in the field behind the community center. They all carried baskets to hold the eggs they found. There was to be a prize for the most eggs found. The prize…a huge chocolate bunny that was the exact image of what the Easter Bunny was thought to look like.

There was so much excitement! The “Can Dos” were running and looking all over the place! Soon there were no more eggs to be found and the “Can Dos” carried their baskets into the recreation room to join their parents for refreshments and the awarding of the prize for most eggs. Members of the Seniors club served individual bunny cakes and orange-flavored bunny punch. Everyone pretended the bunny punch was carrot juice since rabbits love carrots!

After refreshments, it was time to award the prize for most colored eggs. Miss Hattie came to the microphone. She said, “Before I award this chocolate bunny, the one that looks exactly like the Easter Bunny, can anyone tell me where the Easter Bunny comes from and what does he have to do with colored eggs?”

Silence fell over the room. The “Can Dos” just wanted to know who won. The suspense was too much! Hector couldn’t help wishing that somebody would tell Miss Hattie what she wanted to hear so she would get on with awarding the chocolate Easter Bunny.

Just then, Orrie raised his hand. Now, the truth be told, most of the time, some of the “Can Dos” got annoyed with Orrie for always having the answer. But this time, a cheer went up from the “Can Dos” when Orrie raised his hand. Hector mumbled under his breath, “Get it right, Orrie, or we’ll be here all afternoon!”

Orrie cleared his throat and began talking. “Long ago, thousands of years ago during pagan times, there were special things to do to welcome spring. The rabbit and eggs were symbols at these spring celebrations. In the 1600’s Germans began to write about a rabbit they called Oschter Haws. He was a rabbit that was believed to have the ability to lay colored eggs that were given as gifts to good children.

When German immigrants came to America they brought this custom with them. It was celebrated on Easter. When it was time for the boys and girls to gather the colored eggs, the boys used their caps and the girls, their bonnets. Over the years, Easter baskets took the place of hats.”

Orrie stopped talking and the room broke into applause. Orrie’s family beamed with pride at their smart boy!

Well, the eggs were counted and the winner announced. Eulyn collected the most eggs…fifty-six to be exact. Miss Hattie handed her the bunny. Why it was almost as big as she was!

Then Eulyn did a really special thing. She walked over to the “Can Do” Kids table and invited each “Can Do” to break off and eat a piece of the chocolate Easter Bunny. Now that’s a girl who knows how to share!

A Christmas Pageant to Remember

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Christmas Pageant Day dawned cold but clear on “Can Do” Street.

When Willie and Nellie made their way down the stairs for breakfast, Grandma Hattie was already hard at work in the kitchen making the casserole she promised for the community center lunch following the pageant. Grandpa Dooley was busy flipping pancakes for breakfast. He knew how Willie and Nellie loved them.

Willie and Nellie ate in silence. Grandma and grandpa gave each other knowing looks. Holidays were hard for Willie and Nellie with their mom in the military. She couldn’t always get leave on the holidays to be with them.

Grandma Hattie gently reminded them that it was time to change into their costumes for the pageant at the “Can Do” Street Community Center. This year the pageant performance was ” A Christmas Carol.” Nellie had a speaking part, and so did Willie. 

Willie and Nellie nodded and got up from the table to go up stairs and dress.

A few minutes later, they came down  in their costumes. Grandma Hattie could see Nellie had tears in her eyes. She gave her a hug and Nellie said, “I wish momma could see me in the play.” Grandma nodded and said, “I know child. Your mom will be home soon, but for now you need to think about the Christmas pageant. It is almost time to leave.”

Willie and Nellie played their parts well, so well that Miss Sue called them back on stage at the end of the show to take an extra bow. Then she told them she had a surprise for them. Just as she said that, their mom popped out from behind the stage curtain. She was still in her uniform. She came right from the airport to see them in the Christmas pageant!

Everyone in the audience stood up and cheered as Willie and Nellie hugged and kissed their mom over and over again.

At lunch, following the pageant, Willie and Nellie sat on either side of their mom. After supper, Willie and Nellie, their Mom and Grandpa Dooley and Grandma Hattie helped to pack treats for the local senior residents. When they got to the senior residence, they helped distribute the gifts and sang carols with all who lived there!

It truly was a Christmas Pageant to Remember!

The Grandpas RememberTheir Long-ago Halloween Celebrations

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley were carving pumpkins for the Halloween party at the “Can Do” Street Community Center.

They didn’t notice a few of the “Can Dos” coming into the room. They were busy talking about what Halloween was like when they were kids.

Once the “Can Dos” realized what the grandpas were talking about, they ducked behind a pile of decorations so they wouldn’t be seen, but could hear what the grandpas were saying.

“Do you remember the Halloween songs we used to sing and the poems we used to recite in the Halloween plays and skits we had in school on Halloween day,” asked Grandpa Dooley. “Hmm,” said Grandpa John, “I don’t remember any poems but I do remember a song we used to sing.”

That’s funny,” said Grandpa Dooley,”I don’t remember any songs, but I do remember a poem.”

Just as they were starting to share what they remembered, one of the “Can Dos” coughed. “Whose there,” called out Grandpa John. Hector, Willie Nellie and Annie came out from behind the pile of decorations. Grandpa Dooley asked, “Were you eavesdropping on us?” “HUH,” said Hector,”What’s that?”

Grandpa Dooley answered, “Eavesdropping is doing what you just did. It’s when you hide out so you can hear what someone is saying and they don’t know you are there.” The “Can Dos” got red in the face and looked embarrassed. Hector spoke for all of them when he said, “We’re sorry. We just wanted to hear what Halloween was like in the olden days.”

Both grandpas smiled at each other and Grandpa Dooley said, “Grandpa John, should we share the song and the poem we remember from when we were their age?”

Grandpa John said, “I’ll go first. Every Halloween we would have an all day event at school. There would be square dancing, storytelling by the teachers and the principal would give each child a small box of Halloween candies. Then certain children were called on to recite a poem or sing a song.

I sang Pumpky Pumpkin. It went like this…

The candlelight inside him makes his eyes light up and gleam; he shines right through the window at you for a happy, happy Halloween.

Oh, Pumpky Pumpkin is a happy pumpkin and do you know why, cause he’s a Jack’o Lantern instead of being a pumpkin pie.”

The “Can Dos” all clapped and asked him to sing more of the song. “Sorry,” said Grandpa John, “But that is all I remember.”

Then Grandpa Dooley recited his poem.

It must be Halloween.

“It must be Halloween, for when I passed him by

A Jack’ o Lantern smiled at me and winked his yellow eye.

He grinned with all his teeth, from high upon the shelf

I didn’t feel afraid because I’d cut him out myself.”

“Wow,” said Willie. “I guess you did have Halloween fun in the olden days!”

A message from Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley, “Why not ask your grandparents and parents what they did on Halloween?”

Volunteering: A Time to Help

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

volunteeringGrandma Sue visited the “Can Do”Kids in their classroom the other day. Miss Pat invited her to come and speak about volunteering.

“Good Morning, boys and girls,” said Grandma Sue, “Most of you know me as Miss Sue, the Director of the “Can Do” Community Center. I am here today to ask you to think about volunteering with senior citizens in our neighborhood.”

Before she could continue speaking, Eulyn raised her hand. Miss Sue called on her and Eulyn said, “What’s volunteering?” Miss Sue could see by the looks on some of the other children’s faces that she needed to explain volunteering. Eulyn was not the only one who wasn’t sure what volunteering was all about.

“Volunteering is when you offer to do something for someone that needs help. You don’t have to do it, you choose to help because you want to help. You don’t get paid to help. You help during your free time,” said Miss Sue.

Willie raised his hand and said,”My grandma is a senior citizen and I help her all the time. Does that count?” Miss Sue smiled, ” It is nice that you help your grandma, and I am sure she appreciates it, but I am talking about helping those seniors who are not your relatives, you may or may not know them. “

Anne raised her hand next,”I don’t think my mom will let me go to a stranger’s house to help them out.” Miss Sue nodded, “Yes, we need to be safe. That is why we have come up with ways for children to be safe while volunteering.

Here are some of the volunteering activities you can do as a group, with a staff person from the Center as your group leader or at the Center with senior citizens:

  • You can be part of a group that visits seniors at the local senior residence. You can do friendly visiting. Seniors get lonely and would love a visit from a young person for an hour or so once a month.
  • There are seniors who want to learn the computer, but don’t have family to teach them and can’t afford to take lessons. If you can spare 45 minutes, once a week, you can sit with at senior at one of the Center computers and teach him or her computer basics, maybe even how to email and use the Internet.
  • You can join a yard work group, led by Mr. Dooley. Once a month you will go as a group to a senior’s house to help with yard work chores during the spring and fall.

If you think you are interesting in volunteering, please see me after class and I will tell you more about volunteer opportunities with seniors.” With that, Miss Sue thanked the children for paying attention and thanked Miss Pat for allowing her to speak with the class. Then she went outside the class to sit at a desk that had a big sign on it that read, “Sign up here for volunteering at the Community Center.”

Miss Pat gave the children some time to discuss the idea of volunteering. After class some of the “Can Dos” signed up for volunteering. Anne and Kathy, Nellie and Maria, Jay and Yundi signed up for friendly visiting at the senior residence.

Orrie signed up to teach seniors how to use computers and so did Arthur J. Hector, Willie, Eulyn and Bobby signed up to be on Mr. Dooley’s team and do yard work.

After their first volunteering session, the “Can Dos”who participated, gave a report to the class. It seems that each of the volunteers felt good about volunteering. The seniors really appreciated having them and the “Can Dos” got to see just how much they could help people by volunteering.