Posts Tagged ‘Good Choices’

Willie and the Dog Treats

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Willie was lying on his bed reading the latest book he borrowed from the library when he heard his grandfather’s booming voice coming from the foot of the stairs. “Willie, come down here. Meet me in the kitchen.”

Willie scooted off the bed and made his way to the stairs. All the while he kept thinking what did I do? What did  I do? He couldn’t think of anything he had forgotten to do, or that he had done, for Grandpa Dooley to use his stern voice. Grandpa was definitely using  his, “Willie, you are in trouble voice.”

When Willie walked into the kitchen, he saw his dog, who was not quite a year old, lying in the corner looking very sad and sick. Not far from where he was lying was a mess. The dog had gotten sick to his stomach…big time.

“Willie, what did I tell you about not giving the dog any table food or human snacks?” Grandpa Dooley didn’t give Willie a chance to answer. He just continued to talk. “Dogs eat dog food. We agreed to that when I agreed you could have a dog.”

Willie’s lower lip began to tremble, but he answered firmly, “I didn’t feed him any people food.”  Grandpa Dooley answered, “Well there are raisins and bits of chocolate in his mess, so someone fed them to him or he picked them up on the street when you were walking him.”

Willie was about to say that didn’t happen when he remembered that he had stopped to talk to some friends when he was walking the dog. When he shared that information with his grandpa, his grandpa said,”Weren’t you watching him while you were talking?” Willie had to admit there were a few minutes when he was looking at a new game on one of his friend’s cell phone and wasn’t paying attention to what the dog was doing.

Grandpa asked,”Were any of the boys eating snacks?” Willie thought for a moment, and answered, “One of the guys was eating chocolate covered raisins.”

“Okay Willie, said his grandpa, “Help me clean up this mess and then let’s get the dog to the vet’s to have him checked out.” Willie gulped and said, “Do I have to help clean up the mess?” Grandpa Dooley looked at him and said.” What do you think,Willie?” Willie nodded and said. “I’ll get the mop.”

Later, the veterinarian sat Willie down and shared about some of the people foods that dogs cannot digest properly and should not be given to eat.  He told Willie that he needed to tell his friends not to feed the dog. He also said that, when walking the dog, his job was to watch the dog and keep him from eating things he found on the street because that is another way his dog could get sick.

Here is the picture the veterinarian gave Willie to remind him of foods that all dogs should not eat.

Willie

Just for Fun…Mazes

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Another rainy day at summer camp. The “Can Dos” were getting bored with indoor games and activities. Miss Sue, the camp director,  thought…time for a contest!

Miss Sue distributed mazes to each of the kids at camp, announcing that the first one to finish the mazes correctly would win a prize…free admission to the Friday night movie, popcorn and a soft drink. You could have heard a pibn drop as the “Can Dos” worked hard at solving the mazes.

Here are two of the mazes…let’s see how you do.

mazes

mazws

 

Being Children in 1776

Friday, July 4th, 2014

children

The Can Dos are listening carefully as the historian speaks to them about being children when our country was born.

“If you were to journey back over the highways of history to the year 1776, you would find that most people lived on farms or in small villages. Even cities like Boston, Philadelphia and New York  were small. Back then, people had no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and no automobiles. Rooms were heated with wood fires and lit by candles. Travel was mainly by horseback over narrow dirt roads.

Many American colonists talked of “liberty,” “independence,” and “revolt.” They were weary of Britain’s rule, and their spirit was that of statesman Patrick Henry, who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” In England, the king and his Parliament responded with more troops and more taxation.
The first battles of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts in April 1775. By 1776, British troops had occupied the city of Boston, and a new American army was drilling under the command of General George Washington.

By the end of June that year, the Second Continental Congress had passed a Declaration of Independence telling Britain why “these United Colonies are and ought to be free and independent states.”

The Britain-America dispute ripped the colonists apart. Many people wanted to remain loyal to their King. Many others wanted freedom at any cost. The King would not give up the Colonies without bloodshed.

As battles began to rage, daily life went on. Houses were built, fields were plowed, and children went to school when they could.

It is dark when Johnathan’s mother calls him, and he is forced to leave the warmth of his bed. Downstairs, pleasant noises come from the kitchen as his mother prepares breakfast. There will be johnnycake (cornbread), a hot cereal, called mush, and fresh milk. It is the start of another day. Johnathan lives in  New Hampshire, a colony settled only three years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth.

When Johnathan finishes dressing, he hurries down to the kitchen. The wood in the fireplace is giving off a good amount of heat,  and the delicious aroma of cooking fills the small kitchen. Johnnycake sits on a clean wooden board before the fire. A kettle of mush bubbles and hisses.

Johnathan has three younger sisters. His sister Elizabeth dresses the younger children in a corner of the room.

When his father comes in from the barn, the family gathers around a plank table. After a blessing, the parents and the children eat and talk of the day’s assignments.

Elizabeth will work on a spinning wheel, while Johnathan will carve new rake handles with his knife. Then both of them will walk to Mistress Robbins’s house for their daily lessons. The younger children will remain at home.

In 1775, many towns in New England closed their schools for the duration of the war. Johnathan and his sister attend a “dame school” for the time being. These are schools run at home by older women in the community.

Mistress Robbins has only rough slabs for seats. The younger pupils are taught how to read and sound out alphabet letters. Older ones memorize passages from the Old Testament. Everyone, including the boys, learns how to sew and knit.

On a warm spring day, three little girls sit in the music room of their North Carolina plantation home. One is playing a keyboard instrument similiar to a piano. Another is playing the harp, while the third plays a flute.

When they finish with their music, the girls ascend a wide staircase to an upstairs room, which serves as a schoolroom.
In the schoolroom, children from neighboring plantations join the girls. Several planters in the area got together and hired a teacher for their children. The girls are taught reading, writing, and fine stitching. The boys are taught reading, writing, and bookkeeping. Their lessons last only an hour.

There are few teachers in the Southern colonies, so these children are fortunate to have a classroom. Many Southern children have only “field schools” to attend. Those are informal, infrequent lessons taught in the open fields by some interested adult.

Before and after school, children have chores, lots of them. Play was a luxury as there was much to do to survive in those early days.

As you leave the homes and schools of 1776 and return to the present day, you sweep past more than two centuries of American history. Not only has the nation changed since its beginning, but so has the manner in which Americans live.

The “Can Dos” clapped when the historian finished his talk. They were silent and thoughtful as they made their way to the fun-filled activities that awaited them…a parade, games in the park, a band concert, a picnic and last, but not least…a fireworks show.

Arthur J was the first to speak. Turning to his friend, he said, “We’re lucky to live now. It wasn’t easy, even for kids, to live back in 1776.”

 Happy 4th Everyone…Happy Birthday America!

Sources:

The Free Library
Adapted from Going to School in 1776 by John J. Loeper, 1973

Movie Night

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

movieMovie night at the “Can Do” Street Community Center is a big deal.

The “Can Dos” get to go to a movie with each other, under the watchful eyes of their camp counselors. No parents, grandparents or teachers allowed!

The movie starts at 6:30 PM every Friday night, during camp, and is over by 8:30 PM. Parents drop the “Can Dos” off with their counselors and pick them up from their counselors when the movie lets out.

Each “Can Do” gets $1 from their parents on movie night. Admission is 75 cents and snacks are 25 cents.

Well, last Friday’s movie night was a real test of friendship.

When Arthur J. reached into his pocket for his movie money, it was gone. His mom had given him four quarters, since she didn’t have a dollar bill. Arthur J. didn’t know it, but he had a hole in his pocket and the quarters fell out somewhere along the way.

He didn’t know what to do. He walked over to where his friends were standing and told them what happened. He was really upset. He didn’t want to miss the movie. Most of all he didn’t want to miss the fun of sitting with his friends and trading snacks.

“Can anyone lend me the money for the movie,” asked Arthur J. “I’ll pay you back tomorrow, I promise.”

His friends were quiet for a few seconds, then Hector said, “If I give you my snack money, what will I eat”? Everyone giggled. They all know how important food is to Hector.

Then Willie said, “There are eight of us who always sit with Arthur J. Why don’t we put our snack money together? We will have 8 quarters. We can give 3 quarters to Arthur J for admission to the movie and still have 5 quarters to buy snacks that we can share.”

All the “Can Dos” thought Willie had a great idea, except Hector who said,”I like to eat all my snack myself. I get hungry watching a movie.” Nellie put her hands on her hips, stared at Hector and said, “Hector, you don’t need a whole snack. Besides, Arthur J is our friend. If you lost your money, he’d help you.”

Hector looked at Arthur J, who was nodding his head, agreeing with what Nellie was saying about how he would share if Hector didn’t have money to get into the movie.

Hector thought for a moment as the others stared at him. “Okay, you’re right. Her’s my quarter. I don’t want Arthur J to miss the movie.”

With that, all of the “Can Dos” each put their snack money together. Willie held the money, since it was his idea in the first place. Willie handed Arthur J. three quarters for the movie admission. Then they all went over to the snack table to decide what they could buy with the remaining five quarters.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

responsibility Coach Campbell, Bobby and his sister, Kathy, and some other “Can Dos” are at the “Can Do” Center, working in the storage room, getting out the volleyballs and net to use in the summer camp.

 OK now guys, let’s pay attention. Be careful, this is not that big a room and we have a lot of stuff to get out.

 Suddenly, Coach Campbell hears a Can Do kid yell, “OUCH – Hey that hurt!” and then “Yeah, well it’s not my fault!!”

 Kathy comes up to Coach Campbell and lets him know that Bobby hit her, for no reason, just hit her with his fist.

 Coach Campbell takes Bobby aside to talk to him in private about what just happened.responsibility

 Before he can even ask the first question, Bobby says, “It is not my fault, I got mad and when I get mad, well, I just lose it. That’s just the way it is.”

 Really? asks Coach Campbell. Nothing you can do about it, huh?

 “Nope -nothing.”

 OK, let me ask you some questions then, and maybe we can get you to see this a bit differently. OK? Given that I was standing as close to you as I was, why did you hit her, and not me? I was there, and you just had to hit something, why not me?

 “You are big, and would probably crush me if I hit you.”

 So then, you chose to hit Kathy and not me. Right?

 “Yeah.”

 So if you can make a decision, make a choice, then you really have not lost control, have you?

 “I guess not.”

 That’s right. You hit her because you could, because you though you could get away with it. That was a decision you made and that means you are responsible for hitting her.  Now, let me ask you another question. What if, just imagine, what if, I got mad and decided to haul off and hit you. Would that be OK, because, you know, I was mad.

 ’NO! No way Coach!”

 Well, why not?

 “Well, you are bigger than me, and stronger, it would hurt a lot.”

 That’s why you wouldn’t WANT me to hit you…but I asked you if it would be OK to hit you, because – like you said – I was mad.

 “No, it would not be OK for you to hit me.”

 Well, if it isn’t OK for me to hit you, then how can it be OK for you to hit Kathy… right?

 “Yeah, you’re right. What is wrong is wrong.”

 So, now what are you going to do?

 “I am going to say I am sorry to Kathy and tell her I will never do it again.

 We all get mad at times. But, hitting someone is not the way to deal with it. Most of the time, the anger can pass over quickly, other times you need to talk things out, but getting violent is not going to help. If you do get violent, remember – that was your choice and you have to take responsibility for it.

 

responsibility Story by: Ned Campbell, a coach and teacher in Brooklyn, NY.  He is the voice of  Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street programs.