Posts Tagged ‘Good Choices’

Getting Ready to Go Back to School

Monday, September 7th, 2015

schoolWhile the “Can Dos” thought they would have lots of time to do what they wanted to do in the last week before school started, it didn’t turn out that way! Their parents had lots for them to do.

It’ was that time again; time to do all the things that needed doing before school started for another year.

The time before school is time to:

  • Visit the doctor for a physical.
  • Visit the dentist for a check up and cleaning.
  • Get new school shoes.
  • Get new school clothes.
  • Clean out closets and draws to make room for new clothes and shoes.
  • Clean out an pack up all usable school supplies, clothes and shoes that are too small to wear, books that have been read and donate to an organization that helps children who need these things, but whose parents can’t afford to buy them.
  • Make a space that is quiet for doing homework.
  • Make a space on a shelf, and in draws where school supplies can be stored.
  • Work out a space with mom where important school papers need to be put so she finds them and signs them.
  • Have a talk with mom about the school schedule and what it means for the time to get up, time to leave for school, time to get home from school, chores, homework, free play time, TV and computer time, and bedtime. 

Wow, not much time for playing the week before school starts!

Have You Ever Seen a Baby Squirrel?

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Grandpa John closed his market early so he could take his grandchildren to the park to feed the ducks and the usual squirrel or two who was brave enough to come over and take food from them.

Grandpa John got in his station wagon and headed for his first stop…Orrie, Kathy and Annie’s house. They were waiting for him with bags of snacks for the ducks and squirrels. Kathy and Annie  scrambled into the car while Grandpa John helped Orrie into the front seat; he collapsed Orrie’s wheelchair and put it in the trunk of the car. When everyone was buckled up. Grandpa John put the car in gear and began the drive to Bobby and Arthur J’s house.

Arthur J and Booby were waiting out front, snack bags in-hand. When they saw the car, they let out a big cheer and ran towards it. Once inside, they put on their seat belts, and started talking a mile a minute to their cousins.

As soon as the station wagon came to a stop in the parking lot of the car, the “Can Dos” unbuckled their belts and started to open the doors and get out. Grandpa said, “Hold on there. Boys, help me with Orrie’s chair. Once he is in his chair we can all go down to the lake together.”

Booby and Arthur J lifted Orrie’s chair out of the trunk and brought it round to the side of the car. Grandpa John opened the care door, lifted Orrie up and placed him in his chair.

Once they were settled at the lake and feeding the ducks, a squirrel came by, then another, and another. The “Can Dos” threw them some nuts and off they ran. Grandpa asked, “Have any of you ever seen a baby squirrel? I never have”


The “Can Dos” all got quiet; for a few minutes they all thought hard, and then each one answered that they had never seen a baby squirrel. “I wonder why it is that none of us as ever seen a baby squirrel, ” asked their grandpa.

Kathy answered, “I know how we can find that answer. Orrie can look it up on his computer. He finds lots of answers to our questions on there!” Everyone agreed. Orrie was nominated to find out about the life of a baby squirrel and if anyone gets to see a squirrel as a baby.

Grandpa John said, ” You are all coming to my house on Wednesday night for dinner. Orrie, can you have the answer by then?” Orrie nodded yes. It was settled then. Time to finish feeding the ducks.

That Wednesday evening, before dinner, Orrie announced, ” I know why we have never seen a baby squirrel.” Grandpa John and the “Can Dos” all asked at once…”Why?”

Orrie began,”Well baby squirrels don’t leave their nest, the place where their mom watches over them until they are big, big enough to care for themselves. They don’t look like squirrels when they are first born. They have no fur and only weigh a couple of ounces. Since they can’t see or hear as babies, they need to stay with their moms, in the nest, where it is safe.

A squirrel grows fast and is ready to leave the nest after three months. By then he or she looks very much like a full grown squirrel can see and hear.”

Grandpa and the “Can Dos” clapped and thanked Orrie for what he had shared. Grandpa John was heard to say, “Orrie, you are one good researcher!”

The Last Week of Camp

Monday, August 10th, 2015


The last week of camp was fast approaching, and the “Can Dos” were sad to think it would soon be over. Miss Sue, the director of the “Can Do” Street Community Center, where the camp was being held, had promised them a surprise for the last week.

The Friday before the last week of camp, Miss Sue assembled all the campers in the auditorium. When everyone was seated, she asked, “Have you ever wanted to build a robot and tell it what to do? Well, during the last week of camp you will have a chance to do just that. Two science teachers from “Can Do” High School will help you to build a small robot, and program it to do simple tasks.

A cheer went up from most of the boys and some of the girls.

Annie looked very disappointed. She raised her hand, and when Miss Sue called on her she said, “What about those of us who don’t want to build a robot, what will we do next week?” Miss Sue smiled and answered, “Let me tell you about the other program you can participate in during your last week of camp this summer.

If you love animals and wonder how their bodies work, what they eat and how they grow, then this is a program for you! You will explore all kinds of animals and examine their structures, how they take care of themselves, spend their time and communicate with each other. There will be two field trips; you will be visiting an aquarium and a museum of natural history.

Annie beamed and said, “I want to do that. That’s the program for me!”

Then Miss Sue announced that on the last day of camp there would be a picnic on the back lawn. There would be games and contests and a prize for the best robot.

Walking out of the auditorium, after the assembly, Willie was heard to say, “Next week might be the last week of camp, but it sounds like it just might be the best week of camp.” All who heard him shook their heads in agreement.


A National Parks Road Trip

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Hey Coach, what’s up? Where ya’ been?

Just got back from a road trip. I visited two national parks.


Niagara Falls in New York



and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.

What’s a national park Coach?


A national park is very special place, set aside and protected so everyone can see them, and their children can see them, and their grandchildren can see them, and so on. Places for all of us, forever.

They are places where very big events in history took place, like Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. It can also be a place of natural beauty, like Niagara Falls in New York.

Are there any parks like that near us?

You bet!!

To find a national park near you:

To learn more about our national parks, you can visit the PBS site: “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” (A PBS-Ken Burns documentary)

If you don’t happen to live near a national park, there are still many other state and city parks to enjoy.

To find the parks near you, visit Discover the Forest at

Article by: Ned M Campbell is the head coach of James Madison High School’s wrestling team in Brooklyn, NY, and is a USA Wrestling nationally certified coach. He is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches history at James Madison teamHigh School.  Prior to teaching, Ned M Campbell worked with children and adults with disabilities during summer programs with IAHD and Southeast Consortium,  and volunteered time supporting a therapeutic horseback riding program for youth and adults with disabilities.

Campbell is a published writer, and a contributing writer to the “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in “Can Do” Street programs.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Coach Campbell’s co-article for parents, on this subject, featured on the “Can Do” Kids Parents blog at