Archive for May, 2013

The “Can Do Kids Learn About Environmental Health Sciences

Friday, May 24th, 2013

It was just about the end of the school year; tests were over, books were packed and the “Can Do” kids were restless. They were anxious start summer vacation.

kidsTeacher Pat was having a hard time finding things to keep the “Can Do” kids interested. She announced, “Everyone go to the computers in the back of the room and let’s explore some environmental health sciences.”

” Huh,” said Bobby, “what’s that?” Teacher Pat smiled and said, “Just go to and you can see for yourself!”

“Wow!” yelled Annie,” this site has games, and stories and activities about our environment. It is really cool.”

The rest of the class session passed so quickly as the “Can Do” kids explored a new, interesting site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Boys and girls, be  Can Do” kids and discover for yourselves all the interesting things there are to learn and do on


Why Does a Cat Purr?

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

catWendy, Nellie, Bobby and Hector stopped by Grandpa John’s store after school for a snack. As they were waiting to pay Grandpa John, they heard Can Do Cat purring as he lay curled up near the front door.”Why does a cat purr,” asked Nellie?

Grandpa John answered,” If you all trade in those sodas for some healthy juices, I will tell you all about why a cat purrs.” the “Can Dos” put their sodas back and picked out some fresh fruit juices. then they sat in a circle, in front of Can Do Cat and waited for Grandpa John to begin.

“I read a book, The Cat’s Mind, by Bruce Fogle,  a pet doctor,” said Grandpa John. “He says that purring lets a kitten to tell his mother that things are well. A kitten can purr when it is only two days old.

Purring is an important part of how cats talk. They purr for lots of reasons. As the cat grows up, the meaning of the purr changes. Some cats purr when they feel good, while other cats purr when they are frightened.

Whatever the reason for purring, it sounds nice to us humans and is pleasant to hear isn’t it?”

The “Can Dos” nodded. Yes, it was nice to watch “Can Do”Cat resting in the corner and listen to him purr. Wendy said,” I think he is purring because he likes it when we visit!”

“Could be,” answered Grandpa John.”It just could be the reason.”


Are You Ready for Mother’s Day?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

can do kids are sitting around tables in the classroomMiss Pat knew if she started to talk about Mother’s Day the class would perk up.

It was Wednesday afternoon, just after lunch, and the “Can Do” Kids were having a hard time concentrating on their reading assignment. Miss Pat saw Willie fidgeting in his seat. Hector was scribbling in his notebook. Annie and Eulyn were whispering to one another. “Class”, said Miss Pat, ” I want to have a discussion that I think will be important to all of you.”

The class all looked up and came to attention. Miss Pat asked, “Who knows what day Sunday is?”

“It’s Mother’s Day,” shouted out most of the class.

By the looks on Hector and Arthur J’s faces Miss Pat could tell they forgot Mother’s Day was Sunday.  She couldn’t help thinking it was a good thing she brought it up.

Miss Pat asked, “Who wants to share what he or she is going to do for his or her mom and on Mother’s Day”?

Orrie raised his hand and said, “I saved some money that I got for my birthday and bought my mom a box of her favorite chocolates. I bought my grandma a box too.” The class clapped and Miss Pat said, “That is very thoughtful and generous of you Orrie. I know your mom and your grandma will be so pleased. “

Nellie and Willie shared that their mom was still home on leave from the army, so they were going to make her breakfast in bed with all her favorite foods. Again the class clapped. Then Yundi said he was going to ride his bike to the Chinese bakery and buy his mom her favorite dessert…custard tarts. He plans on paying for them with the money he earned from helping with chores around the house. Wendy wrote a special poem for her mom, all about what a great mom she is. Everyone thought these were special ideas.

Hector said, “I forgot Mother’s Day was coming up and I don’t have any money for a gift.” Arthur J. said, “Me too. I forgot and now I feel bad and I don’t know what to do.”

Miss Pat smiled and said, “Maybe the class can give you some ideas.”Annie raised her hand and said, “Why don’t you make your Mother’s Day cards and write how much you love them. Mothers love to hear that.” Maria suggested giving them a present of helping around the house for one week. “How would that work, asked Arthur J. “Simple,” said Maria, “just make a card that says…My Mother’s Day Gift to You Is Helping Around the House for One Week.  Then list all the things you will help with such as: Cleaning off the table, emptying the trash, sweeping the kitchen floor and putting the folded laundry away.”

“Wow, that’s a pretty big gift,” said Hector. “I wish I had saved money and bought flowers or candy.” The class all shouted out, “Oh Hector!”

Miss Pat said, “I am glad we had this talk. You all have some great ways to remember your moms and grandmas on Mother’s Day!”


Dogs…Man’s Best Friend

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Some of the “Can Do” Kids spot Coach Campbell in the gym.

            Hey Coach, how’s life?

Good, real good.

            Have a good weekend? What did ya’ do? How’s Delmar?

 He’s good, we went to the park early in the morning so Delmar could run around with other dogs, off leash.

            Wow, that sounds cool…how many dogs where there?

There were over 50 dogs there. It is a big area, and it is not the only off leash area in the park. So, my guess is there were over 200 dogs there Sunday morning, running and swimming, playing fetch, all kinds of action.

            That is so many dogs, they must be great pets if so many people have them.

Oh, well they can be great pets, and even better friends.

            “Man’s best friend,” right Coach?

Yeah, that’s right, that’s what they say…and I agree.

            Why’s that? Why are dogs called, “man’s best friend”?

Well, for starters, they have helped us for almost 15,000 years, in many, many ways. They can herd, sport, work, and hound, and …

            What is all that, herd, sport ?? Huh?

Oh, those are the names of some of the groups of dog breeds. Have you ever seen a dog show on TV?

            Yeah, sure, u-huh….

Well, in a dog show, dogs are grouped together by the things they have in common. In the herding, hound, working, and sporting groups, the dogs are together by what they do for us.

Working dogs do work; they pull sleds, guard homes and people. They help people who need extra help, like the blind. They can also help the police and firemen, and even in some cases, a doctor. 

Some dogs live way out in the country, and they help farmers keep the sheep safe. These are herding dogs. They keep the big flocks of sheep together, and they don’t let any of the sheep wander off to get lost.  

Sporting dogs are dogs that go into the woods and help hunters. Hounds do this too, by helping the hunter follow a scent. These same hounds can also help emergency workers find people who are lost.  

Anyway, these dogs, these herders, trackers, sled pulling, and guarding dogs…they like to be active. They want to work, they want to help us.

            Ya’ know Coach, my aunt is in a wheelchair, and she has a dog that wears a  special vest. That vest gets him into places other dogs can’t go. That’s pretty cool, huh?

Yes, that is very cool. And, that special vest is for special “service dogs.” Your aunt’s service dog was trained from a very young age to help your aunt. Do you ever see the dog do things for your aunt?dog

            Yeah, I once saw him get her cell phone for her. It rang, and he got up and got it for her, so she didn’t have to move. It was in another room. What made it really amazing, is none of us even heard the phone ring.

That is a great story. And, it is no surprise to me that the dog heard the phone ring in the other room. Dogs have better hearing than us, and a much better sense of smell than us. They can hear and smell things long before we can even see them sometimes.

            Wow…cool…so, how many jobs are there for dogs Coach?

Gee, not sure….that is a real good question. How about we try to figure that one out together? Should be a lot of fun, seeing all the different things dogs do for us to make us healthier, safer, and why maybe dog’s are consider our “best friends.”

            I don’t know Coach, sounds like work…

Aww, c’mon, it won’t be that bad, it is, after all, about dogs…how bad can that be? We will work together, even Delmar will help. How does that sound?

            Great!! Yeah, let’s do it…what should we do?

How about you all try to find examples of a dog helping us? Maybe there is a dog in your neighborhood that has a job. You can also look at the news and see if there are any stories about dogs helping people, rescuing people, things like that. We will get together every few weeks and share what we learned about dogs. How does that sound?


dogs      dogs

Post written by: Ned M. Campbell, a teacher and coach in Brooklyn, NY.