Archive for November, 2015

Native Americans and Our First Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

“Class, Jay is going to tell us about how Native Americans helped to make our first Thanksgiving possible,” said Miss Pat. “As you know,  Jay is a Native American.”

“Thanks Miss Pat,”  said Jay. He began, “The settlers, from Europe, that landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts were called Pilgrims. The natives that lived in this area were from tribes of the Wampanoag people who had lived there for 10,000 years before any explorers or settlers came from Europe.

After the Pilgrims built their settlement, they met Squanto, who spoke English. He was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He spoke English because he had been captured by explorers and taken to England. He escaped and came back to live with his tribe.

The first winter was very hard on the Pilgrims and many times they were very hungry. Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He taught them to plant corn and other vegetables. He also taught them where to fish and how to hunt beaver and other animals for food.

In 1621, the Pilgrims invited their Native American neighbors to a feast of thanksgiving after they harvested what they had grown with Squanto’s help. That first Thanksgiving is why every year we celebrate Thanksgiving Day,” finished Jay.

The class all clapped and Jay smiled and took his seat. Miss Pat asked, “Does anyone have a question for Jay”?  Hector raised his hand and asked, “What did they eat at the feast”? Jay answered, “Can I talk about that tomorrow? I’m really tired of talking right now.”

Miss Pat smiled and said,”We will have to wait until tomorrow to hear more of Jay’s wonderful story about the first Thanksgiving. Thanks Jay.”



Street Smarts

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

street smartsHector sat up straight when he saw his grandma, Grandma Frances enter the classroom. She was wearing her Emergency Medical Technician uniform. Right behind Grandma Frances was Policewoman Paula. “Good Morning children,”  said Grandma Frances. “Policewoman Paula and I are here to see how much you know about street smarts.”

Hector leaned over and whispered in Yundi’s ear. “If my grandma asks if any one knows what an Emergency Medical Technician does, raise your hand and answer. Otherwise she’s going to call on me, and I can’t remember exactly what she does. Then I’m going to be embarrassed and she’s going to be mad at me.” Yundi nodded that he would.

Just then Grandma Frances said, “I’m sure you all know what Policewoman Paula does, but do you know what I do?” Yundi raised his hand, and when called on said, “Last year, when I fell off my bike and hurt my leg and skinned my arm, you came in the ambulance and took care of me. You called my mom and rode in the ambulance with me to the hospital. I was so scared, but you explained why I had to go to the hospital to make sure my leg wasn’t broken.”

Grandma Frances beamed! “That’s right Yundi. My job is to help boys and girls and adults when they need medical attention because they had an accident or are very sick . I come by ambulance along with another Emergency Medical Technician, and help care for the child or adult on the way to the hospital.”

street smartsPolicewoman Paula began the street smarts discussion. “We have a series of questions. When we we finished the questions, we will give you the answers. Please think about what you would do in each situation.

  1. What would you do if you and a friend were out walking on Can Do Street and you needed to use the public restroom?
  2. Your mom is looking at kitchen equipment in the store. You’re bored, so without telling her, you walk away and go to the toy department.
  3. As you walk home from school, a car comes up along side you and the stranger inside the care asks you if you want to go for a soda.
  4. On you way home from school, you pass by a dog run and decide to stop and watch the dogs play for awhile.
  5. Some kids are playing ball in the street; they invite you to join them.
  6. You see a dog by himself with no collar or leash. You are thinking about going up to him and petting him.”

The “Can Dos” were all quiet as they thought about what to do. Then Grandma Frances and Policewoman Paula began calling on each ” Can Do”and asking them what they would do. Some of their answers were not so good, not so safe choices. Some of the “Can Dos’ did not have street smarts.

Here are the Street Smarts answers:

  1. Never go into a public restroom alone. Go with a family member or a friend.
  2. It isn’t safe for you to wander away from your mom or any adult you are with when out shopping.
  3. Beware of stranger danger. Don’t go near a car or any stranger who offers you a ride, candy or soda, or to pet his puppy. Tell your parent, a teacher, a police person, or crossing guard about the stranger.
  4. Always go right home from school, unless you have permission from your parent to go somewhere, such as the library or a play date. Your parent will worry if you are not home on time.
  5. Playing ball in the street is not safe. Unless a street is shut off to all traffic, it is not safe.
  6. Never approach a stray dog. You don’t know if he is friendly. He could be sick. If you see a police officer, tell him or her about the dog and the officer will call the local animal shelter to get the dog help.

Grandma Frances and Policewoman Paula said goodbye to the “Can Dos” reminding them to always practice street smarts.


Orrie Wants to Play a Sport

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

playing a sportOrrie wants to play a sport. What sports can he play from his wheelchair? Are there sports and activities he can do without his wheelchair?

All the other “Can Do” Kids play a sport and Orrie wants to play a sport too. He plays basketball with his dad in the back of his house but that’s not the same as being on a team and playing against other teams.

Orrie was sitting around with some of his buddies, asking them what they thought he could do.

Hector suggested that he talk to Coach Campbell about what other kids do who use a wheelchair and want to play a sport.

Orrie thought that was a good idea, so he wheeled himself down to coach’s office and made an appointment to see him. When he met with Coach Campbell he shared his feelings, saying, “I want to be like my friends. I want to play a team sport and have my family and friends come root for me.”

“Well Orrie,” said Coach Campbell, “I can understand your wanting to be like your friends and play a playing a sportsport but you need to like a sport if you hope to do well at it. Let’s talk about what sports you think you might like. Then we can talk about how you can try them out to see which one you really like.”

Orrie sort of nodded, then said, “First, I have to find out what sports I can play from my chair and where there are teams that play those sports.” Coach Campbell said, “Let’s begin at the beginning. Let’s take a look at what sports can be played from a wheelchair. Let’s invite our readers to pick out what sports can be played from a wheelchair.”

Help Orrie to play a sport by picking out the sports that kids who use wheelchairs can play. Circle the sports you think Orrie could play:

volleyball                basketball                   archery                 bowling                     hockey              shuffleboard

Answer – If you circled all the sports, you would be right!”

“Orrie,” said Coach Campbell, “Next time we get together I will have places we can visit to see these sports being played. We need to let you try out the ones that look good to you. We also need talk about sports that you can be part of out of your chair like horseback riding and competitive swimming.”

Orrie left Coach Campbell’s office feeling confident that he was going to get to play a sport.