Canopy Oaks Elementary School in Tallahassee, Florida began using the Can Do Duck books during their 2008-2009 school year and used them again in the 2009-2010 school year. Here's how Carol Barineau, Principal at Canopy Oaks described how the school incorporated the books:
I want to share with you just how much we enjoyed your book, The Can Do Duck: A Story About Believing in Yourself, last year. We had a grand year. Last year the school wanted to meet the federal guidelines for yearly progress and be graded an A school by the Florida Department of Education as it had done in previous years. Every teacher had 3 index cards for the year with 3 goals: a personal goal, a professional goal as a teacher, and a goal for the children. Every teacher was given a Can Do Duck book and a rubber duck in their Welcome Back To School Bag in August. We also ordered 800 yellow ducks for all the students. Every teacher in the school read the book to their students within the first 3 days of school.
We had posters in every classroom with the Can Do Duck pledge, "I say I can. I make a plan. I get right to it. And then I do it!" The children would frequently repeat this pledge in class and at student assemblies. Parents were informed about the pledge in the school newsletter. Every class set goals and every child could earn a duck. Ducks were visible on desks, bookcases, and file cabinets throughout the school.
By the end of the year each child earned their own duck. The books were used for students from pre-K through 5th grade. They earned ducks when the student or class accomplished a goal. For example in K, when students knew their lunch number and could enter it in the lunch line, they earned their duck. The 3rd, 4th and 5th graders received a duck for doing their best on the Florida Assessment Test (FCAT). We were very proud that as a result of all the hard work by our teachers and students our school received an A, the highest grade from the Florida Department of Education.
We will be using the 2nd book (Can Do and Friends to the Rescue: A Story about Getting Along and Working Together) this year to reiterate how important it is that we all work together as this is my last year as Principal here.......I retire in August 2010. We have strong teams and have focused on team building and building relationships since opening the school in 1998. We will be ordering ducks and other animals this year to emphasize the theme of working together.
Next year, I hope the new principal will continue with Book 3 (Can Do and the Storm: A Story About New Beginnings) which is about change. With new leadership there is sure to be change, but as I continue to share with staff and faculty, change is a good thing and is the one constant in our lives. Thank you again. We thoroughly enjoyed the Can Do Duck books.
A school in Stockton, California started using the books to teach goal setting to their students.
Hi Ducktor Morty,
K through 3 grade has adopted Can Do Duck's slogan. We recite it every day in class. Every class has their own way of incorporating Can Do Duck into their classroom. One Kindergarten teacher has ducks on every table to remind students they can. I have a huge duck in front of the classroom as a reminder. My students are very excited to take tests now as I reward them with a duck for achieving an 80% or above on the test. They love collecting the ducks and it creates excitement in my class now instead of dread come test day. We love Can Do Duck. Thanks for checking in.
A Very Grateful Teacher, Terry Hildenbrand
The books have been used in schools in South Carolina through the Limos For Learning (TM) literacy program. This is a very innovative literacy program that is improving reading levels in many school districts. It is a unique non-profit program rewarding students for "outstanding improvement in reading skills." Its mission is "to encourage, recognize and reward deserving students who demonstrate exceptional effort toward becoming developmentally proficient in English/Language Arts."
Limos For Learning (TM) brings together a network of individual, community, statewide and national organizations and sponsors to promote literacy and improved reading skills among elementary grade children. Currently in South Carolina with plans to expand nationally, Limos For Learning (TM) has developed a unique and exciting reading incentive program.
"Your books are absolutely wonderful and are an answer to our prayers! You could not have written better books that incorporate every message we attempt to impart within our program had we commissioned you to pen them."
- Elizabeth "Betsy" Ross, Founder of the Limos for Learning (TM) literacy program.
Everything is going great! Our reading program is in full swing. I just finished reading The Can Do Duck to our 3rd grade students...It is so encouraging to see them recite the “pledge” when they are attempting something new. Teachers are also incorporating the four step plan into their lessons. The discussion guide by Ductor Morty was a great asset. The “readers” appreciated the questions and used them within the classroom. - 3rd Grade Teacher, South Carolina
Teacher Susan Northrup and her Kindergarten class from Rochester, NY made cards and raised money for the people in Colorado who were affected by the recent flooding. They were mentioned along with The Can Do Duck on the nightly news!
As Susan Northrup wrote, "To coincide with "International Dot Day 2013" The children said…We CAN, They made a plan (decorated cards and had other classrooms do the same) Got right to it and today sold the cards in the Student Alumni Union at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The money was for the people in Colorado. We are donating it to the Red Cross."
Toledo, Ohio - For a Volleyball tournament, the St. Ursula Academy Freshman team used Can Do to get psyched up. Coach Tammy Cox taped the quote, "I say I can. I make a plan. I get right to it. And then I do it!" on the side of the net during practice. She also gave each girl a rubber duck the day before and explained to them this was something to keep in their bags forever to remind them to believe in themselves. They were told to decorate them and bring them to practice the next day. Some of the players colored them and some dressed them up. One of the coaches wore a red scarf with Can Do on it and wore a blow-up duck around her waist.
The team read the book together and used the players' names and coaches names while reading it. "They were really into it and listening while I read it," said Coach Cox. "I only wish I would have kicked my season off with this instead of in the last week. I have coached volleyball for many years and the one thing that I think the book really could help with is that volleyball is a game of errors and you have to believe in yourself regardless of the outcome of each point! I will be reading this book very frequently to my own children. They are 12, 10 and 3. It will help make them successful in all they choose to do. Thanks again."