Teaching Kindness

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."


Children's Literacy

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.


Motivating Sports Teams!

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."


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."


Children's Literacy

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


Teaching Goal Setting

"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. "

-A Very Grateful Teacher, Terry Hildenbrand, 

2nd Grade, California


"Home School Book Club" Teaches Students to Do Good Deeds

Tampa, Florida: Recently a mother told us about a Can Do Book Club she had formed with the Can Do Duck as its mascot. The children in the club started by reading Can Do and Friends to the Rescue: A Story About Getting Along and Working Together. The idea behind the book club is that each week the children read books with positive messages about helping others. After they read each book, they do a community service project that relates to that book. Also, each week two children take home a duck pillow and have to keep track of the good things they do to make the world a better place (holding doors, picking up trash, being polite, etc).The book club is part of a homeschool co-op group called THINK-day - Tampa Homeschoolers Instructing and Nurturing Kids. They meet in Tampa, Florida and there are 12 kids in the club.   

"We had our first meeting and everyone LOVED your book," wrote JoAnn Slay. "Two of my own boys are in the club. I have had several emails from parents who love the idea and what a difference it has made with their little Can Do ducks helping out around the house." Among the books they have read has been a book about peace called, What Does Peace Feel Like? and then they participated in the Pinwheels for Peace project. They also read Sam and the Lucky Money and made change purses to collect loose, found change to be donated to a worthy cause. One week the lesson was to make someone smile. They passed out notes to people who seemed lonely. They read the book Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch for that week. 

When the group meets they say the Can Do Duck "pledge", "We say we can. We make a plan. We get right to it. And then we do it!" They can earn tickets for unsolicited, good deeds. "The kids returned this week with full lists of things they had done in the name of Can Do," wrote Ms. Slay. "I am even witnessing my own two sons doing good deeds and asking "Was that what Can Do would have done?" We would like to congratulate THINK for coming up with such a great idea and for truly making the world a better place with their Can Do kids. You are truly taking Can Do to new heights!


Miss Tennessee contestant makes Can Do Duck part of her platform: Believe To Achieve!

Kingsport, Tennessee - Brittany Davis used her life experiences to offer hope and encouragement to local children. As Miss Kingsport 2010, Davis took her platform — “Believe to Achieve: Inspiring Children to Believe in Themselves to Reach Their Dreams” — into local elementary schools. Davis said she wanted to use education as a way to inspire children. 

“I would read stories such as ‘The Little Engine That Could’ and ‘The Can Do Duck: A Story About Believing in Yourself,’” she said. She emphasized the importance of having dreams and setting goals. Her biggest aspiration was to give an award at the end of each school year to a child in each city school who had shown educational improvements due to self-belief.  

“This is my dream, and I really want to implement my platform and make Kingsport a better place,” she said. Davis competed in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Competition in June 2010 in Jackson, Tenn.    

*This article appeared in the Kingsport Tennessee Times News


Empowering for Can Do adults too!

"I finally made the time to read your books. I loved them. The message is SOOO empowering."  

- Deanne Gruenberg 

"Thank you so very much for your response to us. The books were just the tool for our meeting to get the simple "Can Do" point across we have a very young and inspiring team that really works with positive attitudes on every project. Your books now have a new venue- the business world - seems we are always young at heart. I loved the new book too - it really reaches more than just Katrina - "any" crisis can be a new beginning with love, support and hope. Thanks for your new words of inspiration."  

-Tina McGarvey, Gallagher Benefit Services ​

"Overall, I loved the book. I think it is a fun teaching tool and I would recommend it. I have worked with kids at a crisis center for 5 years, and we were always looking for ways to teach the children good social and coping skills in a way that they could relate to the lessons and have fun learning them. This book is good for that goal. However, I did not buy the book for a child.  My sister is in her first year of college and is struggling 'learning to fly.' I was given Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss when I was in my first year of college, and I loved it. Your book is a gift for my little sister to help her learn what I learned from Dr. Seuss' book. Thank you for writing this book."  

- K. A. from Wyoming


Helping Children Cope

"The hurricane book is great. Kids who went through the fear and insecurity will see their experience confirmed, but the book brings out the positive elements, reassuring all of us that people take care of each other. You're doing the work of the angels, Morty. Keep it up!"   - Kathy Fackler,

SAMHSA - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends Can Do and the Storm on its disaster relief and preparedness website.   "The story uses endearing animals to cover the often traumatic events that are experienced during and following a natural disaster. The story depicts a range of possible hardships, such as evacuation, being separated from family and friends, living in a shelter, and dealing with the physical damage caused by a storm. It also explores topics with which recent hurricane survivors have had to deal, such as the process of rebuilding a community, leaving a community, making a home in a new area, or returning home when others do not. Presenting these upsetting issues to children is made less difficult through the rhyming story and color - in illustrations that make up this book. It will be comforting for children to see the characters overcome some of the same problems that they are currently facing. Not only does this book provide an entertaining story for a child, but it also gives parents/caregivers, teachers, and therapists an opportunity to begin talking, in a non-threatening way, about the feelings a child is experiencing. This book will help build a sense of hope in children who have faced hurricanes and will hopefully be a fun and beneficial way for kids to think about, talk about, and grow from their experiences."


Teaching Positive Attitudes

Orlando, Florida --- Dr. Phillips Elementary School is using the Can Do Duck books in all of its classes for grades K through 5 for the 2007-2008 school year to help teach positive attitudes! They used the books for the 2006-2007 year for the first time and decided to continue the program again the next year. This is a picture of the principal and vice principal with a banner they created. If you look carefully, you can see the Can Do capes on some of the ducks!