Students at Bayville Primary School are learning how to be bucket fillers by giving each other compliments, being helpful, and generally being kind to one another. The bucket is a metaphor for the place inside each of them where they keep their feelings. Doing something kind for another person fills the recipient’s bucket by making them feel good and fills their own bucket because acting kind increases their own happiness.

The bucket-filling concept is easy for students in the primary grades to understand. They can use an actual bucket and write down the nice things they do as they watch it fill up. This helps them understand the concept. The program promotes kindness and discourages bucket dipping, which includes acts that take away the good feelings from someone’s internal bucket. Acts of kindness help to fill the bucket back up.

The Bucket Filler program, based on the book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud, was presented to students during an assembly led by a representative of the organization. She explained the concept, read the book to the entire school and selected student volunteers to act out bucket filling and bucket dipping actions. Students also learned about putting a lid on their bucket, a metaphor for not allowing other’s people’s words to hurt them. 

A workshop was held for teachers prior to the student assembly to help them understand the program and to explain how it enhances the character education program that is part of the elementary curriculum. 

Students were encouraged to be bucket fillers at school, at home, on the playground and everywhere they go. Teachers will be asking them to share how they filled someone’s bucket and how their own buckets were filled by these acts. 

Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said becoming a Bucket Filling School fit in perfectly with the character education curriculum. “We are already teaching students to be good citizens and teaching them to be bucket fillers puts those lessons into practice.” 

The Bucket Filler program will be in place for the remainder of the school year and will continue during the 2017-18 school year.