Spreading kindness is commonplace at Bayville Primary School, as the students and staff are dedicated to bucket filling, a philosophy that uses a bucket as a metaphor for a person’s feelings. The students learn that kind acts fill the bucket of the recipient and the giver. Unkind acts deplete buckets.
Maggie Holz, an Individual Needs teacher, worked with one of the school’s occupational therapists, Alison Milligan, on a special project that would fill the buckets of strangers around the community. First- and second-graders in Ms. Holz’s class created kindness rocks to leave in the community for residents to find.
The students used colorful permanent markers to decorate the rocks and write uplifting messages. They brought the rocks home and were encouraged to hide them in the community for random people to discover. They learned that even though they may never know who found their rocks, they could feel good knowing they made someone smile.
Besides teaching them to be kind, the activity helped to build many skills, including eye-hand coordination, graphomotor skills, strategic planning, visual perceptual skills, problem-solving, following multistep
directions and spatial organization.
“While our students are constantly reminded of how we can choose to fill each other’s buckets on a daily basis, we are teaching about how significant of an impact a random act of kindness can make on the recipient, and even people who hear about it,” Ms. Holz said.