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W.A. Day school students strive to be ‘bucket fillers’

Students decorated their buckets.

Buckets full of empathy and kindness can be found in the halls of W.A. Day school in Fort Macleod.
Now it’s up to the students to determine whether they will be bucket fillers, or bucket dippers.
“The idea is that everybody has a bucket,” family school liaison counsellor Karen Sparkes explained. “You can fill your bucket and at the same time fill someone else’s bucket.”
When a student does something nice or says something positive to someone else he or she is filling that person’s internal “bucket.”
At the same time, that student is filling his or her own internal “bucket” with empathy and kindness.
That child is then what is referred to as a “bucket filler.”
Conversely, if a child says or does something bad or negative to someone else, he or she takes on a different persona.
“If a student is doing something wrong, he is known as a ‘bucket dipper’,” Sparkes said. “When you empty someone else’s bucket, you also empty your own.”
W.A. Day school students are encouraged to keep their buckets overflowing with kindness and empathy.

W.A. Day school students sing the bucket-filling song to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques.'

The program is based on a 1970s concept that Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin turned into the book “Fill a Bucket: A Child’s Guide to Daily Happiness.”
McCloud subsequently wrote “Will You Fill My Bucket?”, “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?”, “Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children”, “Growing Up With a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life” and “My Bucketfilling Journal: 30 Days to a Happier Life.”
McCloud has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, counsellor, youth mentor and early education director, and taught college-level early childhood development classes.
W.A. Day school obtained a grant that allowed Sparkes to buy 250 buckets so each student would have one.
At an assembly on Friday morning, the students decorated their buckets to give each one an individual look.
Children are encouraged to fill each other’s buckets each day through positive actions and words.
Each week teachers have a lesson plan based on an activity that will help students become “bucket fillers.”
The buckets will be displayed in the hallways at W.A. Day school.
“The bucket stays with them the whole time they are at W.A. Day,” Sparkes said

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