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“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” Amelia Earhart

At our Middle Division Morning Meeting on Tuesday, November 15th, I read aloud the story, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? For the past ten years, this book has served as the foundation of a very popular character education program in elementary schools across the country.

The story helps children understand the metaphor of an invisible bucket. The story is simple and highly effective in understanding how our actions and words have a lasting impact on others. We, children and adults, each carry an invisible bucket that represents our emotions, feelings, and thoughts about ourselves. When we express acts of kindness to others, we fill their buckets. Our buckets can also be dipped, removing positive feelings.

At the end of the read aloud, during our moment of silence, I asked the children to think about the most recent time someone filled their bucket and reflect on what it looked like, what it sounded like, and what it felt like. I also asked the children to think about someone’s bucket they could fill as we began our day. I asked them to notice how they felt after they filled a bucket. Did they feel happy too?

My hope is that students think about the happiness and positive feelings they can create when they fill other people’s buckets. Filling a bucket could make someone feel cared for, happy, accepted, respected, and supported. Acts of kindness, have two positive outcomes, both the recipient’s bucket and the giver’s bucket are filled with happiness. Spreading joy throughout the day and promoting compassion and kindness impacts everyone and our school environment in a positive manner. A safe and nurturing learning environment that promotes kindness and respect for all members of its community, impacts the whole child. The emotional, social, and mental well being of children directly impacts their cognition, engagement, and academic success.

I highly recommend this book and hope that you will read this story at home with your child.