Being a good friend through bucket filling

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Throughout the month of February we revisited kindness and friendship. Using bucket filling as our common language we reviewed the importance of being a good friend.

This is a lifelong skill we want all of our children to develop. Teachers read the books How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, and Have you filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.

These books introduce the idea of using positive words and actions to keep both others and ourselves feeling happy. Your child may have brought one (or both) of these books home from our school library. There are also many websites that provide activities to help reinforce this concept.

The idea behind bucket filling is that we all have an invisible bucket, which holds our good thoughts and feelings. When our buckets are full we feel happy and when our buckets are empty we feel sad.

All of our students quickly understand we can fill buckets when we do and say things that are kind, considerate, caring and respectful. They also learn that when we use hurtful words or actions we can empty buckets. This is referred to as a bucket dipper.

Even the youngest child understands that actions and words can either fill a bucket or dip into it. This is the language that we use as a school in discussions about friendship.

To celebrate friendship, we host an annual Friendship Picnic. We all gather in the gymnasium and enjoy lunch with our many friends at school.

With the support of our Parent Advisory Council, lunch is provided for all of our students. This offers a positive opportunity for the children to connect with the friends they have outside of their own classroom, and we often see big buddies meeting their little buddies. It truly is a heartwarming experience to see the interactions that happen during the picnic and despite all of the conversations, they do manage to eat their lunch as well!

The official Red Cross Pink Day was on Feb. 22. However, our Pink Day was held on Feb. 15. As an Innisfail campus, we wore pink to celebrate our differences and support kindness and friendship amongst all.

Throughout our pre-K to Grade 12 campus both staff and students wore pink in honour of this day as we continue to provide a safe and caring community for everyone.

Seeing all of the pink throughout the schools was truly uplifting. I am so proud of our school community to be part of such an important day, and to recognize and focus on the value of friendship each and every day on our campus.

Angela Warke is the principal of …cole John Wilson Elementary School.

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