by Jillian Rudnitsky, Elementary School Counsellor

This past week our Kindergarten began a new program as part of our anti-bullying initiatives and to promote positive character development. Together, we read Carol McCloud’s Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, a book based on the concept that children who grow up happy will be the most successful.  The idea is that every person has an invisible bucket.  This bucket represents our self-concept.  When that bucket is full, we feel happy, confident, secure, and patient.  But when our bucket is empty, we can easily become sad, negative, angry and unmotivated.

This simple little book packs a message that every person needs to know. My goal is to teach the children that a person can easily be a bucket-filler or a bucket-dipper.  The way to fill a bucket is to be kind to someone; a smile or a compliment is an excellent way to fill a bucket and it makes you happy too.  On the other hand, a person doing bullying behaviours can dip into your bucket by name-calling or pushing you, and then you feel sad, but he or she may also feel sad as well.  If someone keeps dipping in your bucket then you can put a lid over your bucket to try to ignore them.  That way they cannot make you feel bad anymore.  It is also important to report the incident to the teacher or another caring adult.

While the program will take place over 10 sessions, I will be stopping into the Kindergarten classes regularly to see how everyone is doing.  The Kindergarten teachers will also be participating in the program and will help to reinforce the concept of bucket-filling with the students.

To learn more about the program, please click here. You could also search ‘bucket filling’ and you will be amazed at all of the lesson plans and resources that you will find.  There are even suggestions about how to incorporate bucket-filling into your home.

Together with our dedicated teachers, I look forward to fostering a Kindergarten community full of bucket fillers and, thus, happy children!


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