Our school wide character program is called, Get Your Paws on Good Character. It is based on the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. This book explains how everyone has an invisible bucket. You can’t see it, but it’s there. The purpose of our bucket is to hold good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. We feel very happy when our bucket is full, but sad and lonely when our bucket is empty. Students who are loving, caring, and make others feel special are filling buckets. They are called bucket fillers! But, some people dip into buckets and take out those good feelings. These are bucket dippers (teasing or bullies). A bucket dipper says or does mean things that make others feel bad. Each student receives a character card. The character card lists the character words that are important to live by. They are: respect, responsibility, honesty, kindness, perseverance, citizenship, fairness, cooperation, and trust. The kids keep these cards as a reminder of what good character is, and how good character fills our buckets!
All the classrooms have a tin bucket. When the kids are caught doing something positive or filling someone’s bucket, they are given a Bucket Buck to put in their class bucket. (Bucket Bucks can be given by any adult staff member.) At the end of the month, the classroom that has collected the most Bucket Bucks will be rewarded. Each month, the teachers also select one student from each of their classrooms to be the Top Dog. Top Dogs are students who demonstrate good character and are bucket fillers! The Top Dogs receive a donut, certificate, and a paw print token for their dog chains. The Bucket Filling Class and the Top Dogs have their pictures taken and these pictures are displayed in the showcase for a month.