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New Berlin, NY 13411
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UV Elementary Bucketfillers Focus on Character Development

What does a bucket have to do with being a caring, considerate person? 

Actually, it means quite a bit for the students at Unadilla Valley Elementary School. The Bucket Filling Program is now in its fourth year at Unadilla Valley. Based on the book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids,” the program serves as a fun way to foster character development.

The book puts forth the concept that every person has an invisible bucket they carry around with them every day.
Elementary Guidance Counselor Sheri Houk said the program is going strong.

“When you are happy and feeling good about yourself, your bucket is full,” Houck said. “Sometimes, things might not be going well, so your bucket is not as full."

Although everyone’s personal bucket is invisible, elementary classrooms at Unadilla Valley have a very visible classroom bucket that the students strive to fill. When a teacher sees good behavior from one student toward another, they put a small ball in the bucket. Classes get rewards for filling buckets. In the first few years of the program, the goal was to fill 50 buckets during the school year and it was met each year. That goal has been upped to 100 for this year, according to Houck. The hope is that students learn from both the book and the practice of filling their classroom buckets.

“The premise is, when you are interacting with other people, you’re trying to fill their buckets,” Houck said. “You feel better about yourself when you are giving.”

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