Forest Hill Elementary School Bucket Filling Program: Heartwarming Kindness in Mobile

Forest Hill Elementary School Bucket Filling Program: MOBILE, Ala. A school in Mobile has seen a big drop in bullying and a rise in kindness thanks to its Bucket Filling program.

When school starts at Forest Hill Elementary, classes begin their day with a video that promotes positivity, and some throw a song in the mix, too.

This is all a part of the school’s bucket-filling program. It encourages kindness by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show kids how good it is to express appreciation and love for others by “filling buckets” both at school and at home.

The head bucket fillers are guidance counselor Tammy Weeks and school volunteer Theresa McPherson, who are affectionately known by students as Ms. Joy and Mrs. Love.

“Mrs. Love is something that they just love to say,” McPherson said. “One thing I’ve seen and enjoyed about this is when they’re saying it and seeing me in the halls, it makes them feel it. They’re actually feeling it in their heart.”

News 5 spoke with a few fifth-grade students. They shared with us what they’ve learned from bucket filling, and what it means to them.

“Bullying is wrong because it can really hurt someone,” Baeley Castodio said.

“Kids watch the videos, and they like them because it shows kindness and how people care about each other,” Travis Scott said.

“The bucket-filling program makes me feel more happy, and it’s more love in the school than bullying,” Ariana Crenshaw said.

While bucket filling may seem like a simple concept, it’s a big deal for children at Forest Hill. Throughout the year, classes do arts and crafts, role-playing and other fun activities to push the program’s message. Weeks said the initiative is completely transforming the school’s environment.

Forest Hill Elementary School Bucket Filling Program 1

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“We went from a school that had some problems with bullying, friendship issues, and now they are minimal,” Weeks said. “We’ve seen more love, more kindness.”

When there are problems among students, McPherson said she’s seeing more students work through their problems together instead of being mean. Incentives are also offered to students who do a good job filling buckets.

“The principal is on board. Every day, there’s a child that wins an award for bucket filling. At the end of the month, she picks a whole class that were the best bucket fillers for that month,” McPherson said. “So, it’s all around them. You can’t get around bucket filling here.”

Since they can’t get around it, students can’t help but show off all of the kindness and gratitude they’re learning.

“The teachers are nice, kind, helping, and they do a great job,” fifth-grader Jason Ntakirutimana said.

Now, how’s that for bucket filling?

Our Reader’s Queries

What is a bucket filling school?

A Bucket Filler is someone who shows kindness, helpfulness, positive behavior, sharing, and mindfulness towards others. Teachers can organize different activities to encourage bucket filling. When a student demonstrates these actions, they become a Bucket Filler!

How do you fill a bucket activity?

Explore 32 Engaging Classroom Activities to Promote Kindness

Immerse in a bucket filler story. Generate ideas collectively. Develop an anchor chart. Sing a melody about being a bucket filler. Sort out who the bucket fillers are and who the bucket dippers are. Get creative in coloring a bucket filler illustration. Join forces to fill the classroom bucket. Document acts of kindness in a bucket filler journal. And more…

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