On Oct. 21, 2019 students and staff at Durban Avenue School in Hopatcong kicked off their Bucket Filling Character Education Program with a Pep Rally sponsored by the Hopatcong Education Association. Students and staff dressed in “I am a Bucket Filler” T-shirts in a rainbow of colors. The T-shirts were purchased by School Counselor, Lisa Schuffenhauer, with funding from a Hopatcong Education Association PRIDE Grant.
This year staff and students will be “Connecting with Character,” using the Character Counts Six Pillars Program as a basis for Character Education in conjunction with the school-wide theme of Bucket Filling, which is based on the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Each color of t-shirt represents one of the Six Pillars of Character. Filling Buckets with Respect, Citizenship, Caring, Fairness, Responsibility, and Trustworthiness is infused into Social Emotional Learning lessons every day at Durban Avenue. Lisa Schuffenhauer will do class lessons to focus on each trait, using children’s literature to exemplify each pillar and incorporate New Jersey’s Social Emotional Learning Competencies in the classrooms. Students will practice each pillar after exploring what the trait looks like and what it sounds like.
At the Pep Rally, teachers acted out everyday situations that exemplify good character through specific traits. Throughout the year students will hear daily announcements about each trait and have the opportunity to earn daily bucket filling notes or monthly certificates for displaying different traits consistently. The T-shirts will be worn at community events, on field trips, and the first Friday of each month throughout the year to celebrate the pillars and the great Bucket Filling school spirit at Durban Avenue School.