A book about buckets has spurred a new program at Indian Run Elementary.

A book about buckets has spurred a new program at Indian Run Elementary.

After reading students Carol McCloud's "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" principal Janet Rinefierd saw its effect on her elementary students.

"One of my friends recommended the book. At the beginning of the year, as many principals do, I read to the kids and that was one of the books I chose to read because it had a positive message," she said.

McCloud's book teaches children that doing good deeds for others can help them as well.

"The book says that everyone has an imaginary bucket," Rinefierd said, adding that when good deeds are performed the bucket of the person doing the good deed and the person receiving the good deed is filled.

Negative acts take away from the bucket, Rinefierd said.

"I saw students walking around who said, 'Mrs. Rinefierd, I filled a bucket today,'" she said. "They would tell me what they did and I just wanted a way to encourage positive choices."

Buckets were purchased for classrooms and the office.

"When a member of the staff member catches a child doing a bucket-filling activity, the kids fill out a form and describe what they did," Rinefierd said.

The slips are put in the bucket in the classroom and eventually funneled into the school office. The program began two weeks ago and Rinefierd said within four days, 75 slips had accumulated.

Rinefierd pulled out a few slips with activities such as helping a student with a broken leg to class, setting up chairs before the school day begins and helping up a student who fell out of a chair.

"An older student at recess invited a younger student who didn't know how to play soccer into the game," she said. "They let the younger student have the ball and control the ball and learn how to play."

Slips will be chosen randomly for a reading on the morning announcements and prizes such as stickers, pencils and wrist bands.

"I think overall just to encourage the positive choices that our kids make and celebrate them, it's kind of unique and a fun way to do it," Rinefierd said.

There hasn't been a huge change in the environment of the school thus far, Rinefierd said, but the new program does help reward positive behavior.

"We're lucky that our kids are really kind and respectful," she said. "This is just helping to encourage those choices. We're using this in classrooms, at lunch, recess in the hallways. It's a nice initiative that all staff members, no matter what role, can be a part of."