OME bucket fillers are awarded for respect, responsibility

OME bucket fillers ride in a float during the Osceola Mills 4th of July parade.
OME bucket fillers ride in a float during the Osceola Mills 4th of July parade. Photo provided

The Osceola Mills Elementary School implemented a schoolwide positive behavior in fall 2014. Our schoolwide theme is to be a “bucket filler” — students focus on filling buckets by being safe, responsible and respectful. We kick off each year with an assembly that goes over our school rules in each area of the building. Each student who is caught being a bucket filler receives a ticket that goes into buckets that hang outside of each classroom.

“The bucket fillers program makes the students feel happy when they do something nice for others and help others have a good day,” said Sherry Johnson, who is the mother of a fourth-grade OME student.

At the end of each week Principal Brian Pelka announces bucket filler winners. There are a variety of prizes that the students could win, including books, family backpacks and pizza coupons. The teacher who gives the winning ticket is also rewarded with a prize. Parents and students alike are buzzing on Friday afternoons waiting to hear the winners announced.

Lisa Hahn, the mother of a second-grader, said her son, Brett, likes the program and always remembers what everyone has won.

“It’s mostly kids from his class but often it’s kids he knows from throughout the building,” Hahn said. “When I pick him up at the bus stop on Fridays, I can count on him giving me a breakdown of who won what.”

Our team plans a monthly reward for students who do not receive an office referral during that month. Here is a peek at our schedule for this school year:

September: Popsicles on the playground

October: Halloween centers

November: sock hop

December: movie/popcorn reward

January: play in the snow

February: student choice stations: movie, photo booth, gym time, board games, technology, crafts

March: pirates game

April: field day

May: Delgrosso’s field trip

July: Osceola Mills Fourth of July float

“I love the end of the year trip to DelGrosso’s,” said Denise Matweetcha, who is the mother of a second-grader. “It is a great incentive for being safe, responsible and respectful. It is also a great way to celebrate the end of the year with their classmates.”

OME has also started a principal’s Bucketeer Club. These are students who are shining examples of a bucket filler. It is difficult to get one of these tickets, but when you do, it gets placed on a special board in the lobby. Each teacher is given one ticket a week to give to a deserving student who shows exemplary behavior in their class. Once a row is full, the students in that row are invited to an ice cream social at our pirate ship.

Each year, OME holds an end-of-the-year assembly where we give away larger prizes. This year we plan to give away four bikes, six Kindles and a game system. In order to keep our program fun and exciting, it is important that we raise money. Generous donations from local businesses, a variety of fundraisers throughout the year and box top collections help fund our end of the year trip. Students at OME work hard to be recognized for their good behavior.

“What I love about the bucket-filler program is it allows our children to be recognized for a job well done,” said Brandy Wood, who is the mother of a second-grader.

Keep an eye out for our bucket filling students in the Osceola Mills Fourth of July parade this year. We invite all students who have been safe, responsible and respectful all year to join us in the parade. It is a great way to show our school pride and promote our successful program at OME.

Chera Mason is a first-grade teacher and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team member.