By: Ashley Winterstein
As an extension of the messages currently shared by character coaches at Sudlersville Elementary School on a weekly basis, a school-wide assembly was held on Monday, December 7, 2009 focusing on ways to promote good character in students.
Members of the Character Counts! Advisory Council were invited to speak to each grade individually to share stories and lessons about the importance of having good character and displaying it everyday.
Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council, Mary Ruth Meredith, Advisory Council Member Chris Grupenhoff, and Communications Assistant Ashley Winterstein presented a story, follow-up questions, and a game tailored to each grade level in an effort to expand the understanding that character does truly count in and out of school.
The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes kicked off the assembly listening to Grupenhoff share the story “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont. The book reminded students that everyone is unique and should respect themselves for the talents and gifts they have. A few students showed their self-confidence by sharing things they like about themselves with the entire group. Everyone was then able to release some energy while learning the Six Pillars through a song and dance entitled, “The Six Pillar Shuffle.”
First through Fifth Grades were each read “How Full is Your Bucket? for kids” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. The story explains that everyone has an invisible bucket on their head that drips, or empties, when you are not displaying good character and receives drops, or fills up, when you do something nice for someone or receive a compliment. The goal is to fill your own bucket and others’ at the same time through good deeds and words. After a short discussion, each class began to grasp the concept that the bucket represented their feelings and when they do good things for others, it makes them feel good also. The classes were then given the opportunity to classify deeds as “drips” or “drops” and came up with a few ideas of their own to show their good character.
Grupenhoff commented on her experiences with the students at Sudlersville Elementary School, saying, “I was happy to help out and be a part of a trio to present the ideas. I also liked that we read the same book to five classes and thought that each group was enthusiastic about what we had to say. It’s always fun reading books to young children. No matter if they heard the story before, they seem to really enjoy looking at the pictures and asking very good questions. I particularly liked the interaction we were able to have with each group when we asked about the “drops” and “drips.” You could tell that they understood the story. It was a lot of fun and I hope I get the opportunity to do this type of activity again.”
The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to thank Sudlersville Elementary School for the invitation to speak with the entire student body and hopes the students continue filling their buckets!
If you would like to join the Character Counts! coalition or have any questions, please contact Coordinator Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or jcarter @qac.org.