455 classrooms! 81 schools! 8,660 books!
The “Bucket Fillers” series of books, written by the nationally acclaimed author and Venice resident, Carol McCloud, teach children the value of kindness. More than 8,200 students read McCloud’s books in 455 pre-kindergarten to third grade classes in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
(November 16, 2021) On Tuesday, November 16, through a partnership with Sarasota County Schools, the School District of Manatee County and the Early Learning Coalitions of Sarasota County and Manatee County with generous support from the Manatee Education Foundation, Embracing Our Differences coordinated virtual read-alongs of “Bucket Fillers” books with 8,200 students in 455 pre-kindergartens through third grade classes. This year, the initiative was offered via interactive, pre-recorded webisodes featuring read-alongs with the Asolo Rep, CreArte Latino Cultural Center, Venice Theatre, and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and activities with author Carol McCloud. Each participating student and teacher received their own copy of one of McCloud’s books.
Since her first book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids,” was published in 2006, Carol McCloud, a nationally acclaimed author and Venice, FL., resident, has inspired millions of people of all ages to become daily “bucket fillers” through her books, seminars, and other publications. Her nine children’s books have sold three million copies worldwide and are used in schools around the world as their primary character development program. As an author, speaker, and early childhood specialist, McCloud says her goal is to help all ages and occupations grow in kindness, self-control, resilience, and forgiveness.
Who officially qualifies as a “bucket filler?”
Ben Jewell-Plocher, EOD’s education director, says they all possess distinct identifying traits. “A ‘bucket filler’ is somebody who spontaneously shares compliments and spreads positive vibes without being asked,” he says. “Carol McCloud’s ‘Bucket Fillers’ series of children’s books spells it out delightfully. Carol asks children to imagine that everyone possesses an invisible bucket they can fill up with kindness, support and love. It’s a beautiful idea for children—and I think it works for adults, too.”
Jewell-Plocher adds that EOD is honored to work directly with Carol McCloud. “Carol joined all participating classrooms on November 16 through pre-recorded introductions and bite-size activities included in the read-along webisodes. We’re touched by her generosity and desire to reach as many area students as possible and grateful for her donation of a large portion of the cost of books, helping us reach thousands more children this year.”
McCloud says she’s thrilled to participate in the initiative.
“My bucket is bursting with joy that my books will be read and gifted to so many thousands of children in Sarasota and Manatee counties,” she says. “This past year, we witnessed a world that is not always kind. We saw and felt the pain caused by hatred and division. I am grateful to Embracing our Differences for making it possible for children to learn how easy and rewarding it is to be kind to others by being a bucket filler. I’m so proud to work with all of EOD’s volunteers and educators who are dedicated to creating a kinder and more inclusive world.” For more information, visit bucketfillers101.com.
Since 2004, EOD’s outdoor art exhibit, celebrating the theme of “enriching lives through diversity,” showcases the art and words of thousands of artists and writers from around the world, including hundreds of area-based students and educators. Embracing Our Differences’ annual outdoor exhibits are the heart of a year-round program of activities designed to use art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. The 2022 exhibit will run January 15 through April 10 at Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota.
For more information about Embracing Our Differences, call 941-404-5710, or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
About Embracing Our Differences
Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the transformational power of art and education to celebrate and promote the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students. Visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.