So, when Canadians commemorated the National Day of the Child this past Tuesday, along with more than 190 other nations, a very special group at the University of Calgary was there to celebrate.
The University Child Care Centre (UCCC) developed a unique program to engage not only their little charges, but also to involve the campus community.
The UCCC chose the internationally recognized children’s books from the ‘Bucket Fillers’ series as illustrations of how everyone can be more attuned to the needs of children.
“We make choices to be bucket fillers (acts of kindness) or bucket dippers (bullies),” says program co-ordinator Carrie Regnier. “We want to promote and encourage positive relationships where we treat others with kindness and respect, and we want the children to feel empowered to make decisions about their needs, wants, safety, and abilities. When our buckets are full, we are kinder and healthier individuals. Essentially, we want to inspire daily happiness for everyone.”
Three undergraduate students from the Faculty of Education volunteered their time to read to the children from the ‘Bucket’ books. Leanne Sauve, Alyssa Wilson, and Sheena MacLean each took time with the youngsters, reading, listening, engaging and connecting with them.
And Regnier has thoughts about the day for all.
“Everyone is connected in some way to a child somewhere. Make sure you fill that child’s bucket and let them know how much they mean to you. These children will one day be taking care of all of us,” Regnier says. “The best way to support National Day of the Child is to make sure that you stand up for the rights of children.”