Counselor's Corner

Hillside Elementary: Fall 2020

Kindness Counts

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Here at Hillside, we strive to create a culture of kindness, where everyone learns what it means to be kind and how to practice kindness. Behavioral science research confirms that being kind toward others has powerful effects on individuals’ mental health and quality of life. Having a kind and supportive school environment sets the stage for optimal academic learning.


During the students' October counseling lessons, Mrs. Snyder focused on one of our Core Values, Respect. Students were taught the concept of Bucket Filling. She reviewed that everyone carries an invisible bucket—our bucket holds all of our good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Students learned what it means to be “bucket filler” and a “bucket dipper.” Students learned what bucket filling looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Additionally, we discussed ways we can use a lid on our bucket to protect our happiness. We use a lid to keep all of those good thoughts and good feelings about ourselves in our buckets. During this time we discussed ways to problem-solve when someone is trying to dip into our bucket. These strategies include calming down, walking away, ignoring, asking a person to please stop, telling a person how we feel, forgiving, empathizing, perspective-taking, and seeking a trusted adult's help. Furthermore, at Hillside we celebrated Unity Day by wearing orange to show we are together against bullying and united for kindness. Kindergarten and first students created a large Unity banner. Students signed the banner, pledging their commitment to creating a bully-free environment at Hillside. Second, third and fourth-grade students created a UNITY tree for our SEL bulletin board. A unity tree is a powerful symbol reminding everyone that bullying can be prevented when we all come together. Students wrote a positive message on an orange leaf. Their message included what they can do to make sure no one is bullied at Hillside.


Our Second Step Program lessons taught by your child's teacher focus on four Skills for Learning. These skills include Listening, Focusing Attention, Self-Talk, and Being Assertive. These skills will help every child be a successful learner. For more information on this unit, please click here. Please encourage your children to use these skills.


Lastly, here at Hillside our Safety Patrol students have been spreading kindness and promoting an inclusive environment for all. These 4th-grade student leaders can be seen in our circle and in our hallways during early morning arrival for our am students and afternoon arrival for our pm students. They have been giving all students a warm welcome, helping our younger students walk to class, expressing empathy, and reinforcing school-wide expectations. Additionally, Safety Patrol students have recorded a video to introduce themselves and let students know ways they are here to help at Hillside.


Learning happens best when it is done both at school and at home. Below are many ways that you can help your child continue to learn about the theme of kindness through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and we hope your family will enjoy it just as much!


Thank you for your continued support!


Warm regards,


Counselors:

Dr. Bloom, School Psychologist

Mr. Forcinito, School Psychologist

Mrs. Snyder, School Counselor

Unity Day 2020