PAWS is an acronym for Positive Attitude + Work = Success. It is a program for all first through fourth graders. The curriculum is written by the PAWS committee and students meet most months for two sessions. The groups consist of first through fourth graders. When children come into first grade, they are invited into a PAWS group and stay with the same PAWS group for their whole time at Brooklyn. Many staff beyond the classroom teachers take part in PAWS which makes it possible to have groups of under twelve participants. PAWS definitely is a huge factor in what makes Brooklyn Elementary School such a wonderful school.
Our PAWS program theme this year is “Brooklyn Elementary is a bucket filling school.” You can find out more about bucket filling at www.bucketfillers101.com. It is based on the books by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton (How Full is Your Bucket?), one for adults and one for children. We also read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? to all of our students on the first day of school. If you have been to the school lately you would have noticed our Grand Hall filled with student buckets. We also have bucket filling posters throughout the school. Many hours have been put into the development of this school-wide program.
This year we are integrating an author into the PAWS program. We have connected with Barbara Techel and her therapy dog, Frankie. She has written two books that you can find out about at www.joyfulpaws.com. We will be taking two of our PAWS sessions for Barbara to use Skype to be able to read her books to the school. She will read her first book in December and the second in January. We are planning an in-person school visit on May 5th. Families will also be provided an opportunity to purchase her books. She will be bringing Frankie and will be sharing with our children (two sessions) about Frankie, overcoming challenges, and bucket filling, as well as how she came to be an author of two books. Barbara and Frankie fill other people’s buckets by visiting assisted living facilities.
Since Barbara and Frankie are great “real world” models of bucket filling, and because Barbara can add the dimension of being an author and providing the spirit of “taking the challenge” in writing, but even more so in life, we feel that this will truly make this year’s PAWS program reach one of its highest. Beginning last year, we started to include writing as a part of the program, and that will continue this year. Writing is one of our building goals, so this really makes a full integration for writing, as well as community-building, and character education, as well.
The Brooklyn PAWS committee would like to thank the Brooklyn PTO for funding our author events. Without the help of the PTO we would not be able to provide these wonderful experiences for our children.
Dawn Donner, Guidance Counselor
Diane Jaeggi, Educational Assistant
Brian Annen, 4th Grade Teacher
Mary Kay Gillespie, 2nd Grade Teacher
Lynnette Outhouse, School Secretary
Jo Gilmour, 3rd Grade Teacher