Father Maher Reads Children’s Story to Literacy Program Participants

August 4, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

  • Maher PEP Camp
  • Maher PEP Camp
  • Maher PEP Camp

The Niagara Falls City School District students participating in Niagara University’s Primary Enhancement Program got a special treat today when the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., NU president, read them Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.

Twenty-five students in grades 1-4 from Harry F. Abate, Hyde Park and Niagara Street elementary schools are participating in the program.

The Primary Enhancement Program is a collaborative effort between NU’s College of Education and the Niagara Falls City School District. The two-week summer program, now in its sixth year, enlists graduate students from the College of Education to work with campers daily from 9 a.m. to noon to enhance literacy skills. Participants also take weekly “field trips” to places such as the on-campus Post Office and Castellani Art Museum.

When Father Maher finished reading the book, one of the campers had a question for him: “You smile a lot. Do you like to smile?” To which Father Maher enthusiastically responded, “Yes, I do.”

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud is described on Amazon.com as a heartwarming book that encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well-being of others and ourselves.