Alphonso Hawes, 10, “learned how to be a gentleman to a woman” in the after-school etiquette club at Baltimore’s Shady Springs Elementary. “I learned how to speak properly,” he told Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Bowie. “I learned how to write thank you letters. I learned how not to bully.”
Wendy Carver, a guidance counselor, started “Guys with Ties, Girls with Pearls” four years ago. “It has been my hope that by teaching the students manners and etiquette they will become more respectful of others and themselves,” she said.
Thursday is an optional dress-up day for fourth- and fifth-graders. Boys are encouraged to wear jackets and ties, the girls to wear dresses and skirts.
Once a month, students stay after school to learn “how to correctly pull out a chair for a lady, how to write a thank you note, and what they should or shouldn’t say on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat,” writes Bowie. About half the fourth- and fifth-graders choose to participate.
Teacher Julie Taylorson was teaching Internet etiquette to a group of children one afternoon.
Before posting anything on social media, she told them, ask yourself three questions: Is it nice? Is it honest? Is it necessary?
She warned them that what they put on social media can’t be erased, so it will be there for their parents, future teachers and future employers to see.
. . . In the next room, another teacher was helping students think about how and when to write a thank you letter.
The etiquette club “has changed the whole atmosphere of the school,” said Taylorson, a second grade teacher.
At Randallstown Elementary, a program called Boys in the Good encourages boys to work on projects that help their school and community, simultaneously fostering good behavior and good deeds.