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Good manners are on the menu at Creekside

If you’ve ever wondered how to get your children to sit up straight, keep their elbows off the table and chew with their mouths closed, their friends from Creekside Elementary may be able to teach them a thing or two.

This week, students at Creekside are being taught the “Ps and Qs” of proper dining in preparation for a high tea — complete with petit fours and truffles — next week.

“A lot of children this age, don’t even know what a petit four is,” said Kim Richardson, library media specialist. “Learning basic etiquette is a skill they’ll use throughout their life. They can use it now at dinner and later in social and business meetings. It’s knowing how to interact socially. All the children can benefit from a class like this.”

The students are learning things such as that gentlemen pull out chairs for the ladies, how to properly set a table, to unfold their napkins and put them on their laps when first sitting down, how to stir a cup of tea without making noise and how to properly use the words “thank you” in different languages.

“Learning these details will teach the children how to use good manners and respect one another,” Richards said.

While many parents may not be able to envision their children having the ability to sit still at the dinner table, Richardson said that so far the children have shown enthusiasm, interest and the ability to rise to the occasion.

“The gentlemen have been so good holding the doors for the ladies, pulling out their chair and all of them stand up a little straighter and hold good posture,” Richardson said.

While most of the children may not visit a fine-dining restaurant anytime soon, Richardson said, “This is something they can use anywhere. Even at McDonald’s, they’ll know to put their napkin on their lap and that it’s proper to pull out a lady’s chair.

To help the students celebrate their success and put their new skills to use, Richardson plans a high tea next week for each class. Students will attend in their Sunday best and enjoy truffles, petit fours and tea.

“Everyone is already planning on what they’re wearing,” she said.