Program teaches students etiquette

Published 8:56 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From left, students Isaiah Garrett, Aleeyah Recor, Yasmine Huley-Morris and Michael Cain are excited about an etiquette program at Creekside Elementary.

An etiquette program at Creekside Elementary School is resulting in fewer elbows on tables in the cafeteria, according to Library Media Specialist Kim Hobson Richardson.

The school’s 950 students are having rehearsals this week ahead of next week’s main event, dubbed Etiquette Du Jour @ Royal High Tea.

Students will be seated at an immaculately set table, complete with china and linen tablecloths and napkins, and each served a truffle, petit four and cup of tea — pinkies extended.

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“We definitely see results,” said Richardson, who coordinates the program. “When they’re in the lunchroom I see better manners, they’re more respectful to one another, and they’re putting their napkins in their laps.

“I do this annually, because it’s just a special time for the kids to get dressed up at school with classmates and look refined and show their table manners and good etiquette.”

Creekside student Aleeyah Recor, 10, said the class taught her how one should behave in a restaurant.

According to Yasmine Huley-Morris, 9, the skills she learns will also be employed at home.

Michael Cain, 10, was a big fan of the class. “I like to use the proper etiquette, and so do my mom and dad,” he said.

Isaiah Garrett, also 10, remarked: “It’s good. I’ve been excited about it.”

Richardson said the program presents a rare opportunity for students. “A lot of time, you don’t have the opportunity to talk about etiquette and good manners,” she said.

“We feel it’s so important for our children to be provided lessons in etiquette — it’s a life-long experience.

“I want the gentlemen to practice being gentlemanly, and the ladies to know that the gentlemen are to pull their chairs out for them and open the door for them.”

Richardson thanked the volunteers who come in to serve the children. “We have volunteers who have dedicated hours and have provided us continuous support for special events like this,” she said.

In particular, she cited Pottery Barn, Nansemond River Baptist Church and St. Andrew Presbyterian Church for their support.