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Students taught life skills, etiquette at Monroe Middle

Lorenzo Chino, 11, a sixth grader at Monroe Middle School, gets a quick reminder that the little fork is for salads during a formal luncheon at Rolling Hills Country Club. Monroe Middle literacy coach, Kendall Kiser, at right, coordinated the luncheon, the final test in etiquette classes at Monroe Middle School.

Who said middle school was just about learning the three “Rs.”
About 60 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade Monroe Middle students, who participate in single-gender classes, tested their good manners and proper etiquette skills recently during a formal luncheon at Rolling Hills Country Club.
“We believe it’s important to not only teach reading, writing and arithmetic, but it’s also important for students to learn how to behave socially when they’re out in various settings in society,” said Monroe Middle School principal Montrio Belton.  
The luncheon was given in a business partnership between the school and the country club. In order to participate in the event, students had to attend the etiquette classes and were not allowed to get into trouble at school, plus they had to get good marks from their teachers in character education.
“I’m hoping students will get an experience they may not have had before or enhance what they may already know,” Belton said.
Monroe Middle literacy coach, Kendall Kiser, the lead organizer in the event, said students learned not only how to dress and act in a formal setting, but also such things as proper table conversation and the proper utensils to use with each dish.
“We’re in this class to learn life skills,” said Demaria Covington, 13, an eighth-grader at Monroe Middle. “I think these classes will help us in the future, when we get older. Now, I’ll know what to do when I am in a formal setting or like in a more formal business setting.”
“When you go somewhere in public, you should have proper manners,” said Delilah Crowder, 14, an eighth-grader. “I feel more comfortable now that I’ve been in these classes. I’ve enjoyed them.”
Nicholaus Neptune, a college counselor who works in Union and Anson counties, was the keynote speaker at the event. He told students how a person carries himself and how a person acts in public is important, using President Barack Obama as an example of a successful person with obvious self-respect and class.
“He looks good doing what he does, but that didn’t begin when he started running for the presidency,” Neptune said. “He carries himself a certain way, because he thinks of himself a certain way.”
Neptune told the students that at the end of the day, they have to care about themselves and strive to do their best. “If you want to be successful, you have to walk and talk like you’re successful,” he said. “Stay true to yourself and be the best that you can be. It’s all about how you behave and how you treat others.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Jun 08, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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