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Education/Schools

November 5, 2013

Minding their manners

Greenville students learn etiquette

GREENVILLE — Shaking hands, smiling and giving a firm grip was the easy part. Which fork to grab first? Now that was a little trickier.

Students stayed after class at Greenville Elementary School recently to get a few lessons in etiquette from Sallie Plass, a second grade teacher at the school.

“I think it helps you have respect for yourself and respect for others,” Plass said. “It also helps you feel more confident if you find yourself in a business or professional setting.”

After teaching students how to introduce themselves to a party host, they took a seat and learned how to set a table, or how one might be set when they arrive for dinner.

Students volunteered to take that after-school class. Though Plass said pizza probably motivated them to stay late, she said giving them a chance to learn how to conduct themselves at the table also stood out.

Lindsay Carter, a parent of one of the students in the class, said she’s glad the chance opened up to give her son some knowledge on etiquette.

“I look forward to her doing more of this,” Carter said. “I think this is one thing parents don’t have a lot of time to teach, so I think it’s nice when a third party steps in to teach that.”

Jackson Carter, Lindsay’s son, is in the third grade. He said he thinks manners are important to learn in case someone wants to make a good impression on others.

“Sometimes, if you don’t use your manners, other people might not like you because they might think you’re rude,” Jackson said.

But he said he also didn’t know there were so many forks to use at dinner.

Plass said though the class is a once annual thing after starting it last year, she hopes to expand it into some kind of a club. For now, she’ll keep teaching a few students at a time.

“The kids had a  lot of fun with it and told their friends, so a little word of mouth has helped get them in here,” Plass said. “They’re pretty enthusiastic about it.”

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