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Copperas Cove students learn manners in etiquette club

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Posted at 2:18 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 15:32:45-05

Williams/Ledger Elementary has created an after-school etiquette club to make sure students stay in the good graces of all they encounter.

Paraprofessional Edith Natividad formed the club, open to fourth and fifth-graders, two years ago. With a limit of 26 students accepted, there is a waiting list to get in the club.

Students in the etiquette club start each meeting with a handshake and friendly greeting.

"This is the basics, what they'll carry throughout their life," Natividad said. "I'm glad that I have the chance to make a difference with our students."

10-year-old A’arrah Paulk has a lot of fun learning her manners.

"I like hanging out with my friends and being proper with them," Paulk said."

On Wednesday, Natividad invited parents in to see what their children have learned over the last few months.

Paulk's grandmother, Lydwina Robinson, was impressed by her skills.

"She's been exercising being proper at home," Robinson said. "With all today's negativity going around, it's good for kids to pick up positive energy and positive characteristics."

The students have learned how to sit and walk properly, how to use their silverware and how to set a table.

"I've shown my family how to set the table," said 9-year-old Madden Valois.

More importantly, they're learning how to talk to one another.

"Kids lose the face-to-face contact with each other," said Valois' mother, Rebecca Smith. "Something like this, I think, that nurtures that old school way of getting together and having a good old fashion conversation, to me, is really important."

Sarah Aynesworth is an etiquette consultant. She's been doing this for 20 years and lately, she's been busier than ever since technology is hurting our communication skills.

"Well, I definitely would not have asked at the beginning 'so who has a cell phone?' Especially for a 10-year-old child," Aynesworth said. "I do think the cell phones have created an awareness of rudeness."

Aynesworth said showing kids the importance of eye contact and being in the moment will help them down the line when they go to college or apply for their first job.

"I think it empowers them, to know that in any social setting they've got this," Aynesworth said. "All of those tiny things that really make a difference in how you make someone else feel." 

Skills these students are already passing on to their peers.

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