Class to teach manners

Published 12:02am Thursday, August 25, 2011

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly listed the company’s website and acronym. The story below is correct. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.

NATCHEZ — From now on, some Adams County students will know exactly which fork to use when their salads are served.

Jay Pearson, director of the Mississippi School of Protocol and Etiquette, pitched the idea of incorporating the classes into the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Core Training Program to the Natchez Board of Aldermen in late June.

In the last week of September, up to 120 Adams County students will begin etiquette and dining classes, Pearson said Wednesday.

Twenty-nine communities in Mississippi are already participating with MSOPE, including Vicksburg, Meridian, Columbus, Tupelo, Starkville and Southaven, he said.

Adams County students will be divided into two classes, according to information provided by MSOPE. One class will be for ages 7-12, with another dedicated to ages 13-18.

“Kids are so hungry for this wealth of knowledge, and the sad thing is, they’re not getting it anywhere else,” Pearson said.

Participants will learn life skills such as public cell phone etiquette, conversation and listening skills, limousine and prom protocol for teens, interviewing skills for teens, college-bound protocol for teens and an entire section of the program will be dedicated to dining, according to an MSOPE pamphlet.

“When we talk about limousine protocol, we actually bring in a fleet of limousines,” Pearson said. “When we talk about proper introductions, we actually bring in elected officials. When we talk about interviewing skills, we go through mock interviews. When we talk about cell phone interviews, we record their voices and play it back so they can get a sincere understanding of how they’re communicating.”

Pearson said the value of the course per student is $1,350, but the cost has been offset through scholarship funding on MSOPE’s part and through local vendors and community leaders.

Since funds are still being generated for the classes in Natchez, he said, he’s not yet sure which corporate sponsors will be participating or how much the overall cost will be per child, but hopefully, it will be less than $48.

“We’re hoping it will be around $32,” Pearson said. “We won’t know until we know the level of corporate support.

“The reason there is a small investment is we’ve learned that if you give it away, it’s not as valued.”

Generally, he said, the cost is $42 per student, and that is all-inclusive for workbooks and for two meals, including the five-course meal at the end of the class that’s worth $50 per person.

In 11 years of practice, Pearson said, a child has never been turned away for the inability to pay — there’s always been a sponsor who’s willing to pay for a child who wants to step up to take the class to be a leader.

The cost also mandates two hours of training for the participant’s parents, he said.

“If (people) are investing, we also want parents to invest by learning so they can enforce it at home,” Pearson said.

At the end of the classes, which will meet once a week for six weeks, he said, a Mayor’s Youth Council will be chosen from the 13-18 age group.

The Mayor’s Youth Council, which hasn’t existed in Natchez in nearly three years, will represent Natchez across the state and the U.S. in activities in which students will work toward winning scholarships and grant funding opportunities, Pearson said.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said in the past, a Natchez Mayor’s Youth Council won an award for coming up with a project to better Natchez race relations.

Arceneaux-Mathis said she’d be acting as the liaison between the city and the program this year, and she’s excited to see it get started.

Adams County students who are interested in registering for MSOPE classes can find the application on MSOPE’s website, msope.com, and Pearson said questions should be directed to 769-218-3854.

A local registration day will be announced at a later date, he said.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my good Lord!!! What a total waste of time and money. Manners are taught at home!!!!! Limousine etiquette?? Which fork to use???? If you want to teach “future leaders”something, teach them to read and to write and teach them PROPER english. Above all, how about teaching them to be HONEST.

  • Anonymous

    u gt tht rt.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, limousine etiquette is a little extreme. However, not all parents teach their children manners or etiquette at home. Just look around in public, if your in doubt. Granted they do need to be taught to read, write and be honest, but the parents need to know it first. Obliviously, many are lacking in all these. I think it’s a good idea for these children to learn all of this. How else will they know? I think they need to add it to more schools across the nation. It’s a shame they don’t have it for adults, because they are servilely lacking in these area’s. 

  • Anonymous

    How about teaching pure common decent respect for America, it’s flag, and other people you encounter each day.

  • Anonymous

    I think the problem is that manners are NOT being taught at home.  One doesn’t have to look very hard to come to that conclusion.

    For the record, I was in a program for gifted/talented students when I was in grade school.  Part of our curriculum was etiquette.

  • Anonymous

    How long can it possibly take to teach someone to use the correct fork, six weeks?  LOL!  I guess it’s the same principal as how many people does it take to change a lightbulb. Just hilarious.

  • Anonymous

    THE KIDS, ARE THERE’S AND OUR FEATURES. TO HEAR POSITIVE THINGS GOING INTO THERE FEATURE IS NO LOST. I DON’T THINK YOU WILL FIND ONE TAX PAYER COM PLANTING ABOUT THERE TAX DOLLAR GOING TOWARD BETTERING EDUCATION. THANKS PEARSON FOR PITCHING IN THE IDEAL. I WOULD LIKE TO PITCH IN A IDEAL THAT’S BEEN ON MY MIND FOR QUITE SOMETIME. BEFORE ANY STUDENT STUDENT GRADUATE; THEY MUST TAKE A COURSE IN; LAW ENFORCEMENTS, HIRE A COUPLE OF RETIRED OFFICERS TO CONDUCT THE CLASSES. I’LL TALK WITH MANY KIDS THAT DIDN’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE THINGS IT TAKES TO LAND THEM IN JAIL.    

  • Anonymous

    and other peoples property?

  • Anonymous

    ????????? What the hell?????

  • Anonymous

    I think one of the most important things they need to know is grammer and spelling in order to land a decent job and hopefully stay out of jail.

  • Anonymous

    We know that we do not live in a perfect world, and anytime we can offer something constructive to kids let us do it. After all they are our future!

  • Anonymous

    I looked up MSOPE, here are just a few sample highlights of their program…

    Handshaking for all ages
    The art of Thank-You notes
    Little things we say and do
    Introductions made easy
    Global Dining Protocal
    And let’s not forget the importance of “Limousine Etiquette”

    If these items were incorporated into an existing curriculum for say, social studies, I would not have a problem with it;  but to pay an independent “school” to administer this kind of a program is beyond ridiculous!

  • Anonymous

    That’s what etiquette is.  One doesn’t display good manners to be snooty, snobby or whatever.  One displays good manners out of respect for others.  One dresses well for public out of respect for others.  One learns and uses proper grammar out of respect for others, in this case the readers.  One teaches his children to behave in public out of respect for others.

    Almost every social ill in America can ultimately be traced to disrespect for others, i.e., bad manners and poor etiquette.

  • Anonymous

    Good; I was beginning to think;;;; I was the only one that missed something;;>>  Whew Laud!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Just a hint, it’s grammar.  I agree otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    Minor addition, one teaches his/her children to dress well for public out of respect for others, including pulling their pants up to their waist so they look professional/respectable and can get a job someday.  The respect you get from others is often “earned” and simply impressing your peers does not always fit into that paradigm since they won’t be the ones you wish to get a job from in the future.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds good to me.  It increases the quality of life in the area.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. My bad!

  • Ham Bone

    Led by Mathis, I suppose Rickey Grey will be tea hung the cell phone etiquette portion of the class?

  • Ham Bone

    The kids are our future. To hear positive things going into their future is no loss. I don’t think you will find one tax payer complaining about their tax dollar going toward the betterment of education. Thank you Pearson for coming up with the idea. I would like to offer a recommendation, before graduation from high school, students must complete a law enforcement course taught by retired officers. I talk to many young adults that don’t know how to stay out of jail.

  • Anonymous

    I was about to say the same thing, but I didn’t see the point.
     

  • Anonymous

    C’mon Ham, I’m sure you’ve read the comments on the school board possible tax increase and saw all those commenting against spending on education.  I agree with the LE course.

  • Anonymous

    and the MS flag?

  • Ham Bone

    OSG, I was just offering a translation of Dave07′s post. I do not necessarily agree with those comments.

  • Anonymous

    Day stil gon put on day red bloomers, wite tee shirt, pull dem funny lukin pantzes down to day but, talk like a field hand, and ack lak a fool. This whole thing is another ripoff. If these young idiots didn’t have idiots for parents they would already know this. It came natural for some of us in a proper home setting. If they learn which fork to use they are still going to slap waitresses and steal fake hair. A whole bunch of lowlifes breeding more lowlifes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ida-Tate/765425347 Ida Tate

    sorry boy, put sad to say, proper manners ARE NOT being taught at home! today’s young parents don’t even know proper manners themselves! Unfortunetly a sign of the times! I praise God that a man in our church taught our young men a class on proper manners, how to dress correctly, how to tie a tie, etc; and the boys loved the class, and are becoming better men for it!