Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 2, 2013

Where are your manners?

Students learn proper dinner etiquette at school

— Fifth- and sixth-graders donning dresses and ties sipped lemonade and chocolate milk from goblets this week as they made dinner conversation with dignitaries.

School counselor Kelsey Daluga clapped and smiled as she watched the Manners Meal at Howard Elementary School wind down.

“They’re so good,” she said. “They’re waiting for the rest of their table to eat their ice cream.”

Howard and Northwestern elementary schools have been holding the meal for years. Parents and teachers say kids today need to know how to behave during a business dinner and make conversation with important people, said Daluga, who organized this year’s meal.

“It’s an art that’s not taught anymore,” Daluga said. “They don’t learn it anywhere else.”

Kids this week sat napkins carefully in their laps. Boys pulled out chairs for the girls who sat next to them. Children talked quietly to the person next to them while making sure their elbows never touched the tables.

That’s a far cry from what a typical school lunch looks like. Students are normally eating with their hands or yelling across the table to their friends, Daluga said.

“Kids could use a reminder about manners every once in a while,” she said.

Learning the art of etiquette is no easy task, though.

Students were quizzed on their knowledge of eating utensils. Which fork do you use for a salad? Which spoon do you use to eat soup?

That may have been the hardest lesson for students to learn, the counselor said. But making conversation with local businessmen and dignitaries came in at a close second.

Students bugged Daluga for days about which community members would serve as the heads of their tables.

They didn’t find out until the day of their meal. But Daluga armed them with a paper full of potential conversation starters they could use if they didn’t know what to say.

The students sat down for a meal with teachers, school board members, city employees, a financial advisor, a business woman and even the mayor.

Some of them were nervous.

Eric Grzegorski, a financial advisor and deputy prosecutor, said his group seemed nervous at first.

“It was probably a little intimidating to be all dressed up like that,” he said.

Eventually the students warmed up — even the ones sitting with the mayor.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight chatted with the children about their school’s student council and about spring break plans.

Daluga said it was a valuable exercise for the future. They need to know how to talk to adults and make good impressions.

“They could be working for one of these people some day,” she said.

Family and Consumer Science teacher Renee Hullinger quizzed her table of students on etiquette practices.

She asked them how they would pass the salt and pepper to her and how they would eat a roll.

“You don’t put the whole roll in your mouth,” she said. “You tear off a little piece.”

Students said this was the biggest and fanciest meal they’ve ever had at school. They were served salads, rolls, sweet and sour chicken, green beans, rice and rainbow sherbet ice cream.

Fifth-grader Alexander Leicht said the meal was fun, but he probably wouldn’t use what he learned — at least for five years.

Grzegorski laughed about that.

“It’s never too early to talk with kids about how to behave and have a discussion at dinner,” he said.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

  • Gary Rhum bringing music lessons to Catholic school Rhum Academy of Music's owner is set to give all students at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School music lessons next year as part of the school's curriculum. When Gary Rhum talks about why he loves to teach kids music, the long-time performer and instru

    July 28, 2014

  • The Annex 01 Move-in date approaching at The Annex of Kokomo A new apartment complex catering to Indiana University students is ready for occupancy. Some students will be able to move into The Annex of Kokomo, located across the street from the IUK campus on Washington Street, as early as Aug. 1, while the maj

    July 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zone requests from Functional Devices. At Monday's regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan d

    July 28, 2014

  • Teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers heading back to classrooms starting this week are facing the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that's been retooled for the third time since 2009. Some teachers and district administrator

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 - Maconaquah celebrates 50 years - CLG Maconaquah alumni return to celebrate school's 50th anniversary Many fond memories were shared recently as 50 years of Maconaquah graduates gathered to celebrate as many years of Maconaquah High School history.But for all the reminiscing that took place, there was an equal amount of well wishes for “the next 50 y

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spirits high at Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY – Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast. Brickyard 400 race day dawned with rain and fog, and the sun broke through the clouds at mid-morning. Fans expected the race to

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS - KT072614 - Five Below Grand Opening - pic Five Below opening draws crowds

    Mary Martin is the director of marketing and business development for Markland Mall and, with four grandchildren, she's also a consumer looking for cost-effective deals which still leave her — and the kids — feeling satisfied. Martin was able to purc

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mud battle 01 Mud Battle at Oakbrook Church challenges participants

    Challenges are nothing knew to Army Specialist Anthony Walton. An Afghanistan veteran, who was injured in 2011, Walton has endured some of the worst conditions imaginable. While in Afghanistan, Walton was shot more than 30 times in his left arm durin

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries