Elementary school club teaches boys to be the 'Perfect Gentleman'

(Photo: Patrick Blakley)
A Ray of Sunshine Perfect Gentlemen
Project Perfect Gentleman
Mastering Manners by Age
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Young boys are on their way to becoming young men, and it's all thanks to a club at Homecroft Elementary School called Project Perfect Gentlemen.

"PG members are held to a higher standard," said fifth grade teacher Patrick Blakley.

PG stands for Perfect Gentlemen.

"Project Perfect Gentlemen is like a club that can make you a better person," said fifth grader Xavier McQueen.

"My goal is to raise young gentlemen," said Blakley, who meets with the club members every other week.

Over the last six years at the school in Perry Township, more than 150 fourth and fifth grade boys have learned what it means to be a gentlemen.

"One of the biggest things we do is how to tie a tie," said Blakley. "It's kind of funny. I never knew how to tie a tie before I taught them, so it was one of those things we learned together."

Blakley said they also teach the boys proper dinner etiquette, how to iron, and how to make breakfast.

"And lastly, we talk about how to treat ladies," said Blakley.

"I open the door for any lady that I see is about to walk through the door," said fifth grader Collin Van Tassle.

This year, week one of Project Perfect Gentlemen fell on Sept. 11. As flags lined the hallways, all the students filed out of the building in silence. Because of Project Perfect Gentlemen, these boys know what the American flag stands for, and like gentlemen, they show respect, gratitude and grace.

"Respect it at all times and not to let it touch the ground on purpose," said McQueen.

"We want these boys to be great members of our society and to be leaders," said Blakley. "I'm always excited to see what they're going to do in the future."

At the end of the year, club members get to go to the Columbia Club in Indianapolis for dinner to put all the skills they've learned to the test.

There's also a club at Homecroft Elementary School for the girls. It's called G.I.R.L.S, which stands for Growing Into Real Ladies, and is also in its sixth year. Fourth and fifth grade girls learn proper table manners, how to cook and how to finger knit a scarf. They give the scarves they make to homeless shelters.

Both clubs also learn the importance of giving back to the community. Each year, the boys and girls help with a food drive and go Christmas shopping for families in need.

The Protocol School of Indianapolis Beverly Randolph shares a list of manners you can work on with your kids:

Ages 3-6

  • Playing well with others
  • Taking turns listening and speaking
  • Table manners

Ages 7-10

  • Being gracious and a good sport
  • Respecting others
  • Boys should open doors for others

Ages 11-13

  • Being a good guest
  • Offering to help with dishes
  • Handwritten "thank you" cards

Ages 14-18

  • Respecting parents and other adults
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