Christian Heritage promotes manners

— During Christian Heritage School's manners and etiquette week, first grader Kiana Chapman learned that playing with all kinds of children is important.

"I learned to always play with kids, even if you don't know them even if they're from a different world," Chapman said.

As Chapman's two-year-old brother, Cormick, made airplane noises and called out for his "sissy," Chapman was one step behind telling her brother to be quiet while the other people were on stage.

"Cormick, be quiet. Shhh," Chapman said holding her index finger to her mouth, leading by example.

Chapman and other elementary school students at Christian Heritage School ended the manners and etiquette week with performances and a tea party for their invited guests.

First- through sixth-grade classes at Christian Heritage presented their guests with tea, dessert and entertainment, demonstrating their new-found lessons in proper behavior.

Fourth-grade teacher Lauri Bradt said learning manners usually isn't fun but the students seemed to really enjoy it.

"It needs to be explained why you act differently when you're out to dinner or just eating with your family," Bradt said. "Some parents don't teach their kids manners and we want to promote respect."

Jordan and Connor Bernard sat with their mother, Deb, eating cake and drinking punch and talking about the manners they learned this week.

"We learned greeting someone and introducing someone," said Jordan, a fourth grader. "You always introduce the older person and you always introduce the girl first. If it's a boy and a boy or a girl and a girl it doesn't matter who goes first."

"That's more than your mother knew on that," Deb said.

Connor said he's learned about dressing appropriately at the dinner table and when to say "please" and "thank you."

Although Deb said she tries to accentuate these manners at home, she's even learned a little herself.

"Some things I didn't even know enough to teach them. This is a good (re)enforcement," Deb said. "It's worth it. This is a good thing."

About 200 guests and students gathered in the cafeteria for a special performance by each class on specific manners.

"Each class will do a song, poem or skit on a certain manner they've learned this week," Bradt said. "For instance, my class is doing a skit on introductions."

Manners taught included table and eating etiquette, conversation and phone manners and introduction manners, among many others.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students handed out programs, sat their guests and served dessert.

While guests were eating and sipping tea, the first-grade class performed a song about manners, the fourth-grade class presented a skit on introductions, the second-grade class offered a poem titled "Super Manners," the third-grade class did a rap and skit on phone manners and the fifth- and sixth-grade classes ended the presentation with a skit on table manners.

This was the second year Christian Heritage students have presented a tea party to guests in order to demonstrate the manners they've learned throughout the week.

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