Hidden Valley Elem. believes good manners lead to a better future

SAVAGE, Minn. - Manners are something many parents begin teaching at a very young age, hoping those lessons stay with us throughout our lives.

Along the way, though, little reminders don't hurt.

That's why 6th grade teachers at Hidden Valley Elementary in Savage are putting an emphasis on manners during the holiday season.

It's annual Manner's Banquet.

"It feels kind of classy, not like our lunchroom," said sixth grader Matthew Knox.

"These days it's amazing that people forget what good manners are. So caught up in their little world, they forget others around them," said Bryan Schouten, a parent and executive chef who believes manners are a way to show respect to the people around you, including your family.

Teachers see another reason for teaching their students good manners, and it has to do with jobs. "We have this need to make sure we send our kids out, ready to jobs and know how to shake somebody's hand," said teacher Libby Duethman.

Throughout the fall, students got periodic lessons not only on how to look someone in the eye and shake their hand, but also where their napkin goes, how to eat soup properly, which fork to use and even how to offer up a toast.

It all comes to fruition at the banquet in which parent volunteers serve up apple cider would with pomegranate seeds, dinner rolls and butter, dessert and sparkling cider for toasting. Not only will students be prepared for a business lunch someday, they'll also be able to impress their family around the holiday dining table.


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