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Distinguished Gentlemen

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On Thursday, boys in a very special local club took several positive steps toward being men their families and community can be proud of.

The boys are students at Anna K. Davie Elementary School and are members of the Distinguished Gentlemen Club, a group that’s sponsored by a local non-profit called Building Positive Families which sends mentors into local schools to guide and interact with boys, teaching them social skills as well as emphasizing the importance of education, hard work and good values.

Thursday’s outing took the boys to the Rome Area History Museum where they learned about history as well as proper dining etiquette and interacting socially in a polite, mannerly way.

Mentors Charles Smith and Ishmael Woods chaperoned the boys on the trip while RAHM Executive Director Leigh Barba, along with Debbie Galloway, Piero Barba and Janet Byington shared a lunch with the boys, while helping them understand proper dining etiquette.

“Today we learned a little bit about history, and we got the opportunity to have the boys set their place at table and learn manners and etiquette,” said mentor coach Charles Smith. “This gives us a chance to help them be better men.”

Smith said mentors also work with parents to help provide an environment for the boys to succeed.

“There’s about 18 to 20 boys in the club right now,” Smith said. “They all attend Anna K. Davie from third to fifth grade. To be in the club they must all demonstrate good behavior and maintain good grades.”

Club members get to go on field trips to various community locations.

“We’ve been to Heritage First Bank,” Smith said. “The boys learned a little about banking and checking and savings accounts. We also went to the Chamber of Commerce. So we’re learning about being men upstanding men in society but the number one thing is being a classy gentleman. How you act will determine the outcome of a situation.”

Smith said the boys are seeing the importance of good behaviour and work hard to maintain membership in the club.

On Thursday, Byington spoke to them about proper etiquette at a meal, about standing when a lady or older gentleman comes to the table and about using kind words when speaking to others.

The RAHM representatives used a Falcons theme for the meal to make it more fun for the club members.

“We had a good time today,” said 11 year old Chris Smith, a fifth grader at Anna K. Davie. “We learned how to set up our plates at the table and we learned how to use our utensils properly. The trips are fun. We get to go places and learn new things.”

Barba said she was happy to host the boys at the history museum and walked from table to table giving the boys tips and reminders about using good manners and speaking politely to friends as well as new acquaintances.

Coach Smith said while the club is only at Anna K Davie Elementary at the moment, mentors may soon be going to other local schools as well.

For additional information about the program, search “Building Positive Families” on Facebook or call 706-346-7205.