Audubon Elementary fifth-grader Greg Hare was getting tired of schoolmates who wouldn’t say thank you.
So when teachers at Audubon decided to make good manners mandatory, Greg understood their reasoning.
“Sometimes I serve in the lunch line,” he said. “And some kids say, `No thank you,’ when they don’t want something. Others say, `No way,’ and that’s rude.”
Everyone at Audubon, including teachers, is getting an eight-week course in manners, pleasantries and tips on interpersonal communication.
The message that underlies good manners is respect for people.
“When I’m treated politely,” fifth-grader Ryan Damron said, “I feel like I am more of a person.”
“Good morning” will start a day off better than a mumbled “Hi,” teachers say. Words like “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me,” let teachers know that students are thinking about other people’s feelings.
“Having good manners should just make students feel good inside,” counselor Maureen Snyder said.
Each week teachers introduce a new manner to students. Usually the manners are a review, but for some kids they are new.
Fifth- and sixth-graders have more sophisticated understandings of the reasons behind the manners than kindergartners and first-graders. Each class spends an hour each week with Snyder to talk about difficulties with manners and communication .
“I think kids live up to your expectations,” she said. “So if you expect them to be mannerly, then they will be.”
Lately students seem a little more friendly at school. Recess rings with as many statements of “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” as a tea party. Teachers say there are fewer hurt feelings and they like that. So do many students.
“Kids are being nicer to each other,” fifth-grader Holly Northcutt said.
A nose for `Cyrano’
The Spokane Civic Theatre cast of “Cyrano de Bergerac” spent Tuesday teaching Rogers High School sophomores about drama.
Two actors in costume and Jack Phillips, the play’s director, conducted the workshops. They discussed playing characters of different time periods and they practiced fencing on stage.
Almost 600 students attended the workshop, which was held in the Roger auditorium throughout the day.
“The workshop is geared to the sophomore class because that’s the grade level that reads `Cyrano’,” said Kris Freeland, an English teacher and the school’s drama director.
“We’re just lucky that Civic is doing `Cyrano’.”
Skills Center commerials
Cable television viewers are getting a look inside the Spokane Skills Center.
A series of commercials featuring the center’s vocational training programs is running on 40 cable TV channels.
The commercials are sponsored by a handful of area businesses, organized by Cox Cable. Every three months through 1995, the businesses will sponsor 30-minute news magazines about specific training programs the center offers.
Counselor Todd Homa says the commercials are a breakthrough for the center.
“The Skills Center and our students working on different training programs will be shown across the air waves constantly,” he said.
Run by Spokane School District 81, the center at N4141 Regal gives vocational training to high school students from 23 area districts.
Participating businesses include: A&B; Printing, Bert Shields Auto Supply, U.S. Bankcorp, Olivetti North America, Washington Water Power, Humanix Temporary Services, Sylvan Learning Centers and Arby’s restaurants.