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B'ville: Reinforcing dining manners

On Jan. 21 and 28, lunchtime at Elden Elementary became learning time for fifth-graders who were perfecting their dining manners.

Staff and parent volunteers transformed a portion of the school cafeteria into a caf (c), complete with a hostess, wait staff and tables covered with bright red table cloths to provide students with a restaurant dining experience. This is Elden's second year hosting Restaurant Day for its fifth-graders.

Restaurant Day is a project of the school's character education committee. The committee designed the project to reinforce students' proper dining manners.

During the lunch, fifth-graders were expected to say "Please," and "Thank you," as well as sit with napkins on their laps and keep their voices to a proper level. As the students located their assigned tables, boys politely pulled out chairs for their female classmates, who murmured, "Thank you." Staff and parent volunteers acted as wait staff, serving meals, pouring milk and clearing tables. Students feasted on chicken or cheeseburgers.

To provide students with an incentive to use their dining manners, Uno's Chicago Grill gave each fifth-grader a gift certificate to the restaurant.

Jill Doerger pours fifth-grader Mark Dickson a glass of milk at Elden Elementary School's Restaurant Day. Staff members and parent volunteers transformed the school cafeteria into a caf (c) and acted as wait staff to provide students with a special way to practice their dining manners.

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