Nisley students taught manners and etiquette

Fourth grader Zerek Kuntz practiced using his napkin and polite manners in his classroom at Nisley Elementary School Thursday morning.

Hundreds of school children attended the Grand Junction Symphony’s performance of “Peter and the Wolf” Thursday morning, but not all of those students were taught how to behave while enjoying a night on the town afterward.

The fourth grade students in Dane McCabe’s class at Nisley Elementary were asked to dress appropriately for the performance by wearing dresses, slacks, button-up shirts and ties. The students were taught how to find their seats, sit quietly, as well as when to clap for the performers. 

After the performance, the lesson continued in the classroom where the students were treated to a fine sit-down lunch of spaghetti, bread, salad, and dessert. Their teachers and parent volunteers worked their wait staff.

The classroom scene was set to reflect the ambiance of an upscale restaurant. A crackling fire was displayed on the projector, the lights were turned down, and soft music played in the background. The tables were set with tablecloths and paper flowers.

Student teacher Mike Frazer reminded students to keep their elbows off the table, use their napkins, and keep the table conversation polite and friendly.

“I ain’t up for dessert tonight,” one student said.

“A politer way to say that is ‘none for me , thank you’”, Frazer prompted.

“You have to be polite for two reasons,” said student Jason Wong, “One, so you don’t get kicked out and two, so you remember to be gentle.”

Frazer came up with the idea to expand on the symphony’s field trip and help teach children how they would behave at a ritzy dinner as well.

“I just thought it was a wonderful opportunity to show a high level of respect and I wanted to teach kids about culture,” he said while pouring a drink for student Zerek Kuntz. “Why thank you, um, sir,” Kuntz said.

“When you get full what should you do?” McCabe asked the kids.

“Give it to a homeless guy!” one student shouted. “Noooooo, you ask for a doggy bag,” another suggested.

McCabe said that some of his students may have never had the opportunity to attend an upscale event or eat in an expensive restaurant at night. He hoped this experience would help them know how to behave and feel more comfortable in that situation.







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