An elementary school teacher in Charleston, South Carolina is making the news for something very positive he is doing for a group of at-risk, predominantly black boys.
According to Live 5 News, a local Charleston media channel, Memminger Elementary, a downtown primary school has a class called the Gentleman’s Club, which teaches young boys the fundamentals of being a mannerable and respectful young man.
Raymond Nelson is the teacher of this class and he is the student support specialist at Memminger Elementary. Nelson meets with about 60 boys each Wednesday to teach his class, which offers instruction on valuable life lessons in addition to attitude etiquette.
Nelson told Live 5 News that he came up with the idea to implement this class into the curriculum over the most recent winter break. The motto he came up with for the Gentleman’s Club is simple: Look good, feel good, do good. Every week, the boys show up in their best church clothes ready to learn.
“They like the reaction of walking up to classrooms and say ‘oh you look so nice and handsome,’ they just love it,” Nelson said in his exclusive interview with Live 5 News. Nelson even donates suits, vests and ties to less fortunate students who don’t have nice church clothes to wear.
“I was thinking maybe if I have the boys dress for success,” Nelson said in his interview. “When was the last time you saw someone fighting in a tuxedo?” he continued.
The Gentleman’s class teaches simple but important people skills, such as making eye contact when you speak to someone, opening doors for people, and giving a proper handshake. Nelson also said that his mother put him in a similar class when he was a young boy.
Nelson developed the class with the boys in mind who don’t have a solid male figure in their household. “I know a lot of them struggle because a lot of them don’t have men at home, so I just want them to grow up and think of the things that I teach them,” he said.
So far, the Gentleman’s Club at Memminger Elementary has been very successful. The class has inspired the Charleston County School Board to develop similar classes at other elementary public schools across the district.
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