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DMES’ Beau Tie Club teaches positive behaviors

Posted: October 4, 2013 5:02 p.m.
Updated: October 7, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Doby’s Mill Elementary School (DMES) not only produces students with brains, but now it’s sending some students to middle school with dashing good looks as well.

The school recently started a Beau Tie Club, after DMES Principal Ginger Catoe talked to Dr. James Thompson, of Columbia’s Hand Middle School, which has a similar club. When DMES Assistant Principal Michael Manning transferred to the DMES from Blaney Elementary School, Catoe thought Manning would be the perfect person to start the club.

Manning said the club fits in perfectly with the schools Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. This is Manning’s second year at DMES and the program is growing he said. Currently, the Beau Tie Club is made up of fourth- and fifth-grade students. In January, Manning hopes to open the club to third-graders, as the younger siblings of some of the current members have expressed interest.  

The Beau Tie Club is broken into six sessions this year, giving students the chance to earn up to six bow ties; each session is six to eight weeks. The 14 members of the Beau Tie Club must earn a certain number of checks in one session to earn a bow tie. Students get checks for behavior, academics and adhering to various classroom rules. Teachers, who recommend young men to be in the club, give checks depending on how students behaved that day. In the mornings, the students check in with Manning and the students check out in the afternoon to discuss how they preformed that day. Not every club member will earn all six bow ties, but the club is set up like a karate class, Manning said. If a student doesn’t get the bow tie for the second session, for example, they will work toward earning it in the third session.

Faculty support of the program has been “tremendous;” teachers recommend students who may benefit from a mentor who is not a family member, Manning said, although students must have parental permission to participate. Students feel better about themselves as they work toward earning the bow ties, he said.

“The kids are excited when they get checks. We take the time to reflect on why (they did) or why they didn’t get a check that day; talking about it is important,” he said.

The club, which Manning compared to a small fraternity, even has a special handshake, which also makes the students feel like they are a part of special club.

Catoe said Manning and DMES guidance counselor Christa Jeter have done a “phenomenal job” with the club members.

“I have been very impressed with how these young people have worked hard to achieve their goals so that they can earn their bow ties. It is such a great treat to see them wear their bow ties to school!” Catoe said.

Manning said he looks forward to expanding the club and hosting a “Bow Tie” day, so that any DMES student who wants to wear a bow tie can do so. He is also hoping to get bow-tie wearing members of the Kershaw County community to teach the boys how to tie a bowtie in the near future. Manning said the Beau Tie Club is open to bowtie donations and men who want to mentor the students and/or help facilitate future field trips for the club.

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