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Buffalo students learn more about minding meal manners

October 28, 2016 GMT

Fifth-graders get lesson on etiquette during special dining event Thursday

What’s the difference between a salad fork and a regular fork? Fifth-graders at Buffalo Elementary got a lesson on this and other matters of etiquette on Thursday.

Larry Young, child nutrition director for SODEXO, taught the students about table manners during a short training session. SODEXO employees then served lunch, during which the students practiced these skills. SODEXO is the North Platte Public Schools’ food vendor.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with the kids,” Young said. “It’s a good idea to teach them about saying please and thank you, how to handle food they don’t care for” and other polite dining procedures.

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Charlotte Tomlinson said the students learned about things you should do as well as things that weren’t appropriate.

“Like it’s not polite to yell across the room to talk to other people,” she said.

Ashlynn Weigel, who was eating lunch with Charlotte, added that spitting out food is impolite too, even if you don’t like it.

Ian Caudy said they also learned how to react in certain situations.

“We talked about what to do if [the servers] bring your food out too fast,” if the next course is served before you’ve finished the previous one, he said.

Young said this project started in schools in a high-poverty area. But schools are finding that many kids, in poverty or not, can benefit from this training. Ideally, he said they would share this program at all elementary schools.

“There are many kids who just don’t know how to act in a pubic setting,” Young said.

Students this age may find themselves in public settings more often, he added, so fifth grade is a great time for them to start learning.

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