For some York boys, learning how to tie a necktie is the first step toward becoming a leader and understanding what it means to be a gentleman.
York Intermediate School has launched a Character Education “Tie Club,” which encourages fifth and sixth grade boys to wear a tie to school every Tuesday, said Scot Kiggans, teacher and club sponsor.
“It’s to act like a man and show leadership at the school,” said sixth grader Walter Robinson, 12.
The club focuses on building character by fostering qualities such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
“It’s about dressing up, feeling good and showing the characteristics of the club,” Kiggans said. “Walking around the school, it’s really positive to see the kids be proud of being dressed up. They want me to see them with a tie on.”
Sixth grader Robert Duncan, 12, said wearing the tie and being a part of the club means to “show respect to all of the people.”
Also in sixth grade, Tori Rawlinson, 11, said the club is about being a gentleman.
“I can show teachers and everyone else that I’m not just some kid that wants to break the rules, but that I can be respectful,” he said.
The students come together once a month with special guests to learn how to tie a necktie and what it means to dress up and be professional, Kiggans said. The students also learn to be honest, treat others with respect, be kind and give back to their community.
“We want our guys to hold the doors for people, help people out and if they see something on the floor to pick it up,” Kiggans said. “It’s not too early for them to learn these skills and carry them out into the real world when they get older.”
To participate, boys just need to wear a tie to school on Tuesdays. Thanks to donations, the school provides ties to students who many have them, Kiggans said. He said he asked for ties and “the response was overwhelming.”
Kiggans said the school also is working to provide collared, button-up dress shirts for the boys. The club, he said, teaches the students how to carry themselves both in and outside of school.
“I think everyone should be in the Tie Club because it’s not just for fun. It’s a responsibility and you have to be respectful to others and your teachers,” said Damien McCoy, 11. “It’s a priviledge.”
Kiggans said he hopes the students continue the Tie Club into middle and high school. He also hopes to expand the club’s presence at York Intermediate School. Close to 50 students attended the last meeting, Kiggans said, and more students are starting to show interest.
“Being a teacher, it’s a job where you get to make a positive difference every single day,” Kiggans said.
“Tie Club” Qualities
- Trustworthiness - Be honest, don’t cheat or steal, be reliable, have the courage to do the right thing, be loyal
- Respect - Treat others with respect, be accepting of differences, use good manners, be considerate of others, don’t threaten or hurt anyone, deal peacefully with anger
- Responsibility - Do what you are supposed to do, persevere, do your best, use self-control, think before you act, be accountable for your words and actions, set a good example for others
- Fairness - Play by the rules, take turns and share, listen to others, don’t take advantage of others, treat everyone fairly
- Caring - Be kind, show you care, forgive others, help those in need, give thanks
- Citizenship - Help make your community and school a better place, stay informed, get involved, obey laws and rules, respect authority, protect the environment
Compiled from the York Intermediate School “Tie Club” handout.