Quote: Keep Their Feet on the Ground

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

– Abigail Van Buren

Dear Abby is absolutely right and her thought can even be applied to adults. Responsibility gives us a sense of purpose that makes an opportunity to build genuine self-esteem.

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Quote: For a Stranger

Another time, I opened a door for a stranger.

– Ethan Collins, SAA Student

DoorKnobIn order to ensure that we are making a difference to the families that we serve, we ask for feedback on how students are using the skills that we teach. When asked how he used what he learned in Social Arts 101, Mr. Collins said that he helped a lady with her chair and opened a door for a stranger. These are two pretty simple acts, nice things, things that required attention to the needs of others.

Kudo’s to Mr. Collins for not perpetuating the self-centered stereotype of adolescents! We are happy to be a part of developing your awareness of  others.

Quote: Handshaking Skills

I started using my social skills the first few days of 7th grade. Lots of new friends to make! I got a lot of new teachers. I was very polite, and use my hand shaking skills.

-Sam Castellano, SAA Student

schoolThe first days of school can make a student nervous. From this quote, it is evident that Sam was able to use the skills he learned in Social Arts 101 to make that time easier.

One of the first ideas that we look at in Social Arts 101 is why manners are important and how etiquette helps us in life. All Social Arts Atlanta students learn that manners are not a scary, over-the-top set of rules meant to trip you up but are a simple way to treat people with honesty, courtesy and respect which make life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

Quote: How Well I Introduced Myself

I was introduced to a co-worker of my Father’s and when I shook his hand, I had a firm shake and I used eye contact. After I shook his hand, he commented on how well I introduced myself.

-Erin Iverson, Peer Chaperon

IntroduceMySelfA firm hand shake and eye contact are two elements of a good introduction that are taught in Social Arts 101 and continue to be practiced in Social Arts 102.

Introductions are first impressions and a genuine and confident presence is very important. Knowing the skills (hands web to web, make eye contact and three firm and gentle pumps) and practicing them is a sure way to a good first impression even in an uneasy situation.

Quote: The Best Thing is the Atmosphere

I think the best thing is the atmosphere that you provide. It is comfortable and easier to learn new things in a place like this.

-Erin Iverson, Pear Chaperon

GoalsDuring the first lesson of Social Arts 102, the students were asked to give feedback about the best part of taking 101. Ms. Iverson who acts as a Peer Chaperon for Social Arts Atlanta chose to participate in the activity and wrote the quote above. We are grateful for her compliment.

One of the goals of all of Social Arts Classes is to create an environment where students feel comfortable to learn, make mistakes, practice and improve without feeling judged or belittled. From the response we received from Ms. Iverson, we are reaching this goal.

Quote: Better Conversations

I remember noticing a difference in my conversations after the class…my general conversation has improved.

-Kiera McManus, SAA Student

conversationThis quote is from a student who attended Social Arts 101. She gave us great feedback about attending the class and is now part of our Social Arts 102 group. During the first session of 102, we asked that the students write responses to the following.

Tell us a story of how you used your 101 skills.

What was the best thing about 101 and what was missing?

What social skill would you like to improve during 102?

She let us know that she liked learning about making introductions and asked that we do more practice of dining skills. She requested that we make sure to work on conversation skills during 102. What is good about Ms. McManus’ responses is that she is looking forward to practicing more during 102 and improving on what she has already learned.

News: Worth the Wait

EyeContactSocial Arts Classes started the Winter/Spring Semester on Friday, January 29, 2016. This postponed class, turned out to be worth the wait. Social Arts Atlanta (SAA) welcomed new families to Social Arts 101 and caught up with returning families during 102.

Three Pumps Please – The middlers of Social Arts 101 learned how to use good posture to sit and stand, how to execute a good handshake and the skills needed to introduce themselves to others. During a roll playing game, each student had his/her time to practice, make mistakes and improving with coaching, “only three pumps, please.” At the end of the lesson, the chairs were put to the sides and the Box Step was learned. Everyone tried to have a good dance frame, “gentlemen, extend that left arm” and all toes remained intact.

What Brings You Here? – We welcomed returning student during Social Arts 102. The group took some time to review the important parts of introductions, public right of way and gave SSA feedback on how they have used their skills from 101 and what they would like to make sure to cover in 102. The majority of the lesson focused on learning conversation skills; managing anxiety and the value of open ended questions, “what brings you here?” Roll playing was used to apply the concepts and everyone agreed that this was a topic that need attention in future lessons.

New Students Welcome – SAA is able to welcome new students to either Social Arts 101 or 102, if the student can attend a make-up lesson on Friday, February 12, 2016. Please contact Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin at socialartsatl@gmail.com for complete details.

Summer Fun with SAA – June may seem far away, but SAA is planning fun and exciting programs for ages 11-15 during this month. On The Town will be offered the week of June 20th. This day camp includes a morning lesson, a different dining experience every day and an excursion to a public site, all via public transportation. The camp will make the City of Atlanta your child’s class room!

Social Arts 101 Short Term will give students the opportunity to learn all the important lessons of 101 in a two-day format. This program will give tweens and teens with busy school year schedules a chance to learn in a compressed format and give the friend of a current student the chance to catch up to attend Social Arts 102 during the next semester with his/her buddy.

SAA is also developing an Interview Workshop. This will be a one day class to get tweens and teens ready for their first jobs and those all-important internships and college interviews.

Never Miss a Manners Message – In addition to news about classes, SAA also shares information about manners and etiquette on our blog and Facebook, sharing quotes and posts by others and also giving our own “two cents” on topics we think are important and interesting. Please take a moment to “like” us on Facebook, follow our blog by clicking the WordPress icon on the right of the page above our mailing list and add your name to our email list by following this link.

Manners matter and giving students the chance to practice etiquette in a supportive and fun way will give them the skills to meet success both professionally and personally.