On certain Fridays during the spring semester, a group of fifth grade boys at McShan Elementary ditched their brown bag lunches and dined like gentlemen. They were part of a mentoring program called Guys in Ties. Its mission is simple but profound: “To help boys establish self-esteem and respect for others by learning the importance of proper manners, responsible self-conduct, and educational achievement.” Debbie Tunnel of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (PHPC) spearheads the effort.

The lunches (PHPC hosted six total) took place in the school library. Volunteers draped tables with white cloths, laid out centerpieces and arranged silverware. The kids — all of whom were nominated by teachers — were handed small cards upon arrival. These cards revealed the luncheon’s theme — personal grooming, dining etiquette or cultural sensitivity, for example — and included talking points. For the next hour and some odd minutes the kids mingled with each other and their PHPC mentors.

Just recently, Guys and Ties celebrated its first graduating class and the photos (in the gallery above) were too adorable not to share.

Fun fact: the Guys and Ties program was inspired by a similar program at McShan Elementary for young ladies called Girls in Pearls (also the brainchild of PHPC).


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