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Students get breakfast, etiquette lesson

A dozen Hugh Bish Elementary fifth-graders were treated to a special "formal" hot breakfast and lessons in etiquette and leadership Friday morning. 

It was the first in a series of Lawton Public Schools Child Nutrition's "Breakfast With the Principal" events, said Steve Dyer, general manager of Sodexo/LPS Child Nutrition, explaining that it is the principal who decided which children will attend. 

"It's the principal's agenda ... We are just trying to provide an atmosphere that is nice, upscale, something totally distinct."

Hugh Bish Principal Sherry Havron used the opportunity to honor her fifth-grade students who are members of Noble Knights, which teaches and encourages leadership skills in fourth- and fifth-graders. 

As the students filed into the teacher's lounge, they were met with something totally distinct  small centerpieces graced each tablecloth-covered table, and plants decorated the room, courtesy of Bedrock Nursery. 

Once they were seated, cafeteria manager and chef Teresa Whitley, dressed in a chef's uniform rather than her normal white cafeteria uniform, served each a plate full of cheesy scrambled eggs, a biscuit, sausage patty, juice and milk. On a side table, small containers of peanut butter, a plate holding fresh bananas and small bowls of brown sugar and cinnamon sugar were set out for the students to use.

"This is the first time I ever get to serve you sugar," Whitley said, who enjoyed making a hot breakfast for the children. Although all students in the district have access to a free breakfast each day, most of the students eat in their classrooms rather than the cafeteria, which limits the ability to serve hot meals. 

When students are served meals at school, the students cannot add additional sugar or salt to their meals. The proper, nutritional balance of salt or sugar are already in the food, Dyer said. 

Before anyone took a bite, Havron told the students about when Child Nutrition used to have a fine dining event at what is now Douglass Learning Center and how the students would learn dining etiquette.

Under Havron's direction, the three male students practiced how to pull a chair out for their female classmates at the beginning of the meal.

"It doesn't mean your somebody's boyfriend; it is just a gentlemen's gesture," Havron said to the boys. 

Then they eagerly dug into their meals. While they were eating, Havron, Whitley and Donna Newkirk , a Noble Knight sponsor, talked to them about etiquette and leadership skills. 

Near the end of the meal, Whitley showed the students how and where to place their knives and forks together on the plate to indicate they were finished eating. 

The Lawton Constitution

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