A new program launched at Middlebranch Elementary School in Canton has many people in the community talking because the boys involved in “Guys with Ties” impress pretty much everyone they meet.

For the second year in a row, once a month, 50 third grade boys put on a mint colored tie and dress shirt to learn what it means to be a gentleman in a program called “Guys with Ties.”

Kent Hamilton, a physical education teacher at Middlebranch Elementary School, started “Guys with Ties.”

The program’s motto is “look good, feel good, do good.” The students are taught to act professionally at all times.

“In each of our meetings, our students give up their lunch and their recess, and we have a different topic each meeting – dining etiquette to goal setting, community service – treating others with respect,” describes Hamilton.

On the day that Cleveland 19 visited, the boys learned how to do a proper handshake and how to write a thank you note.

“I think it’s fun because, like we get to learn how to tie a tie and be a gentleman, and like open up doors for ladies and stuff,” said Tristan Wofford, one of the “Guys with Ties.”

The kindness is apparently contagious.

“It’s been neat to see the trickle-down effect as our third grade boys are walking around and opening up doors, you see a kindergartner or first grader do the same thing, and they’ll open a door,” said Hamilton.

But what may be even more profound is how learning to be a gentleman on the outside affects how you feel on the inside.

When asked how he felt when he was dressed nicely and learning how to treat people well, another “Guys with Ties” participant, Jimmy Zurbuch, said “just good in general.”

Already, the “Guys with Ties” program has been so successful that at least two other area elementary schools are starting their own “Guys with Ties” program.

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