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An early start on adulthood

For 13 years, students in our nation’s schools are educated on a range of subjects, from math to reading to history the arts.

All of these, of course, are important, imperative courses of study and teachers have a vital role in shaping the future in the work they do in academics.

But, as students get their education, there are some life skills that do not necessarily fall into these categories, but picking them up can lead to better preparation for adulthood.

These can be things like learning how to have a polite conversation, the importance of showing gratitude, life skills like sewing or knowing how to tie a necktie, or basic how-to knowledge that will come up in life, like changing a car’s oil or checking tire pressure.

Ironton Elementary has been offering an afterschool program to help supplement their students’ education in those areas.

David Ashworth, the school’s assistant principal, came up with the idea for the Gentlemen’s Academy, which began last year for students in the fourth and fifth grades.

For two years, boys in the program learn, in addition those topics mentioned, things such as cooking, solving simple plumbing problems and reading maps.

The idea is to teach the boys skills that will be of use to them in adulthood, while also instilling the values of gentlemen.

For the finale of the program this year, the boys will be taken to the Depot restaurant, where will meet with a group of local retired women and get to show what they have learned in a social setting.

The program has proven so popular, Ashworth says a similar Ladies Academy will launch in the next school year.

Those enrolled in the Gentlemen’s Academy have found it of great interest and have enjoyed picking up knowledge that will help them later in life.

The program is a wonderful idea and we look forward to its expansion and hope other schools will consider offering similar lessons to both boys and girls.