On Thursday mornings at Knowles Elementary School, it is not uncommon to see a 4th-or 5th-grade student walk into school wearing business professional dress. On Thursday afternoons, Prep Club is held in the school gym, and dressing up is only one of the skills the club teaches its members.

Knowles Prep Club
Austin Prum, P.E. teacher at Knowles Elementary
School, teaches a student to tie a tie.

The Knowles ES Prep Club was established in September by Austin Prum, the school P.E. teacher. Prum said the idea stemmed from the desire to give students firsthand knowledge of certain “respect traits” that are often lost in today’s society.

So far this year, the Prep Club curriculum has included conversational skills including how to shake hands, greet and introduce oneself. The students have learned simple ways to show respect, such as addressing others as “Mr.” and “Miss,” saying please and thank you, and opening doors for others. Furthermore, the students have learned rules of physical presentation, such as using correct posture, how to properly tie a tie, and what it means to dress professionally.

Prum said he has seen examples of Prep Club members exhibiting the skills they have learned throughout the school day and that he hopes the skills they learn in the club will prepare the students to continue to be leaders in real-life situations.