Johnny Morgan, Hebert, Lanette G.
Remembering the proper fork to use and knowing when to begin eating at a formal dinner were just a few of the lessons learned by 4-H members who attended the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H University educational program recently on the LSU Baton Rouge campus.
More than 1,500 youth from across the state attended the annual event during the last week of June to compete and to learn.
Kimberly Jones, LSU AgCenter 4-H program development specialist, said the 25 youth who participated in the seven-hour etiquette training session learned much more than which fork to use for the salad.
“In addition to the traditional etiquette topics, we wanted to make sure that we covered technology,” she said. “We covered cell phone etiquette, email etiquette and social networking.”
Jones said with the new technologies youth are using more regularly, she sees a greater need for etiquette training because these experiences are all new to youth as well as adults.
“We felt that it was important to bring the fundamentals back. To teach them proper etiquette in these different areas,” Jones said.
Lanette Hebert, 4-H regional coordinator, said the etiquette training was a good way for the youth to prepare for the real world.
“There will be many opportunities to use the training they are receiving here, and we just want to thank all who helped to make it possible,” she said.
Tanqueneisha Williams, a 10th-grade student at Minden High School, said this was her second year at 4-H University, and she found the session was very informative.
“I learned about proper appearance and how important it is to speak correctly and to dress correctly for certain occasions,” Williams said. “We also learned how you should act in a restaurant and what you should do at an interview.”
Chelsea Smith, a 10th-grade student from Bossier Parish, said she learned in the session that personal appearance is everything.
“We learned that within three minutes people have already formed an opinion of you,” Smith said. “This is really good information to pass on to others, especially how to act at a dinner table.”
Lynette Jensen, from Jefferson Davis Parish, said she wanted her 13-year-old daughter to get some pointers on how to act in social situations.
“My daughter, Loryn, has autism, so this is helping her to be more social with other people,” Jensen said. “Sometimes it’s better to have an adult other than mom give you instructions.”
After the classroom instruction, the youth put their training into practice at a formal luncheon at the Faculty Club on the LSU campus.
“I believe overall, this was a really good experience for the youth, and it is something that we can develop into an even stronger program,” Jones said. “Other areas covered in the training were friendship and dating, interviewing skills and how one should conduct themselves in public milestone events like graduation, weddings and funerals.”Johnny Morgan