Nelson County, Virginia
Afton Christian School students enjoy etiquette luncheon
By Yvette Stafford
The most important lesson teacher Kimberly Gale will teach today is a lesson on etiquette.
“I just came to realize that having good manners at a table actually makes me feel more comfortable in a formal dinner setting than uncomfortable because I know what I am doing,” Gale explained just minutes before dozens of students at Afton Christian School  sat down for the school’s Etiquette Luncheon, held on Valentine’s Day.
Wearing a white and black striped dress and a bright red shawl, Gale is using this lunch break to reinforce the importance of table manners.
As the kids file into the cafeteria, staffers and volunteers pour lemonade into their cups, which sit to the right of the plate for those of us whose manners may be a little rusty.
“If you start from the outside you work your way in,” Gale reminds the students as they settle into their seats. “You start with the outside spoon, which is the soup spoon, and the outside fork which should be the salad fork and you just work your way into the plate for the various courses.”
The first of which is a piece of chicken. It’s then followed up with a soup course.
“Scoop away from you,” Gale reminds her students.
Then on to a fruit salad.
“Use your knife to cut, then switch your fork to your other hand,” she advises.
Not every child is polishing off their plate, and that’s okay, Gale says.
“Let’s try for three bites.”
But some kids are already scanning the room for the next course, a meat or vegetarian dish, to be capped off with a dessert tart. As well as these children are behaved, you would think they were born knowing how to set a table.
It’s the kind of thing any parent can fall in love with.