Rocklin sixth-graders polish their manners with etiquette class

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Rocklin Elementary sixth-graders got a taste of etiquette Monday evening. They can now distinguish between a salad fork and a dinner fork and know the magic of using “please” and “thank you.” For sixth-grader Ashlynn Besicka, she said the classes have taught her the importance of manners at the dinner table. “So when you grow up, you’re not hanging a fancy spoon from your nose,” she said. With napkins in their lap and dressed in semi-formal attire, the students took what they learned in the classroom and applied it to a real-life setting. A three-course dinner at Rubino’s Ristorante in Rocklin was the backdrop for their “test.” “We learned how to eat properly at the table,” sixth-grader Nicole Dominguez said. No elbows on the table, how to place silverware on the plate to let wait staff know you’re finished, and using the correct fork for the entrée, were all things students practiced. “It teaches etiquette rules that kids just never knew,” said Rocklin Elementary sixth-grade teacher Gloria Chesbro. Rocklin Elementary principal Jim Trimble said the program has been going strong for six years now. This year it included a visit from Nordstrom representatives where students learned about proper attire and the importance of sunscreen and lotions. Rubino’s Ristorante staff also taught students how to set a formal table and about table manners. “I think every sixth-grader should have etiquette classes,” Trimble said. The program seemed to benefit students, who said they impressed their parents with what they learned. For Nick Vaillancourt, he said he might become the designated table-setter at his house. He also said he sees how this new-found knowledge will help him later in life, “so people don’t think you’re a slob and you get a job one day,” he said. The voluntary etiquette program at Rocklin Elementary is held at the end of the school year.