Boys With Purpose

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Several boys at Lamar Elementary are trading an after school sports practice to learn some basic, proper etiquette. 
 
They call it "Boys With Purpose" and the purpose is to train young boys to become young men.
 
"Why did you want to be in the club? To learn manners," 3rd grader Luis Ortiz said.
 
Ortiz is among the ten young men involved in Lamar Elementary's Boys With Purpose club. 
 
3rd grade reading teacher Robert Maxwell said "The club is about just learning leadership skills, grooming, manners and things like that, how to wear a suit, how to tie a tie." 
 
Maxwell is the club sponsor. He says he got the idea for the club after seeing a news report about the original group of kids who made up a club in South Carolina.
 
"I'll be completely honest, I didn't really learn how to tie a tie until basic training, so, I found out that I was one of the ones who was like you're kidding and I didn't know how to tie a tie," Maxwell said.  "So we actually started that. That was one of the first thing that we did and afterwards when they were asking why, I was like, not only is this a skill you need to know in your later years, it's also a practice in following directions." 
 
So for an hour each Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Maxwell gathers his 10 young men and teaches them proper etiquette, like how to properly shake someone's hand....Learn about leadership and  the meaning of integrity.
 
"Doing the right thing while nobody's watching," Ortiz.  
 
The young men also wear a green band around their wrist as a reminder...
 
"Greatness is a choice. It means that if you join the boys with a purpose, you're going to learn manners, be respectful," Ortiz.  
 
"It's up to them how well they want to do and we'll get them as far as they want but all they have to give us is their best effort. If we know they gave their best and they know they gave their best then we're good with that," Maxwell.
 
Right now, the club is limited to 10 young men  but it could grow. Maxwell says he's already had several students interested in joining in after seeing what it's done for the boys who are participating right now.
 
"I've got several who said I just want to learn how to be a gentleman, and I was like well, we can work on that," Maxwell.
 
Maxwell said the club is basically made up of several third to fifth graders.
 
He also said it's not a requirement for the young men to dress up in their Sunday's best because it can get pretty expensive but anyone is welcome to help out by simply calling the front office.
 

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