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Metro students learn etiquette and social skills in the dinner table

Posted at 3:08 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 16:08:18-05

When it comes to the thanksgiving meal, etiquette and table manners are key.  

Students recently got the chance to show off their new etiquette and social skills in a thanksgiving dinner in the classroom.

For weeks, 3rd and 4th grade special needs students at Omaha’s Masters Elementary spent time working on social skills - like hosting - greeting - and proper table skills someday they'll need. 

Teacher Steven Rivas has been leading the lessons and says he wants his kids to master the basics.

“Table setting, sitting up, using knife, using fork, napkin in your lap and basically your basic skills at the dinner table,” Rivas said.

The kids started with the tasks of learning to take care of themselves - hygiene and how to dress.

Then graduated to table manners and the habits of saying please and thank you...  

After that, the lessons got a little more personal

“After that we learned to set a table and how to greet people - how to shake hands, and just the basic life skills they might need moving forward,” Chelsea Hervert said.

Mastering the basics for these students is more than using the right fork.

Learning new social skills is a test to work things out and feel good about it.

Dena Heath sees it in her son.

“For him to be able to speak to people he doesn't know and be as clear as he was was just phenomenal,” she said.

Dena is a little extra thankful this year, she says learning these new skills not only improved her son's behavior, 

But also gave him a sense of self confidence you can't find in a book.

“His behavior overall has improved so much, it’s just, I'm just really blessed that he is here and that he has Mr. Rivas because it’s been that big of an improvement for him,” she said.

And that's a test, is where the lesson far outweighs the grade.