Program teaching boys how to be gentlemen

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan elementary school has come up with a program designed to teach boys how to become gentlemen and community leaders.

The Band of Brothers course recently got underway at Havens Elementary School in Saginaw County’s Swan Valley School District.

The course is open to third through fifth graders and 41 of the students gather, dressed up as little gentlemen.

Teacher Trevor Szafranski came up with the idea.

“I just feel like there are a lot of values that are sort of lost in our society today. There was a time when we held certain values like character, integrity and honesty,” Szafranski said.

The class is not named after the mini-series “Band of Brothers,” which is based on paratroopers in World War II. It was named after a line from Shakespeare’s play Henry V.

Like the real troopers, the kids learn to give each other a hand up.

“I wanted to get involve with something where we can dress nice and have fun with Mr. Szafranski, our teacher,” said Conner Boehoer, student.

“He’s teaching us to be a man, instead of like, just being a kid,” said Sammy Diblasi, student.

“You should be kinder and not mean and bullying,” said Garrett Cwingman, student.

The students attend the class on their own time before school starts. They don’t mind showing up before the bell rings every other Wednesday.

“We’re learning to have integrity and be honest,” said Porter Berden Blakeslee, student.

The principal embraces the class.

“It’s going to impact the culture of our school, the things they are learning about in regards to character, integrity, respect,” Principal Shelly DuRussel said.

Qualities that should follow the young men throughout school and beyond.

The school thinks the program could be a model for other schools across Mid-Michigan.

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