INDIANAPOLIS -- Project Perfect Gentleman is a club to teach 4th and 5th grade boys how to be upstanding citizens of society by how they act and how they serve their community. Homecroft Elementary 5th grade teacher, Patrick Blakley, helps run the club.
Some of the things the young men are taught: how to tie a tie, opening and holding the door for people, proper handshakes and how to fold the American Flag.
“My favorite part is how we get to help people out and I love how we get to tie a tie and I love how I got to teach my dad how to tie a tie because it was just funny how he didn't know even though he’s older than me,” said 5th grade student, Korbin Kegg.
The club has taught these young men how to give back to their community.
“In December, they went and bought Christmas presents for Homecroft families in need,” said Blakley. “We were able to buy for over 15 students when we did that.”
"I wanted to help out people because I knew that they did the canned food drive and I knew that they did other things like, how to dress properly and helping kids and I wanted to be a part of that,” said 5th grade student, Conner Higgins.
This past January, the gentlemen did a canned food drive and collected over 2,000 cans of food for Hunger Inc.
In February, Project Perfect Gentleman started a fundraiser called Pennies for Patients. The Homecroft Community came together to help the young men raise over $1,400 in about three weeks. The money was donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“We had one classroom who had over a hundred dollars in change and we had ten boys having to count it all,” Blakley said. “We also like to make it competitive. We offered the winning class a pizza party that Project Perfect Gentleman would provide for them. We try to encourage that competition for charity.”
“Being able to help people out for the canned food drive, I really like that part and the Pennies for Patients because you don’t know what it feels like to be hungry or not be able to have fun so we help them out by doing that,” said Higgins.
The club runs from September to May. At the end of the club’s run, the gentlemen are taken to Columbia Club for a formal dinner and they can put their newfound etiquette skills to the test.
“Columbia Club is a great club because everyone has to dress up and wear a tie when they go in, so it’s a requirement for the boys to go and wear a tie and when they get to be in an atmosphere where everyone is dressed up and looks nice, I think it really shows them what it means to be a gentleman.” said Blakley.