Etiquette classes offered to Steamboat youths |

Etiquette classes offered to Steamboat youths

Jack Weinstein

First-grader Abigail Linner draws Tuesday afternoon during Molly Manners, an etiquette program that teaches manners and social skills.

— In the past few weeks, Soda Creek Elementary School first-grader Abigail Linner said she's picked up a few things, such as learning to set the table and saying "please" and "thank you."

Abigail said her manners have improved since she started attending Molly Manners, an etiquette program offered for a half-hour Tuesday afternoons at the Igloo at Howelsen for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

"I decided it would be good for her to hear it from somebody else, not from me," said her mom, Laurel Linner. "It's good for her to hear what the manners are and for her to think it's not just me giving her the rules."

Molly Hayes, who founded Molly Manners in spring in Tampa, Fla., brought it to Steam­boat Springs when her family moved to town in July.

She said the program teaches manners, etiquette and social skills. The classes are interactive, with children playing games, role-playing and making crafts, Hayes said. She said they're light and fun, not stuffy.

For instance, the kindergartners and first-graders talked Tues­­day about table etiquette and how to set the table.

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"Manners are not all about which fork to use," said Hayes, who has taught at just about every level. "I think manners are about treating others with consideration and respect and includes yourself. If you learn those things at an early age, it helps you feel comfortable in social situations when you know what to do."

She added, "This type of character education are skills that really last a lifetime."

Molly Manners is offered through the city of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Rec­reational Services Depart­ment's Afterschool Action program, which costs $10 per day.

Alexis Wolf, Steamboat's youth program coordinator, said Hayes approached the city about offering the program. Wolf said it's one of several Art, Socialization, Sports, Education and Teamwork Clubs. They are offered as part of Afterschool Action at an additional cost. Molly Manners costs $110 for eight weeks.

Wolf said the clubs are designed to get youths interested in extracurricular activities available in Steamboat, such as gymnastics, snowshoeing, ice skating and karate. She said Molly Manners has been well received.

"We've been doing it for two sessions," Wolf said. "It's been really successful."

Like Abigail, Laurel Linner said she thinks Molly Manners is making a difference.

"I think she's learning," Laurel Linner said. "It's just applying it. That's the biggest thing."

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or e-mail

If you go

■ For more information about Molly Manners, go to or call Molly Hayes at 970-819-8026.

■ For more information about After­school Action and Art, Socialization, Sports, Education and Teamwork Clubs, go to or call Alexis Wolf at 970-879-4300.

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