Guys with Ties and Girls with Pearls

Guys with Ties and Girls with Pearls

October Gazette

tie imagepearl necklace image

At Shady Spring Elementary School

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once said, “Good manners will open doors that the best of education will not.”  Mrs. Carver, School Counselor, and the faculty and staff at Shady Spring Elementary believe the same.  That is why the Guys with Ties and Girls with Pearls program was created. The program is designed to instill these values and life-skills in Shady Spring Elementary 4th and 5th grade students.  Students who participate attend monthly after-school meetings. At the after school meetings, students will get ready for their future careers by learning good manners, practicing civility, and learning about topics such as basic etiquette, table manners, effective communication, how to give a speech, and etiquette rules from cultures around the world (presented by parents).They also have fun and have positive interactions with other children.  Students are required to attend 6 of the 8 meetings and are asked to dress up on monthly meeting days. The staff volunteers are working to instill personal responsibility and respect in all of our students, and attendance and positive behavior is a form of responsibility. Parents are asked to remind their students that they’ve made a commitment.  Girls wear their own pearls, or a string of pearls provided by Mrs. Carver.   Boys wear ties, and are given the opportunity to borrow one from the vast selection in Principal Ken Dunaway’s office.  Students learn to tie a tie, and have plenty of opportunity to practice during monthly meetings and our Tie Twister contests.

This is the sixth year for this very successful program which currently has 100 fourth and fifth grade students participating.  Fifth grade students who are in the program for a second year are known as “Ladies and Gents.”


Each month a Gazette is sent home with the students which includes information about the skills that were taught that month as well as important announcements and a Kids’ Corner section with a contest, puzzles and cartoons.

Last year the committee started a special recognition entitled, “The Queen’s Court and the Knights’ Table.” In medieval times, only the best ladies and bravest knights were asked to be part of the Queen’s Court or the Knights’ Table. We decided to recognize those members of Guys with Ties & Girls with Pearls who go above and beyond in their efforts to be respectful and mannerly on a daily basis. Students can be nominated by any adult in the building for acts that show positive thinking, respect for others, and for doing the right thing even when they think no one is watching. These students will be recognized at monthly meetings, will have their names displayed near our showcase, and will also be recognized at the Culminating Activity in May.

The Guys with Ties and Girls with Pearls program ends in May, with the End-of-Year Tea, where students are permitted to invite an adult who is special to them to join them for an elegant tea party.  The first three years of the program the gym was transformed using large tables, cloth table clothes, and china dishes and tea cups. For the last two years, we have been able to hold the Tea at Martins East, thanks to grant funding from the BCPS 21st Century Instruction Initiatives and fund raising done by students. The Tea gives them a chance to show off their new etiquette skills, and put their manners to practice, and having it at Martins East is a very special occasion. This year a new culminating activity is being planned- Details to follow. 

Mrs. Carver welcomes businesses to sponsor Guys with Ties and Girls with Pearls this year.  Businesses who would like to contribute in-kind or monetary donations may contact Mrs. Carver at or 410-887-0509.

Not to leave out younger students, all students are invited to participate in Dress for Success Thursdays.  At SSES we feel that when the children come to school dressed for success, they tend to make better behavior choices, and present themselves in a positive manner to others.