During our Children’s Etiquette Certification Training that is held in Atlanta, Georgia, participants travel from all over the world to partake in the five-day course. Through interactive activities and hands-on instruction the trainees gain the knowledge to teach life skills and etiquette to children.
Children attend each day so that the trainees can see the lessons unfold and experience teaching the curriculum. One of the activities that takes place is instructing the children how to write a thank you note.
The children are learning ASP’s four sentence format for writing thank you notes. They are also learning what it means to be appreciative.
Peggy Newfield created the program and developed the curriculum. She has taught more than 10,000 children and certified more than 700 individuals worldwide. She knows that this activity teaches more than just how to write a thank you note.
“Being grateful and learning how to be appreciative is the underlying message. It is more than just putting pen to paper” proclaims Newfield.
In the photo above Sara Vizcarrondo, from California encourages a young student to think about a person who has done something for him.
Below Christina Womack from Atlanta, Georgia listens to a student explain the reason why she would like to write a thank you note to her grandmother.
This activity gets the children to actively reflect and think about someone who has done something special or nice for them. Talking about being thankful, then writing down the reasons why they are grateful, and thinking about someone else, helps them understand the true meaning of being appreciative.
Below Kathryn Haynes from Sydney Australia helps two middle school girls construct their thank you notes.
"Most children do not think of where things come from or who is paying for it, which often creates a sense of entitlement" states Newfield.
Studies have shown that children who are thankful and show their appreciation to others have greater self-esteem and a positive outlook.
Other studies state that children who actively practice being grateful not just with their words, but with their actions are happier and become more productive adults.
Newfield strongly believes that we must teach our children when they are young that it is just as important to show they are thankful through their actions as it is to say 'thank you'.
Below Peggy Hoshall from Oklahoma helps two young students write their thank you notes.
“When we encourage children to focus on being grateful and help them understand that all the things they have were given to them, it makes them more self-aware. Which in turn builds respect.”
A young student and Reshma Patel from New Jersey work together on formulating a thank you note.
Each trainee has different goals and reasons for attending, but the primary purpose is so that they can return home and be able to contribute in some way that will improve the life of another. Writing thank you notes is a simple activity that may seem fairly easy - putting pen to paper - but by having students write down what they are thankful for paired with the dialogue creates an impression that we hope lasts for a lifetime.
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