MASSILLON – Jason Hamilton Jr. doesn’t want to take off his crisp white shirt and black clip-on tie.
He looks and feels great.
This is exactly what a Guys with Ties participant is.
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âWe’re dressed for success,â Massillon alumnus and Tiger football star Devin Jordan told more than a dozen students from Franklin Elementary School who have joined the volunteer leadership program.
On Monday, Jordan, president of his nonprofit Beyond the Game foundation, welcomed 87 elementary students in Franklin, Whittier and Gorrell to the brotherhood.
The leadership program for third graders aims to develop good leaders, good manners and good citizens.
Dressed in matching ties and shirts, the boys meet regularly to learn about different skills, including social etiquette, community service, job skills and respect.
Guest speakers will travel in person and virtually to discuss their personal experiences.
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Boys are expected to live up to the program’s motto “Be good. Look good. Do good.”
âWear this shirt and tie with pride,â he told the third graders.
The first lesson was about making a good first impression, which happens within two to three seconds of meeting someone.
They learned the five ways to make a good first impression – the 5 S’s: stand up when you meet someone for the first time, smile, say your name loud and clear, shake firmly, and say something nice to you. about the person.
Jordan challenged the boys to practice the techniques, promising them that those who follow the rules, do their “homework” and emulate the leaders will be awarded prizes and participate in special events.
As a former Tiger, Jordan wanted to bring the Guys with Ties program to Massillon. They were close last year but COVID has hampered efforts.
âThere is a lot of enthusiasm around this program,â he said. “Superintendent (Paul) Salvino really insisted on that.”
The Massillon Guys with Ties program reaches Middlebranch and Avondale schools in Plain Local, Fairless Elementary School and Alliance City schools.
New programs are expected to start in Carrollton and Tusky Valley in the coming weeks, he said.
Girls with Pearls comes to Massillon
The girls also have a chic new group.
The Girls with Pearls is similar to Guys with Ties. The program promotes healthy relationships and values ââto equip young people with the skills to prepare for femininity.
It was introduced to about 80 grade three girls in the city’s school district last week.
Throwing on organza scarves and satin gloves in a rainbow of matching colors, a beaded bracelet and necklace, the girls regularly meet volunteer coaches.
After just one meeting, Jordan said. there were several girls who asked to join after hearing about the effort from their classmates.
“This is what we want,” he said. “We want to build the program to include all the girls.”
Local Fairless schools hosted the program last year and more are expected to launch a program this year, Jordan said.
The Guys with Ties and Girls With Pearls programs both require volunteers to run the program with help from Jordan.
A positive program
Anytime the district can put a positive male figure in front of the kids to teach good manners, respect and being a good citizen is positive, said Franklin principal Mike Medure.
Hamilton’s mother Ashley Smith is hoping her son’s participation will give him the boost he needs.
âMy son has a lot of self-confidence issues and what (this program) does is build confidence. I hope this can help him be more of a leader than a follower,â she said. declared.
As she picked up her son from school on Monday, the youngster couldn’t contain his excitement.
âLook at my shirt,â he told those waiting in the car.
âHe likes to look good,â Smith said of his son. “I haven’t seen his face light up like this in a while.”
Contact Amy at 330-775-1135 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @aknappINDE