West Louisville teacher hoping to promote good manners with 'Gentlemen's Cub' program
A west Louisville teacher is setting aside reading, writing and arithmetic to try to save young boys from the streets.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A west Louisville teacher is setting aside reading, writing and arithmetic to try to save young boys from the streets.
During our interview, her love for kids brought her to tears.
"Oh my gosh, they're everything," said Stefany Bibb, tearing up. "They're...oh, you're going to make me cry, hold on."
Bibb, a teacher at John F. Kennedy Montessori School, says she's tired of losing children to the streets, so instead, she's turning young boys into gentlemen.
Visit her classroom, and you can hear various students repeating the gentleman's creed:
"A gentleman is honest. A gentleman is trustworthy. I am a gentleman."
"Hi, nice to meet you."
"How are you doing today? My name is Justin."
"You look very nice today."
"Hello. How was your day?"
It's the language of gentility -- something Bibb wants to hear more of.
"Our boys are being taught certain ways to 'be a man,' but not really be a gentleman," Bibb said. "They can walk into a room and they can give the dap and the head nods and the fun handshakes but..."
"They don't know how to walk into a room and say 'good morning, good afternoon,' to speak clearly," Bibb added. "They needed that. I felt they needed that."
Bibb started the Gentlemen's Cub program at the John F. Kennedy Montessori School with the start of this school year. Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 4th and 5th grades meet every Tuesday for 30 minutes, studying the characteristics of gentlemen.
"Being a gentleman is being honest, confident, trustworthy and brave," said Jeremiah Bradley, a student.
Lessons include respect, kindness and integrity -- and on this day, ambition.
"I learned that you can be whatever you want when you grow up," said student Justin Brents. "You don't have to be what people tell you to be."
Bibb built the program as Louisville faces a surge in gang violence and young people killing each other.
"I watch my boys and see some of them struggling," said Bibb.
She hopes the class keeps her kids from becoming a statistic.
"I'm fully aware that there are things in society that are going to tear them down," Bibb said. "So my goal with this program...we're building them up...so when they are hit with society they can say, 'No, that's not me, that's not who I am.'"
The club is completely voluntary, though you can spot who's in by the ones wearing a shirt and tie. It's required on meeting day.
Parents say they're noticing a difference.
"When I woke him up, he said, 'Oh, I got to put my tie on,' so I just knew it was something that made him feel very important," said Latonia Woods, a parent.
Real gentleman role models attend each week.
"Do people like when you're polite?" said WDRB's Gilbert Corsey.
"Yes sir!" said 5-year-old John Johnson.
It's a lesson that stands the test of time.
There are about 130 boys in the Gentlemen's Cub program.
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