LINKS
2017-01-11 / Opinion

Disappointed Gentleman

Walton

I am very disappointed to have seen the “Walton Reporter” choose to publish a Letter to the Editor which smears the reputation of a new club at Townsend Elementary School, which has had nothing but positive impact amongst the students and the school community as a whole.

We now have students who are holding doors open without having to be asked and able to speak to adults respectfully in person and on the telephone. They also know how to dress properly, tie a tie, firmly shake a hand while maintaining eye contact and write a proper thank you note on a card. This is so far from superficial. If you ask any current employer what they look for in a job interview, these things will top their list of the desired characteristics.

In addition, from my hometown of Buffalo, this story has been shared with teachers from many urban and suburban schools and they are all insistent on copying our program model so they can see the same impacts that the staff has seen at Townsend Elementary School. I also have a collection of emails, notes and calls from parents of our “Extraordinary Gentlemen” exclaiming how their behavior has changed at home. They are so thankful for all the valuable life lessons being taught at our club meetings. Our club members are taking lessons learned from the club and applying them to not only their time in school, but also at home, and this is inconsequential?

As a leader of the club, I would’ve encouraged Dr. Ratnoff to come and experience the impact that this club has made on the fourth and fifth graders at Townsend Elementary School. The Reporter sent a reporter to attend a club meeting and saw, in person, the profound impact it was having on the members. Before she even started talking to any of our “Extraordinary Gentlemen,” the smiles on their faces and their genuine interest and engagement with our topic for that day told the whole story.

In today’s world of negativity, we need more stories like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” I am disappointed that “The Reporter” would publish the original article on their front page and then come back around the next week and publish a Letter to the Editor that criticizes the work of two teachers who have given up tens of hours of their time to create, establish, and run a voluntary club, criticizes parents who are committed to continuing to develop their young boys into true gentleman by signing them up for this club, and criticizes the 26 “Extraordinary Gentlemen” that came week in and week out to socialize with other club members and learn extremely valuable life lessons while having nothing but smiles on their faces while doing so.

NICK PENBERTHY
League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen Club Co-Creator

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