‘Bowtie Boys’ project aims to teach missing skills at Bacon District

Published 1:28 am Thursday, October 19, 2023

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Not everyone knows how to put on a tie or when it’s respectful to shake a person’s hand. Sometimes parents just don’t make the time to teach their kids and other times, there isn’t an actual parent in the picture. At Bacon District Elementary School, that’s where the Bowtie Boys program comes in. 

Katie Martin saw the problems popping up at Bacon. It wasn’t that the kids were being rude. The Early Childhood Special Education teacher noticed that some boys just didn’t know how to do certain things. They also didn’t exactly have male role models at the school, because there were no male teachers there. And so, she set out to help fix that. With the approval of the Bacon District administration, Martin put together an after-school club, the Bowtie Boys. Now Martin brings in guest speakers, men who talk to the students not just about clothes, but how to present courtesy and respect. 

Over the years, we have had few to no male role models in the school, so I sought to bring some in,” Martin said. “Our goal is to teach these young men how to be gentlemen with skills like shaking someone’s hand and correctly tying a necktie that they may not otherwise have in life.” 

The club is open to any boys who attend Bacon District from second grade through fifth grade and the group meets after school on Wednesday afternoons. As it stands, there are 16 current members. Martin said she is also interested in hearing from people who want to get involved. Anyone who wants to speak to the club or help in some other way can email Martin at martinkc@ccps.k12.va.us or call Bacon District at 434-547-9507.