Children are getting lessons in meal etiquette and learning about Asian countries and the jobs of some of the most productive community members in Franklin.
Some Webb Elementary School fourth-graders are getting an up-close look at Franklin residents and their work and involvements through the monthly Franklin Rotary lunches.
They ask about their jobs, how they are and what they are doing in retirement.
And in the process they are learning about the community and gaining role models along the way, said Angie Clendening, Webb Elementary School’s guidance counselor.
“Our biggest goal is to expose students to role models,” she said.
This school year, the Webb students have gone to one lunch meeting a month at Franklin College.
Greg Moore, past president of the Rotary, had the idea to have students come to meetings as a way to reach some of the kids in the community, he said.
Students sit in the meetings at separate tables like they would if they were Rotary members, Moore said.
Rotary members chat with the students about their lives. Students learn table etiquette at a formal luncheon and get the perks of hearing speakers, such as the historian of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Moore said.
“We try to arrange programming to inspire kids,” he said.
Each child who was chosen to attend the weekly luncheons were identified as a student who could benefit from the opportunity, Clendening said.
Students chosen are outgoing and engaging and interested in learning about adults in the community, she said.
“It is another caring adult who will show interest,” Clendening said
Students may become the presenters at an upcoming meeting, Moore said.
Getting to have lunch with the Rotary Club members has inspired the students to think about what their future might be like and makes them think about what jobs they could have, students Lili Krestakos and Sydney Miller said.
“When we are older, we can be a part of it,” Miller said.