Talking on your cell phone during lunch? Being rude to the server? Wrinkling up your nose while looking at the menu? While this may sound like an episode of a bad reality television show, it was actually a demonstration of what not to do while dining out.The lesson about appropriate (and inappropriate) restaurant manners was conducted by Linda Haines and Jocelyn Lindsay, who are spearheading a program for fifth-grade girls at Hathaway Elementary School in Washougal.
Young Women in Action was started several years ago at Washington Elementary School in Vancouver. It is designed to help fifth-grade girls gain confidence and realize different opportunities, according to Haines.
“The whole idea is to get them to open their eyes to what is out there, and that they can do anything they want to do,” she said. “Also, we want to get the girls closer to each other before they go to middle school, to make the whole transition easier. Each session is meant to add a new dimension to their lives.”
Haines, a member of the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club and Camas resident, said that it seemed only natural to have the program locally. She approached Hathaway Elementary School principal Laura Bolt, who agreed it was needed.
“This program has been seen as a very positive experience for our girls,” Bolt said. “They are very excited to participate each Wednesday. I have seen an increase in self-esteem, girls behaving more age appropriate, and girls paying attention more to their appearance. Girls are standing up taller and appear more positive.”