GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Manners, discipline, education, balance, and being well-dressed. You could say that makes up the mission statement of the Bowtie Club at Crossroads Elementary School in Gulfport.
On Tuesdays, the school’s Bowtie Club is bowed up and ready to take on another service project.
“We’re going to give teachers and students, everybody who works here and learns here, even the janitors, cleaning supplies so we can keep our school clean, safe and open,” said Edwyn Mann, Crossroads Elementary fourth-grader.
This time it’s delivering supplies; next time it could be a Christmas-themed project.
“We’re trying to produce the leaders of the future here at Crossroads Elementary and show these young men that they can be part of something big and help the community,” said Crossroads fifth grade instructor Steven Howard. “It’s all about leadership and community service, so I was impressed with those things, so I was kind of glad to jump in, do my part and keep it moving.”
The Bowtie Club members are always moving, whether it’s dropping off cleaning supplies, or reciting what they call the “five wells” of being a Bowtie Club member, which are: well-educated, well-balanced, well-disciplined, well-dressed, and well-mannered.
“Well-balanced means you’re not over the top, but you’re just in the middle. You’re just right. Well-mannered? You have to be respectful. Well-disciplined? You have to listen. Well-dressed, you have to look good, and not just look good, but you have to feel good. Well-educated. You have to listen, do good in school, and get good grades,” said fifth-grader Caleb Russell.
The mission for the Bowtie Club is taking leaders now and molding them to not only be school leaders but also leaders in the community.
“They’ll remember the times when they were able to help other people, do things for their community, and show the leadership and do the right thing and be known for something positive. There’s negative things happen all the time, but these are the times, times like today when they have to do something positive for their school and community, these young men will remember it forever and hopefully, take into the community and take it into their lives going forward,” Howard added.
Recently, professional headshots were taken of the members of the Bowtie Club, with each member receiving their own club photo.
And while the club is primarily about teaching boys how to grow into strong leaders with good character, the bowties add a nice touch.
“I love wearing bowties. They make me feel good,” Russell said.