Matt Arthur Elementary School culminates manners program with ball

April 3, 2013 

There wasn’t a pumpkin coach at Matt Arthur Elementary school at the recent Cinderella Ball, but there were plenty of prince and princesses.

The school’s annual Cinderella Ball, held March 22, is the culmination of a six-week emphasis on manners for Matt Arthur first-graders.

Students, who have been learning about etiquette and manners, have a chance to use their knowledge at the dress-up event that is attended every year by the school’s namesake, former Houston County Superintendent Matt Arthur.

Barbara Winner, who volunteers with the etiquette classes and the Cinderella Ball, said the event is one of the highlights of the school year.

“For many of them, it is their first formal event,” Winner said. “They act just like ladies and gentlemen, not like first-graders.”

Teachers and parents decorate the lunchroom and the students process down the “grand hall” on their way to the “ballroom.”

The event includes dances that the students have studied, and students are allowed to ask their parents to dance with them in the last dance of the evening.

“It is supposed to be the last dance, but it’s always the last three or four dances,” Winner said. “Nobody wants the evening to end, so it is always more than one dance.”

The attire varies and is up to the students. Some go all out and wear formal tuxedos while others wear church clothes.

“It is just the cutest thing you will ever see,” Winner said. “But the best thing is to watch the parents. When the students walk in during the procession, the parents will just have tears dripping down their faces.”

Logan Reynolds, 7, said that of all the dances that they did at the Cinderella Ball, the YMCA was his favorite.

“We have snacks and we have our picture made with Mr. Matt Arthur and with our class,” Logan said.

Logan had such a good time that he is willing to do first grade all over again so he can attend the Cinderella Ball again.

“When you are in first grade, you get to go to the dance,” Logan said. “So I wouldn’t mind staying in first grade.”

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or

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