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Social-skills program to be launched in Clayton

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Too often, textbooks fail to teach students the interpersonal skills they will need to go to the school of their choice, land their first job, and maintain a stable marriage.

A new training program in Clayton County, aimed at addressing those skills in teens, will host its first open house this weekend.

The Decorum Group will host a meet-and-greet for its first round of classes this Saturday, Nov. 8, at the GIP Computer Café, located at 6550 Mt. Zion Blvd., Suite 111 in Morrow.

The meeting will introduce the program to the public and scout for participants for the group's Journey to Manhood and Journey to Womanhood initiatives, both scheduled to start in January.

Charly McCracken, CEO and founder of The Decorum Group, said the goal of the program is to reach out to teens, 15-19 years old, and give them the social skills they need to be successful in the real world.

"The whole premise is to add the social skills that children are missing," said McCracken. "We want to give them the kind of skills that they wouldn't get unless they had a mentor. Children have the ability to excel academically when they behave appropriately."

McCracken said the programs, both of which require three Saturdays a month for six months, will focus on conflict resolution, telephone etiquette, team building, table manners, proper attire, public speaking, and personal relationships.

The classes will also integrate sports and other health activities."This makes them a well-rounded person, who is able to interact with other human beings, which makes them more favorable than other children who lack those skills," said McCracken.

"These are skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Through these social skills ... opportunities are presented to them."

Doug Fowler, a retired Marine Corps staff sergeant with 20 years of military experience, will coordinate the Journey to Manhood program. He hopes the program will help young boys in Clayton County, many of whom are without a father figure, mold themselves into more productive citizens.

"We're trying to put a positive self-image into the boys," said Fowler. "With the way the economy is, you have a lot of one-parent homes and you have a lot of parents just working and not having time to raise their kids.

"We are trying to provide a mentorship program and give them somebody they can look up to."

For more information about The Decorum Group, visit www.thedecorumgroup.com, or call (404) 826-0485.