CHICAGO (CBS) – Eighth-grade boys were shown how to tie ties on Wednesday at Learn 8 Middle School, in East Garfield Park as a part of the ‘Tied to Greatness’ program.
‘Tied to Greatness’ is a national nonprofit organization, dedicated to impacting the image and esteem of inner city males through affirmation, instruction and long-term mentorship connections.
The boys were visited by special guest, former Chicago Bear Ray McElroy who gave an inspirational speech, CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports.
McElroy discussed the greatest tackle of his career. He spoke about the ingredients of greatness and how preparation and sacrifice are critical to success.
Each of the boys in the class were give a necktie and then shown how to tie it by volunteers and Learn 8 staff members. Over 30 boys took part in the program.
Learn 8’s Principal said he has seen the program work at other schools.
“When we have data and research that shows that when our eighth grade boys wore the ties it sets them aside as leaders,” said David Lewis, Learn 8 Principal. “There is a decrease in referrals, decrease incidents with them, and made them feel special.”
Students also were inspired by the program and felt more prepared to enter the professional world.
“It felt good,” said Miles Burnett, 8th grader at Learn 8. “I means that I will be able to do stuff when I get older. I will be able to tie a tie and look right in a business, for when I have an interview.”
Another 8th grade student, Drewden White said wearing his first tie made him feel like a man, but not completely, as he still has steps to learn.
The boys were given also given bowties, which they were instructed to wear every Tuesday from now on.
Parents and volunteers said it was important for them to be in attendance and lead by example.