“It just builds something in you,” Members of the community team up to teach boys simple life lesson

OKLAHOMA CITY - More than 170 boys from Crutcho Elementary School got a lesson that usually isn't taught in the classroom.

In the packed gymnasium of the elementary school, boys from kindergarten through eighth grade sat on the floor on Tuesday afternoon.

Sitting in the bleachers were police officers, members of the military, business owners and politicians ready to teach them a simple lesson they may not learn in class or at home.

“The most important keys to life for a young man to learn is how to tie a tie. It just shows so much confidence, and it builds so much respect within yourself,” said Carlos Robinson.

On Tuesday, the boys learned about more than just looking good on the outside.

“Because, when I grow older, when I get a job interview, I want to be fresh,” said Greg Gordon.

It was also about feeling good on the inside.

“When you need to learn something so significant, [like] tying a tie, it just builds something in you,” Robinson said.

To kids like 10-year-old Gordon, it was a transformation.

“Yeah, a real man,” he said.

Like most things in life, the first try had its challenges but, by the end, practice paid off.

“And, if they have that basic foundation that they learned here, it will follow through hopefully in their adult life, as well,” Matt Dukes said.

Officials said a lot of the young men don't have a father figure in their lives.

Now, they have about 200 positive role models helping them with the life lessons.

Many of the boys went home with their very first ties.

Crutcho Elementary plans to make this an annual event for students.