Manners Are Fun Program



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The Need

In 2001, members of the Thomas Duncan Community Hall Board wanted to offer particular kinds of educational programs to the Lafayette community. Concerned about the increasingly rude and disrespectful world that we live in, they thought programs that promote good character traits, good manners, and better citizenship could make a difference, especially with children.

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The Response

The result was the Sarah Duncan Education Council, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation. Established in 2002, its purpose was "to assist in the development and implementation of education programs that enhance the civility, character, and citizenship in Greater Lafayette." The SDEC was a separate entity from Duncan Community Hall, but it presented most of its programs there. In many ways, the SDEC was complementing the original purposes of Duncan Community Hall which through its history, stands as a monument to good citizenship. 

In 2005, the Thomas Duncan Community Hall and the Sarah Duncan Education Council were merged into a single corporation called the Thomas Duncan Hall, Inc.

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Sarah Duncan

The name Sarah Duncan was chosen because Sarah was the beloved wife of Thomas Duncan, Duncan Community Hall’s great benefactor. It was largely due to her influence that Mr. Duncan left money at his death in 1928 for constructing the lovely Georgian style building known as Duncan Community Hall. Sarah was a life-long resident of Lafayette, a Duncan Community Hall Board member, and promoter of many good causes.

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The First Program

The first program to be sponsored by the SDEC was an everyday manners program for first graders, entitled MANNERS ARE FUN! During the 2002-2003 school year, the program was offered to all the public and private schools in Tippecanoe County. 25 schools and over 1400 students participated.

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Charter Members

Charter members of the Sarah Duncan Education Council were Mary Ann Combs, Marilynn Dammon, William Gettings, Jr., Robert Hockema, Charles Horner, David Poelstra, and David Williams.

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