The name Manners First is derived from the Godly principles of showing “respect for self, for others, and for learning.” Manners First was inspired in the heart of its founder, Lavern Clayton Washington. These Godly principles were taught to Clayton by his grandmother, his parents, the Rev. Frankie and Lucinda Washington, and others. They instilled in him the principle: “Good manners will take you further in life than money.”
Clayton began to instill the principles of Manners First in Delaware schools in January 1997. Ever since, God has led Manners First to grow into and to remain a fruitful blessing to many students, families, businesses, colleges, and communities.
The Rev. Frankie Washington received a Congressional Gold Medal, the Nation’s highest civilian award, for his faithful service in the United States Marines. Please click here: Rev. Frankie Washington to read the full story. [Who Were The Montford Point Marines]
Our vision is to expose all students to success by increasing high school, college, and post-secondary vocational, certificate, and licensure programs, and college and university degree programs graduation or completion rates.
Our mission is to close all achievement gaps in K-12 education and in the higher education field and to advocate for evidence-based and innovative solutions to education reform.
Who We Are
We are certified and experienced teachers, professors, administrators, counselors, and professionals working directly in the public, private, and charter school fields and in post-secondary places of higher learning.
What We Do
We support and encourage students and adults to achieve their educational goals and dreams by providing academic, personal/social, and college and career support through our proven programs and initiatives.
We research, practice, and implement evidence-based and innovative solutions to advance education reform for K-12 education and for the higher education field.
Our Purpose and Priorities
Every day in our schools and places of higher learning, too many students and adults give up on their dreams and goals. Many have lost the motivation to learn and have given up on learning, causing some of them to turn to the false hopes of drugs, crimes, and other at-risk behavior. Such negative behavior leads to self-destruction and a sense of hopelessness within the community.
Our purpose at Manners First Education Initiative is to expose all students to a Lively Hope, and to provide them with social, academic, and career support. Our programs and initiatives are designed to encourage, support, and create a nurturing environment for learning and opportunities for all students to demonstrate their God-given gifts, talents, and skills.
Currently, Manners First Education Initiative sees an urgent need for greater works and services for our students and families in the field of education. With the dropout rate at higher than 60% in most urban school districts, a bottom-figure graduation rate, and the high cost to the state for dropouts, we as parents, educators, business leaders, and community members cannot afford to be blind to the issues that are destroying our communities. We must actively challenge all stakeholders involved, including the students. This sense of urgency and need is what compels us daily to seek effective changes in the state of education.
Manners First Education Initiative is led by a team of compassionate and highly qualified advisors representing families, corporations, businesses, local and state governments, colleges and universities, and faith-based organizations, as well as the fields of education, pediatrics, health, law, and the military.