Fellowship, fun, and fashion at Chapin Middle's "Bow Tie Club" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fellowship, fun, and fashion at Chapin Middle's "Bow Tie Club"

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Nearly 70 students at Chapin Middle School wear a bow tie to school every Friday, but to them, it's not about making a fashion statement.

The students are a part of the "Bow Tie Club" which was created a year ago as a means to foster young male leaders in the school. "I never wore [bow ties] before the club, but now it's like the thing to do," said Cole Hodges, a 7th grade student and member of the club.

Hodges says he joined the club after learning about "how fun" it is to be a member. He says he also heard that every other Friday, a leader from the community comes to talk to the group about how to be successful in all aspects of life. 

The club meets every Friday morning before school starts, and at the latest "Bow Tie Club" meeting, Allen Stephenson, founder and creative director of the clothing company "Southern Tide", spoke to the class.

"He talked about how you have to choose quality over time or cost because you can't cut the corners in life," said Josh Corning, another 7th grade member of the club. "That really meant a lot to me."

Chapin Middle School Assistant Principal Van Holden leads the club and says that students at the school liked wearing bow ties before the club ever kicked off more than a year ago. Now when members of the club wear the bow ties each Friday, he says they serve as a reminder of the mission of the club.

"What we're trying to do is take our students who are already successful academically, personally, financially, athletically and put them in a position in which they can lead and serve others," said Holden.

Holden says the students recently held a fundraiser for prostate cancer and raised more than $700. When they're not finding ways to give back to the community, they're learning how to help lead in their school and beyond.

"It just gives us character traits to help us better ourselves with leadership skills and ways to be successful," said Corning. "It's a lot of fun, [and] it helps a lot of kids stay out of trouble,
added Hodges.

Any male student at Chapin Middle School can join the club. Chapin Middle also has two clubs to empower young female students which Holden says have been in place for several years.

Holden and ten members of the Bow Tie Club joined the WIS Sunrise team live in the studio for our Cool School segment of the week. Watch the segment above to learn more.

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