As more young people sign on to social networking sites and sign off on face-to-face interaction, the social skills needed to function in society are becoming a thing of the past. That’s where Faye Rogaski, founder of Socialsklz, steps in. Socialsklz is “a modern-day spin on old-school manners and etiquette,” according to Rogaski.
Rogaski says she got the idea for Socialsklz while teaching public relations at NYU, originally creating a class called “The Brand Called You” to teach students about their own branding. “It’s largely, everyday life skills and basic social skills ranging from introducing themselves, to starting a conversation, to managing [their] brand[s] online, to [their] 30-second elevator pitch[es]…these skills [are] so vital and so important,” she explained.
It soon occurred to Rogaski that teaching these skills earlier would be much more beneficial: “[Children] should start a lot younger than the college level because practicing these skills over the years can help them become [more natural].”
To that end, Rogaski founded Socialsklz. The company is divided into three age categories: Socialkidz for ages four to seven, Socialtweenz for ages eight to twelve, and Socialteenz for ages thirteen and up.
Each group covers age-appropriate topics, which can range from simple tasks, like shaking hands and introducing oneself, to the more complex ones, like proper body language and how to conduct oneself while on the Internet.
Even though children (and some adults) may not understand the importance of learning such skills, Rogaski believes that those skills “can set a child apart on the playground or in their [professional] future.”
While not as big a trend as the social networking sites, the idea of learning social etiquette is growing: Rogaski’s website lists the YMCA, Girl Scouts of America, The Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentoring Program, and several NYC public and private schools among its workshop recipients.
As a teacher, Rogaski truly enjoys what she does and feels pride when she sees that her efforts have made a difference. She says that her favorite part about teaching is that it is “so rewarding and so inspiring to…see how these skills build [a child’s] confidence.”
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in this program, there is a two-day whirlwind on July 20th and 21st that contains all four classes. Can’t make it? There are more opportunities to enroll this fall, with new, more advanced classes for those interested in furthering their skills.
For those with a little more life under their belts, Rogaski has continued with the original class, “The Brand Called You,” for adults, which covers topics like first impressions and dining etiquette.
Currently, the program only runs in Manhattan and Rye, but Rogaski says that there are plans underway to branch out to other states. For more information on the Socialsklz programs, including Socialsklz birthday parties and dates and pricing for classes, check out www.socialsklz.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.