Linda Felder, founder and CEO of Linda Felder House of Etiquette, Inc. recalled a conversation with a youth who didn’t understand why he needed to learn about table setting: “I asked him, ‘Well what is your future career?’” reflected Felder. “He told me he liked sports and wanted to play basketball. I told him that if an organization picked him up to play basketball and wanted to take him to lunch, that knowing about table setting was very important. I explained that people are always watching the way in which an individual conducts him or herself. Therefore, good etiquette skills, which includes being knowledgeable about table setting is essential.”
Founded in 2006, Felder House is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to provide inner-city youth with etiquette skills and talents to help enable them to grow into nurtured and professional young adults. Since its inception, Felder House has taught over 500 children etiquette skills and partnered with more than 20 organizations. “When you first meet these children, you have to gain their trust, because they don’t know you,” said Felder. “And that takes a lot of work and sincerity. I just believe in being sincere and honest, and showing the children that I have their best interests at heart. I also illustrate to them that I care about how they live their lives and about their future.” Linda Felder House of Etiquette recently wrapped up a summer program with Springboard Scholars at Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School with a closing ceremony. The vision of
Springboard is to close the literacy gap between home and school. The ceremony included lunch, an awards ceremony, and a drone demonstration. Each of the scholars, along with teachers and volunteers received certificates. Felder also presented certificates to The Baltimore Times during the program, which was attended by relatives and friends of the scholars, along with school staff.
“The program started June 28, 2021, and was conducted Mondays through Thursdays,” said Felder. “I reinforced good manners and the importance of having good posture. The scholars also learned about hand sewing, eye contact, listening skills, and using all their senses. They also had an extensive learning class program about drones and learned about jewelry making.” Tracey Garrett, who recently retired as principal of Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School after nearly 35 years in education – 12 of them at Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle, talked about Linda Felder House of Etiquette. “Springboard Summer Program allowed schools to select which enrichment program they wanted this year, and of course I selected Linda Felder House of Etiquette to be a part of this,” said Garrett. “We wanted to bring this type of service to our scholars.” Garrett who said she attended Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School as a child, added, “We wanted that extra touch of the etiquette piece and for the students to learn skills that are no longer a part of school. It’s about reading, writing, math and science, and we need kids to know about survival skills as well.”
Felder is a native of Baltimore and grew up in Cherry Hill. In 2004, she cashed in her 401k from the Transportation Security Administration to launch Linda Felder House of Etiquette, Inc. A seamstress and fashion designer, she established a school in Catonsville, Md., where she taught youth sewing, modeling, physical education, and etiquette. Linda Felder House of Etiquette has continued to grow over the years, and now touts a mobile learning center, which travels throughout communities teaching etiquette, life skills, and fashion. The mobile learning center also offers financial literary, health and wellness and other information. Felder is also a Warnock Foundation Fellow.
“It’s all about the children,” said Felder. “I will continue to do everything in my power to empower them.” For more information, visit www.felderhouseinc.com.