Thursday, March 07, 2002

In no mood to be rude

Videos teach etiquette

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

        DEERFIELD TWP. — Katie Contardi is helping young students learn to mind their manners.

        Ms. Contardi, a Miami University junior and Kings High graduate, developed “Manners Matter,” with her mother, Debbie, and a friend, Beth McGuire. The 20, one-minute videos and “Manners Rule!” a child's manners reference manual, reinforce basics such as restaurant ordering and polite phone skills.

        “We're just here to make them know it's popular to be polite,” Ms. Contardi, 20, said. She believes knowing and practicing good manners help students' communication and self-image.

        At J.F. Burns Elementary School, where Ms. Contardi was a student, kindergarten through fourth-grade students are shown a video, featuring Ms. Contardi, each Monday morning on an in-building television network. The 650 students then spend time discussing and practicing what they saw. Third- and fourth-graders work with the manual.

        J.F. Burns Principal Cheryl Montag, videographer for the series taped using Kings High School equipment in November, said that the project is a pilot program purchased by the PTO. She said her school would document student response in an effort to get the series in all Kings elementary schools.

        Though all the videos won't be shown by the end of the year, Ms. Montag plans to present them through next school year.

        Parents are informed of the manners video schedule ahead of time in the school newsletter.

        “It's a quick reinforcement,” Ms. Montag said. “It's a nice team effort between home and school.”

        For more information, contact Cheryl Montag at 398-8050, Ext. 16000.


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