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FAMILY

Teaching the Children Some 'Good Manners'

February 20, 1996|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If you have lovable but uncouth free spirits at home who could use a civilizing touch, you might want to get your hands on "It's Just Good Manners," an upbeat, video primer for ages 4 to 10 on how to make introductions, write a thank-you note, manage at the dinner table and so on.

The live action, 20-minute video, hosted by cool guy Eddie Cat (Ellis Adames), features how-not-to and how-to vignettes acted out by a likable bunch of kids. A piggy pizza party, interrupting, tracking mud and using furniture as a foot rest are some of the don't's here.

Getting hip to table settings, gracious greetings, telephone etiquette and conversation starters are some of the do's.

The video is at the high end, price-wise, but if you're watching your budget, check to see if your library will stock it.

* "It's Just Good Manners," Mind Your Manners Inc., $19.95 plus shipping. (800) 552-0043. Libraries can call: (310) 416-9140.

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Fitness Fun: You won't find big budget production values in "Strength & Shape: A Teenage Workout," but you will find one terrific exercise video for young people ages 10 to 16.

Led by a knowledgeable, friendly exercise expert named Stu Kaminsky, each element of the workout, from warm-up to cool-down, is thoroughly explained and demonstrated. Proper breathing, pace, form, protection for back and knees and an explanation of muscle function are part of each exercise.

This isn't an aerobics tape. It's gender-neutral--Kaminsky is joined by one girl and two boys--and the focus is on flexibility and strength-building for growing adolescents. The warm-up, squats, push-ups, crunches, leg lifts, lunges and light upper-body weight training (you can improvise with soup cans) are followed by slow stretches.

Sound and film quality are definitely shoe-string, but the workout is a worthwhile winner.

* "Strength & Shape," No More Couch Potato Kids/Earth Smart Inc., 40 minutes, $14.95 plus shipping. (800) 393-7244.

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Art From the Heart: Students from 15 public, private and parochial schools in Glendale express their feelings about cultural harmony, tolerance and community in "Celebrating Community Through Young People's Art," a special exhibit at the Glendale Central Library Monday through March 29.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Glendale Community Relations Coalition, a group that was formed to address concerns about hate crimes in the city and to promote positive relations among all segments of the community.

The opening reception and awards ceremony honoring the student artists will be held on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

* Glendale Central Library, 222 E. Harvard St., Mon.-Thur., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information: (818) 548-2039.

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