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    A new series of interactive programmes for children focuses on basic etiquette.

    Meet Prasanna Masillamanie—Chennai’s very own ‘Ms. Manners’. Masillamanie’s new venture, Kidequettes, organises interactive programmes imparting lifestyle lessons and etiquette for children aged four to 12. Started on October 6, Kidequettes focusses on imparting social skills whilst instilling good values in the kids, she tells us. “I know etiquette may seem like an old-fashioned word,” the mother-of-two explains, “but I firmly believe that good manners will open doors that even good education cannot.” The former vice president at HCL Technologies Limited confesses that this venture had been on her mind for years. “Unfortunately I can see the lack of basic etiquette and manners in kids these days. I saw this as my daughters were growing up. When we were brought up, etiquette was more important than how much we scored!” explains the alumnus of the Sacred Heart School (Church Park).

    All round focus
    The 37-year old has put together original lesson plans based on UK & USA curriculum of similar programmes but tailored the lessons to reflect Indian value systems—such as taking one’s shoes off before entering a home, respecting one’s elders, etc. “Our lessons are crafted around stories, role play and craft activities that make it a fun learning experience for the kids. As dining etiquette is a tough module to master, the last 10-15 minutes of every class is devoted to eating healthy snacks so that our kids learn to eat everything from spaghetti to our local snacks, plus cleaning and peeling fruit,” says the MBA graduate. The courses span from 16 to 20 weeks and classes are held once a week for 45 minutes to an hour.

    Choose your lesson
    In addition to the customary lessons like ‘Meeting and Greeting’, ‘Please and Thank You’, topics taught in every module include the importance of valuing money in ‘Money Matters’, ‘Giving and Receiving Gifts’, being conscientious when ‘Being Out in Public’, ‘Telephone Manners’ and such. While the ‘Five S’s’ of meeting people—stand, smile, say (your name), shake (hands) and say “Nice to meet you!”—should get the kids started off in the right direction, Masillamanie works with only 15 kids per batch so that each child gets her individual attention.
    At Rs 2,500 onwards (four classes a month), within the Lady Andal School campus, Chetpet. Details: www.facebook.com/kidequettes

    — Shibi Kumaramangalam

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