On the theory that it's never too early to learn how to renovate a fixer-upper, the Disney Channel has created "Handy Manny," a new cable cartoon with a do-it-yourself theme for kids ages 3-5.
Heartthrob Wilmer Valderrama, of "That '70s Show" fame, is the voice of the main character, Manny Garcia, who owns a repair shop in the town of Sheetrock Hills and has a box full of talking tools that help Manny fix doorbells, repair treehouses and spruce up cribs. Of all the characters, we particularly like Kelly, the hardware store employee who can find the most arcane washers and screws in mere seconds, much to the amazement of the tools.
There are lots of life lessons and problem-solving themes -- and a sprinkle of Spanish in the dialogue -- to educate those preschoolers glued to the tube.
Parents can help kids succeed in school
Increased parental involvement makes for a successful school year. The National Education Association recommends some easy ways for parents to start the school year off right.
Meet the teachers and get to know all the school employees. Education support professionals build relationships with your child that will continue from year to year.
Join the PTA or other parent groups.
Check in daily with your children to review what they learned in school.
Check the school's Web site regularly for class schedules and homework materials.
For more tips, visit www.nea.org.
Storyteller-cartoonist to give library program
Plum Community Library will be the host for "Once Upon a Toon" with Joe Wos at 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at the library, on Center-New Texas Road.
Wos, a freelance cartoonist and storyteller, combines his passion for both storytelling and drawing cartoons in a one-man show titled "Once Upon a Toon." He is the first resident cartoonist of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The program is open to children of all ages, teens and adults. Call the library to register at 412-798-7323.
MOMS club event set at Shaler library
The Allison Park-Glenshaw chapter of MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club will have a fall open house and food drive on Oct. …