Happiness: Now Available in a Box?

Advertisements ask us to consider products and services and decide whether we need or want them. But do you ever find yourself evaluating the ad itself? Fred Rogers often sang, “You’ve got to look carefully, listen carefully.” Fred lived that advice, and the stories in the Fred Rogers Archive give us insight into how Fred’s observations of the world informed...

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Legacies of Caring: Fred Rogers & Rachel Carson

Spring is here at the Fred Rogers Center, and we are so thankful it is not silent. Birds outside our office windows hunt for worms while dandelions pop up everywhere. The Center itself was built with the environment in mind. From our geothermal heating and cooling system, to our energy-efficient lights, we are dedicated to preserving natural resources and being...

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Celebrating Month of the Young Child in Pittsburgh & Beyond

“This April Pittsburgh will celebrate our most valuable resource…children. There are many ways to celebrate. I trust you’ll find your own.” –Fred Rogers In March of 1978, Fred Rogers spoke these words in a public service announcement for KDKA, a Pittsburgh-based television station, to promote Month of the Young Child. Fast forward 38 years and Pittsburgh has transformed itself into KidsBurgh,...

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Fred Rogers’ Unfinished Work

In an archival folder dated late 2002, I found this little note. Fred was preparing his commencement address to Dartmouth College (where he had attended as an undergraduate). He jotted down the main idea of his talk on a small piece of stationary from Rollins College (to which he transferred from Dartmouth). This Dartmouth address became one of Fred’s last public speeches....

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Plugging in with Puppets On-Screen

In a recent e-newsletter for the Fred Rogers Center, early childhood development expert Hedda Sharapan unpacked how and why Fred used puppets with children. He believed that puppets helped adults understand children’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Hedda wrote, “Puppets can be powerful learning tools for you [the adult] too. Because they can open the door for some important conversations, they...

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Beyond the Heart-Shaped Box: Lessons on Love from Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood exudes love. Viewers have warm feelings about the program, even if they have not seen an episode since they were children. The very first researcher to visit the Fred Rogers Archive, when our building opened in 2008, thought that she would start her search with the subject of love. But then she realized her dilemma. “Wait, I...

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Librarians: The Visionaries and Appreciators in Our Neighborhoods

As a young child, Fred frequently visited the Latrobe library to find interesting books and to see Aunt Sara. Aunt Sara was the librarian. Every child who visited called librarian Sara McComb “Aunt Sara” because she knew and appreciated everyone who came in. Libraries were important to Fred, and they continue to be great partners to the Fred Rogers Center....

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A “Little and Big” Start to the New Year

The arrival of the new year often sets off a flurry of resolutions as though life will be miraculously different when the clock strikes midnight. Unless you are Cinderella, this moment is far less transformational. Lose weight. Check. Get in shape. Check. Save more for retirement. Check. Be a better friend. Check. Often, these goals are so fixated on the outer...

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The Simple Interactions That Make Learning Possible (Part Three)

Part Three: Technology that enriches, rather than replaces, human interactions Sometimes an innovative learning idea will go beyond a one-time exposure or a one-afternoon experience. It can become embedded within the extended and intimate relationships children have already formed with the adults near them. The “Baby Promise” project, funded through a Spark award from The Sprout Fund, was delivered through a...

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The Simple Interactions That Make Learning Possible (Part Two)

What makes us try new things, especially when new things do not come easily? What makes us stick with challenges when we can see that others appear better and faster? Persistence, or grit, or stick-to-it-ness develops in us through enriching interactions with those near us, especially when we are trying, failing, and struggling. Fred Rogers often talked about the importance of...

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