What Nourishes the Imagination?

“Imagining something may be the first step in making it happen,” Fred wrote, “but it takes the real time and real efforts of real people to learn things, make things, turn thoughts into deeds or visions into inventions.” At the start of the school year, we shared this whimsical illustration by the artist (and orthodontist!) Grant Snider on “how to grow...

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Photo courtesy of the Lynn Johnson Collection: Ohio University Libraries.

What Would Fred Rogers Do? 2.0

Sometimes it takes staying true to your roots to discover your voice. By focusing on the themes that were central to Fred Rogers’ life we’re connecting with people in news ways to advance his legacy. On January 2, 2014, I walked through the doors of the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College to start my role as Executive Director. It...

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You Are (Not) Special

It is the season of commencement speeches again.  From high school auditoriums to college athletic fields, graduates are exhorted to “be all that you can be,” “let what you love be what you do,” “be somebody,” “serve somebody,” and, of course, “change the world.” Last weekend, as I watched my own students march in their caps and gowns, I couldn’t help...

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The Toothpaste Theory of Child Development

Have you ever studied the label on a tube of toothpaste? A good number of years ago, out of sheer boredom, I picked up the tube while supervising my daughters as they brushed their teeth for the proverbial and interminable “two minutes.” The label reads: “Active ingredient: sodium fluoride.” Its function: cavity prevention. And just below that was a list of...

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What Would Fred Rogers Do?

“What would Mister Rogers do?” I asked myself, over and over again, as I stared ineptly at a classroom full of unruly eighth graders barely paying attention to anything I was teaching. It was 2003, and the fact I had just received my doctorate in child psychology merely accentuated the irony. It was also the year Fred Rogers passed away. Having...

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Why Our Early Childhood Educators Deserve Better

Yvonne Atkinson knows toddlers. She understands where they’re at developmentally, how to cultivate their listening skills, and when they just need some unstructured playtime. When Kidsburgh asked Pittsburgh families to identify five exceptional early childhood educators, Atkinson—programs manager at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh—came out on top. No surprise, given her 45 years of experience as a beloved teacher. Fred Rogers...

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With App, Kids Can Communicate Through Art

“Early career” is not a phrase you’d readily apply to an educator whose work has brought him to locales as diverse as Chicago, Florida, and New Zealand, and who’s authored one book, with another one in the works. But Brian Puerling, the director of education technology at Chicago’s Catherine Cook School, has done all of the above. At age 32,...

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