Gratitude and Goodness

Greetings to all of you as the first snow falls in Fred Rogers’ Neighborhood! I am delighted and very grateful to be in this new position of Interim Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College here in Fred Rogers’ hometown of Latrobe. We continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of...

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Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News

Whenever there’s tragedy in the news, like the recent shootings in Pittsburgh and California, I worry about how young children interpret (and misinterpret) what they hear -- not only from the news but also from the conversations of the adults around them. And I’m concerned that we get tangled in our own emotional reactions, and that makes the news even...

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New Beginnings

Mid-Autumn marks the traditional time of celebrating harvests around the world. For weeks and months now, each of us at the Center has been struck by the way Fred’s legacy has borne fruit more than half a century after it had begun. Along with our “older sibling,” Fred Rogers Productions, we have supported the development of the documentary “Won’t...

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Give It A Try

I’ve heard elementary school teachers say that one of the most important qualities that children need to succeed in school is the willingness to take risks. They’re talking about “safe risks,” like the willingness to offer ideas in class discussions, ask questions, try new things, or tackle problems that seem challenging. No wonder that’s important! You probably know some children who...

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Little Children — Big Words

The other day I heard a child singing “Row, row, row your boat,” and I couldn’t help thinking of the delightful version of that song that Fred wrote for King Friday –Propel, propel, propel your craft… gently down liquid solution. Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, existence is but an illusion! Fred loved introducing his viewers to “big” words. Yes, he did speak in...

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Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?

Summer is under way, and our students are on break. A gentle quietness has returned to the campus at Saint Vincent College, home of the Fred Rogers Center. It’s been a time of reflection for me as I deal with my post-cancer treatment. First, I want to give you a quick update on my health. I recently had my first...

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Up Close and Personal with Nature

It’s summertime, and that usually means more outdoor time. But I keep thinking about Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, and I wonder if “outdoor time” today has come to mean “playground time” with swings, monkey bars and slides. I’ve been thinking about how much different that is from outdoor time with nature. In his book, Louv reminds us...

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Reflecting Light on Shadows

Ever since I started presenting workshops on Fred’s approach to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math), I’ve kept my ears open for stories of children’s questions about the world around them -- and for the way their teachers respond. So I was especially delighted with what I heard when I was observing my scientist friend Elaine offer her...

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