Inspiring Us to Be Playful with Art

I just came back from the Professional Development Institute of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). What a great place to learn new ideas, have some “old” ideas confirmed, and connect with new friends and old friends! And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you come away from a session being so inspired by someone that you want to...

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Plant One Seed — Grow Two Lessons

Welcome, springtime! It’s the “growing season” and a time when many teachers help children grow plants from seeds. That’s a great science lesson because children can see what a plant needs to grow – soil, water, light. But I’ve learned from Fred that there’s another lesson here, too, one that’s harder to see and harder to learn. That’s the lesson about...

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Staying Connected April 2016

Spring has finally arrived in Latrobe, which puts a smile on my face and at the same time makes me realize how quickly the year is moving. Our Simple Interactions initiative is continuing to expand through collaborations with the Child Life Department at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as well as Allies for Children, who is working with the city of...

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Slowing Down

Whenever I show video clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at a professional development workshop, I often ask, “What messages did you hear in it?” Usually teachers talk about “what” Fred said or did. But recently a teacher talked about “how” Fred said and did things. What struck her was his slow pace, how comforting and comfortable it was -- and how...

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Staying Connected February 2016

There has been much talk lately about the issue of the digital divide and equity. Recently, The New York Times published an article,  Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind, about how some school children are being left behind due to their lack of access to internet at home, which is needed to complete assignments. Kids are forced to stand outside...

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The Power of Puppet Play–It’s Not Just Make-Believe

When most people think of Fred Rogers' puppets, they think about his Neighborhood of Make-Believe stories. But there's another way he used puppets--a way that can help us learn about children's thoughts, feelings and concerns. Fred was always enamored with puppets, so when he was a graduate student in Child Development, they were a natural tool for him to use with...

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Staying Connected December 2015

The end of the year always feels like a whirlwind. Between November and December, we've been busy with presentations at the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, Dr. Junlei Li's visit to China to provide professional development on the Simple Interactions approach, and connecting with our partners on a recent trip to the TEC Center at...

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Thinking Outside the Box — Thanks to Eric Carle

At this gift-giving time of the year, we usually think about presents that come in a box. But for this newsletter, I wanted to give you a "gift" of one of our favorite Neighborhood videos that has a great example of thinking "outside the box."  It's Fred's visit with author-illustrator Eric Carle, who has given us such wonderful books as The...

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