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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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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What Really Counts in the “Word Gap Count”?

Fred Rogers understood that early language development is important for a child’s ability to relate to the world and the people in it. Fred believed words help children better understand and manage their “inner drama.”  “What is mentionable is more manageable,” he would often say. Fred also understood that conversation between child and adult is critical for children’s intellectual and emotional...

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Children’s Librarians as Digital Media Mentors

There are approximately 16,000 public library branches and bookmobiles in the United States, most of them with staff trained specifically to serve young children and their families. One of the mainstays of library services to children is storytime, where library professionals plan and implement early learning experiences designed to expose families with young children to high quality content (reader’s advisory) and...

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Finding Ways to Put the “Education” Back in Educational Apps

The holiday season is behind us and with it came a flood of newly wrapped gifts, trendy clothes that fit (or did not), and a host of stimulating digital toys and games intricately designed to build our brains for the new world order. As parents, we are overwhelmed—dare we say flummoxed—by the sheer volume of so-called “educational” material that we can...

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Tips for Supervising Students on the Digital Playground

As teachers and administrators at Catherine Cook School in Chicago, we are familiar with the playground antics of young children creating games, revising these games, and truly exploring their creativity and developing social skills through imaginative play. But the playground isn’t the only place where kids explore through play, and teachers and parents must begin preparing children for the new...

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Latino Families and Technology Use

As readers of the Fred Rogers Center blog recognize through their daily interactions with kids and their families around the country, nearly a quarter of all children under the age of five years old today are Latino. And according to population projections, this number is set to increase exponentially— Hispanic-Latino families are among the fastest growing groups in the United...

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Imaginary Play with Technology

At the Fred Rogers Center we’re very interested in how new media tools can be used to provide professional development support for professionals who work with young children. Our latest innovation, the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™ (Ele) is designed to do just that. The web-based support system uses new media tools to provide resources for parents, teachers, and home-based...

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Technology for Young Dual Language Learners

Dual language learners are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States, currently representing about 25 percent of children under age 6. A dual language learner (DLL) is any young child who is growing up with two or more languages, regardless of his or her proficiency. Research reviewed by the Center for Early Childhood Education Research shows that...

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How Museums and Libraries Support Early Learning

Far too often, children, and particularly low-income children, show up for school already behind, lacking the cognitive and social-emotional tools in their toolbox that make them ready to learn. In this highly competitive world, where education increasingly means greater security, falling behind so early in life can lead to disastrous consequences. Educators do their best to bolster children’s skills once they...

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