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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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Dining with Kids…and Screens

During a dinner date with my wife last week, we observed a startling interaction involving children, their parents, and screens. The restaurant was particularly busy, and a family of four had just been seated nearby. Mom, dad and daughter (a young teen) were immediately glued to their phones, while the youngest -- a boy of about 8 who was probably too...

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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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