Reflective thoughts for the New Year

Here we are at the beginning of the year when we’re “looking ahead,” wondering what this new year will bring. It seems kind of ironic, but "looking back" can help us with our journey ahead. There’s even a name for that in early childhood -- reflective teaching. As early childhood professionals, we’re encouraged to be reflective – to look back on what worked...

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Fred Rogers Center December Newsletter 2021

This week, across all of our social media, we shared this simple message:  “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” - Fred Rogers As the holiday “season of giving” continues, this message seemed to strike a chord with many helpers - educators, caregivers, parents, grandparents, and more. In just two hours, the message was viewed and shared over 10,000...

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The Power of Puppet Play – It’s not just Make-Believe

The new Mister Rogers sculpture that was recently unveiled at Rollins College is a remarkably fit tribute to Fred. I was delighted to see that the sculptor Paul Day decided to depict Fred with his Daniel puppet talking with children. He really understood that the essence of Fred’s work was about communicating with children and how much Fred learned about...

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Don’t Forget The Fun

In the midst of all we’ve been going through in this pandemic time, I’ve thought about something that Helen Ross, a noted children and family mental health specialist, told Fred. As he was working on Neighborhood scripts which often dealt with serious childhood concerns like feeling jealous, angry or afraid, she reminded him, "Don't forget the fun." What great advice...

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CREATIVITY – Why it’s so important

I remember being amazed to hear that creativity is a much better predictor of achievement in life than IQ. That came out of the research of thousands of children followed for decades after taking the Torrance Creativity Test. We’ve certainly seen how important creativity is this past year. Covid restrictions have forced us all to find new and innovative ways to...

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Fred Rogers Center June Newsletter 2021

In 1982, I began working with Fred Rogers’ organization, Family Communications, Inc. as a child development consultant for an outreach project that included writing activity plans for teachers and family childcare providers to accompany the daily Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television programs. What started as a three-month project ended up expanding to several years’ worth of follow-up activities that were correlated...

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Eric Carle – One of our favorite “neighbors”

I wonder if you, too, heard the sad news a few weeks ago about the death of Eric Carle, one of America’s most beloved children’s author-illustrators. Most early childhood professionals know him through his classic children’s books, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  We were fortunate to get to know Eric Carle as a “neighbor” - and to...

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