Our first annual Educators’ Symposium in 2021 was a success! We had 175 attendees from 33 states and 5 countries join from many different contexts including early childhood, K-12 education, families, community organizations, administration/ leadership, higher education, and informal learning. We spent two days thinking about Fred Rogers and the many ways to apply his legacy and wisdom to our everyday practice. Read below to learn more about the 2021 sessions.


Stay tuned for more information about the 2022 Educators’ Symposium coming this spring!


Read below to learn more about this past Symposium.


You are invited to the inaugural Fred Rogers Center Educators’ Symposium where we will gather (online) to learn from the life and work of Fred Rogers and find ways to apply our learning into practice with children, families, and educators.


This two-day learning experience, anchored in archival and community resources of the Fred Rogers Center, will be full of collaboration, stories, inspiration, and joy. This will include:


  • Sessions on topics connecting Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to a variety of learning contexts, including a session from Fred Rogers Center archivist, Emily Uhrin and the Simple Interactions team
  • Panel of educators sharing how Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood impacts practice with children, families, and educators
  • Opening keynote given by Hedda Sharapan, child development expert and former Associate Producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Closing keynote given by Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski authors of “When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids”


Open to all educators (formal and informal), educational leaders, care providers, and others who work in the service of children, families, and educators. The cost is $143 to attend both days and $75 to attend one day. With your conference registration fee, you will receive access to session recordings and a certificate of attendance.

Tuesday July 20

All times are EST!


10:30-12:30 Opening Keynote

Hedda Sharapan, Associate Producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood


1:00-2:00 Learning from the Fred Rogers Archive

Emily Uhrin, Fred Rogers Center Archivist

The Fred Rogers Archive is home to over 20,000 items that document the life and work of Fred Rogers. In this session, Emily Uhrin, our archivist of 15 years, will offer an introduction to the archive and will share artifacts that connect Fred Rogers’ legacy to educators’ practice.


2:30-3:30 Music Making and Listening: What Fred Rogers Can Teach Us

Katie Palmer, Curator of Education, Musical Instrument Museum; Gretsch Music Fellow, Fred Rogers Center

Learn more about Fred Rogers’s relationship with music and how to employ many of the same practices in early childhood settings. From utilizing Fred Rogers’s songs to creating music together, this presentation focuses on how music fosters healthful development.


4:00-5:00 Appreciating and Promoting Deep and Simple Moments

Annie White, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Fred Rogers Center

Fred Rogers reminds us that, “It is through relationships that learn best – and grow best.” Yet, how do we encourage, enhance, and empower the human relationships around children and youth? Real and lasting change can start with finding what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in simple, everyday moments. In this workshop session, we apply an approach to supporting helpers that relies on capturing and learning from every day, “simple interactions” in child- and youth-serving settings.


Wednesday July 21

All times are EST!


10:30-12:30 Integrating Fred Rogers into Your Neighborhood 

Moderated by Dana Winters, PhD., Executive Director of Fred Rogers Center


  • Renata Capozzoli, Kindergarten Teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Jeremy Holbrook, Creator and Director, Big Idea Camp
  • Sara Lindey, Professor of English, Saint Vincent College
  • Sarah O’Callaghan, Graduate Assistant, Fred Rogers Center
  • Sally Rushford, Retired Elementary School Principal, Pittsburgh Public Schools


1:00-2:00 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Episode Talk 

Melissa Butler, Project Lead of Educators’ Neighborhood

Join us for this highly interactive session which will be rich with opportunities to examine foundational child-development methodology found in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes. We’ll watch clips (not shown in other events this year) and have multiple small group conversations to share what we notice and how we connect this to our own contexts of practice. Come prepared to share the wisdom of your experience and learn from the wisdom of Fred Rogers and other educators.


2:30-4:00 Closing Keynote

Gregg Behr & Ryan Rydzewski, authors of “When You Wonder You’re Learning: Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids