As a librarian I’m always looking for new ways to get kids excited about reading and learning. Recently, however, I’ve been turning to an old favorite for new ideas: Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. For more than three decades, Fred Rogers sent a simple yet powerful message to children everywhere: “I like you just the way you are.” I was a loyal Mr. Rogers fan growing up, so when Amazon added more than 300 episodes to their streaming services I decided to revisit my favorite television neighbor.
I expected to revisit a familiar yet dated childhood hero. I thought I’d watch one or two episodes and be done with it. But I found myself mesmerized from the opening song to the closing credits. I realized I had tapped into a treasure trove of ideas and early learning strategies that are every bit as relevant today as they were in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2001 when Fred Rogers signed off on the series finale.
March 20th, 2015 would have been Fred Rogers’ 87th birthday. Join us as we celebrate his life with activities, songs, and fun.