A Sneak Peek at Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
I’m doing something a bit different for this year’s August newsletter. In the past I’ve used this issue for a look back. This year I’m excited to be able to give you a look ahead -- at our new children’s program, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, premiering Labor Day on most PBS stations around the country. I thought you’d be especially interested because it represents another aspect of how we can continue to learn from Fred Rogers.
We’ve all had the experience of learning from mentors, and then as we grew professionally, we began building on their teachings in our own creative ways based on who we are, our experiences and our situation. You can even think about Fred’s work in that way, too. He often credited his mentors in graduate school in child development for his understanding of children, but he created his own unique journey for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, using their teachings as a “road map.”
Likewise, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a way of taking Fred’s legacy on a new journey. This journey began when we connected with our creative production partner Angela Santomero, co-founder of Out of the Blue Enterprises and the creative force behind Blue’s Clues and the PBS KIDS series Super Why! Angela, who grew up watching Mister Rogers, has a Master’s degree in Child Development Psychology from Columbia University. It’s been a wonderfully exciting experience for me and several other Fred Rogers Company staff to serve as story and script consultants.
This new half-hour animated series takes place in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and its cast features the next generation of the original and much-loved puppet characters. Star of the series, young Daniel Tiger (son of the original Daniel who’s now grown up and married to Mrs. Tiger), is joined by his friends O the Owl, Katarina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday and Miss Elaina – and their families and neighbors.
Each Daniel program has two 11-minute animated stories based on Fred’s landmark social-emotional curriculum. The stories involve imagining, problem-solving and music to help the characters learn emotional and social skills that we all know – and research confirms - are necessary for school and for life.
One of the key ingredients that you might find particularly helpful is its groundbreaking use of catchy strategy songs that reinforce each theme, building children’s emotional vocabulary and giving them coping skills. They’re like “little life lessons.” We hope they’ll be helpful to you, too, and that you’ll find your own unique way to use them, as you help the children you care for develop the important skills they need for now and for their future.
So here’s your sneak peek! It’s part of the first episode about disappointment.
Best wishes from all of us here, as the summer winds down...and we head into new beginnings in September.
"Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else."
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will air twice daily on PBS at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
You can visit our new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood PBSkids website to play games and watch videos, including a number of strategy songs. Look for the Parents and Teachers sites to launch in September.
Past issues that can be helpful resources for you.
Last Month's issue.
Over 300 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes are now available for purchase at amazon.com as downloads or on DVD. We hope the Neighborhood’s timeless messages can be a resource to you in your work.
You can also see selected Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes and video clips on our PBSKids website.