Won't You Be My Neighbor? Day 2013
By Hedda Sharapan
Next Wednesday, March 20th, we’re celebrating Fred Rogers’ birthday. It’s hard to believe, but this would have been his 85th birthday.
To honor Fred’s life, a few years ago we started a tradition of encouraging people to wear a sweater on March 20th -- and to do something neighborly. Wearing a sweater is our “outside” tribute to Fred, but he was so much more focused on our “insides” that we wanted to add doing something kind and caring – something “neighborly.”
We call it “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day, in honor of Fred’s signature way of welcoming us to his Neighborhood. He made us feel “at home” -- no matter what we could or could not do, no matter what we look like, or how we feel.
You do that too, every day when you greet children warmly and make them feel welcome in your care. Next week on March 20th, I hope you’ll take a moment to realize what a valuable gift you’re giving the children just by the way you greet them.
PBS made a very touching video tribute to Fred, and I wanted to share it with you, not just because of what it means about his work, but because of what it means about yours. As you watch the video, I hope you’ll think about all the ways you help children feel “at home.”
Just as Fred made us feel “safe, valued and cared for” in his Neighborhood, you do that every day for the children in your care. Here are some of the things you do in your greeting that makes children feel welcome right from the start:
With your words
With your non-verbal cues
With the way you greet families
and on PBSKids.org/Daniel
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.