Newsletter/Video Archive: Learning


When I wear a sweater on March 20th, it helps me remember how much we’ve learned from Fred. As one young fan wrote, “Thank you, Mister Rogers. You helped me learn life.”

I’ve heard elementary school teachers say that one of the most important qualities that children need to succeed in school is the willingness to take risks. 

Fred Rogers cared deeply about conservation and taking good care of our planet. He created a whole week of Neighborhood episodes about the environment.

All through the Neighborhood series Fred Rogers encouraged imagination, problem-solving and pretending. I recently came across a Neighborhood episode where he shared one of his favorite stories about art and creativity, and I thought you might appreciate it, too. 

Here are some "Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned from Fred Rogers" life lessons that can help us in our work with children.

Whenever I’m in an infant-toddler room, I always make a point of thanking the early childhood educators who work there. In many ways they’re building the foundation for children’s success in school and in life.

These are just some of the many ways you can help children see that writing is useful, meaningful, and valuable. That’s what helps them want to do the hard work that it takes – and gives them such a good feeling when they’ve accomplished it.

When you think about it, children benefit in lots of wonderful ways when you expose them to new words. You’ll be giving them important tools -- for communication, literacy, science, emotional development.

As much as possible, make reading an activity for one-on-one time or for small groups. That can be a great way to use volunteers, students, or “adopted grandparents.”

It always strikes me how simple Fred’s songs seem at first, but they’re deep and complex -- and full of important messages for professionals who work with young children.

Most children’s songs are simple enough musically that you don’t need to be able to sing well. Children love singing so much that they’ll be forgiving if you can’t carry a tune. So don’t worry that you won’t make “American Idol” – just enjoy singing along with the children.

When you give children the opportunity to put on different kinds of costumes (simple or elaborate), you’ll be giving them wonderful opportunities to develop some of these important social-emotional skills that come with dress-up play.

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