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Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:

Educational Outreach Elements

Family Communications, Inc., has developed a number of outreach efforts in a wide variety of media:


Mister Rogers' Plan & Play Book
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Mister Rogers' Plan & Play Book -- With more than 400 pages of clearly written and illustrated easy-to-do activities, this activity book was developed to complement the 700-plus Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes. Full of creative ideas for children's play and discussion, the book includes descriptions of each television program along with easy-to-understand child-development explanations of each week's themes. Child care providers, preschool teachers, early childhood educators, and parents are using these meaningful activities to enhance learning through play.

Poster/Postcards -- One popular Neighborhood poster (subsequently made into a picture postcard used for outreach by PBS stations) is a photo of Mister Rogers on the set, with the message, "You make each day special by just your being you." A more recent postcard features Mister Rogers, the familiar Neighborhood Trolley, and many Neighborhood of Make-Believe puppet characters along with the message, "We're glad to be your neighbors." We also have postcards with pictures of the regular cast members, who autograph them at appearances.

Mister Rogers' Brochure
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Brochures -- A Door to Learning Readiness brochure discusses the many ways that Mister Rogers' Neighborhood contributes to early learning skills and competency and what parents and educators can do to expand young children's learning even further. A recent brochure, What Makes Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Unique?, offers an easy-to-understand guide to the child-development and educational principles behind the program, as well as viewing tips for parents and caregivers. A series of 12 Family Cares brochures in English and Spanish centers around topics often addressed on the television program that concern parents of young children: helping your child be a better learner, bedtime, helping children with their angry feelings, sharing, rules, mealtime, toilet accidents, new baby, divorce, moving, adjusting to child care, and dealing with fears.

Mister Rogers' Newsletter.
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Newsletter -- Around the Neighborhood began as a free quarterly newsletter for child care providers, with child-development background information about program themes, a broadcast calendar, a photo poster with a theme-related message, information to share with parents, activities, and a booklist related to the newsletter's key theme(s). Sixty thousand copies of each issue were sent to Ready To Learn (RTL) coordinators at public television stations around the country to distribute to child care providers and parents. This newsletter is offered by online subscription at, so it reaches an even wider audience. In recent months, more than 5,000 visitors have come to the site.

Mister Rogers' Video
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There are several Mister Rogers' Neighborhood programs that deal with specific child care issues: helping children with their angry feelings, dealing with the ups and downs of friendships, caring for the environment, managing separation fears when starting school, handling the experience of going to the doctor, and distinguishing between reality and fantasy. These videos are packaged with guides that include easy-to-understand child-development information about the theme, plus suggested follow-up activities.


Mister Rogers' Home page
View Web site and -- Family Communications has worked with Web developers to create two Web sites. The company Web site is primarily for adults, while the PBS Kids site is primarily for children, though it does include information for parents and teachers.

Both Web sites provide comprehensive information about the program, weekly theme-based child-development messages, photographs, booklists, and other support materials. The Family Communications Web site has the national broadcast schedule, program descriptions, a list of related children's books, tips to help parents explore program themes with their children, related articles and resources, and outreach information and resources for early childhood educators and other professionals.

Recently, an electronic newsletter was added at This newsletter provides information about upcoming program highlights, child development, activities and children's booklists, and other Family Communications projects and resources.

Another electronic newsletter supports child care providers who participated in the workshop "What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?: Helping Children Deal with Their Angry Feelings." This newsletter extends and expands upon workshop messages, offering in-depth articles, activity ideas, and highlights from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that pertain to helping children with their angry feelings and developing self-control. The newsletter is available at

The PBS Kids site offers interactive educational activities based on the Mister Rogers series. It also provides ideas for meaningful offline activities.

The Mister Rogers' Sweater Drive

Fred Rogers' cardigan sweater has come to represent the gentle spirit, warmth, and nurturing of the Neighborhood. Over the years, dozens of stations have created their own Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drives, ranging from small collections in community centers to statewide campaigns. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS, Family Communications encouraged public television stations nationwide to undertake a Mister Rogers' Sweater Drive. The Sweater Drive is a great opportunity for stations to inspire the "good feelings" that come from their being good neighbors in their community.

Person-to-Person Activities

Family Communications has developed popular and successful workshops that extend the value of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood by helping early childhood professionals gain insight into the needs of children and learn strategies that promote children's healthy emotional, social, and cognitive development. Applauded by public television station Ready To Learn coordinators and other early childhood trainers, these interactive workshops focus primarily on relationships with children.

Through a federal grant, Family Communications offered anger-management workshops and free resource materials to trainers in Pennsylvania, California, Mississippi, Iowa, Ohio, New York, and Maryland.

We are currently exploring ways that new technologies, particularly DVD and CD-ROM, can be integrated into training and support materials in meaningful and effective ways.

The workshop included:

Extending the Neighborhood to Child Care -- This workshop gives child care providers an appreciation for the child-development content in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, along with activity and discussion ideas to use with children.

What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?: Helping Young Children Deal with Their Angry Feelings -- This workshop offers insight into children's anger, their developing self-control, and ways to intervene when they've lost control. Family Communications has also developed children's books, videos, posters, and parenting pamphlets that support this workshop.

Challenging Behaviors: Where Do We Begin? -- Based on comments from early childhood professionals, Family Communications produced a subsequent workshop dealing with children whose anger and lack of self-regulation are even more difficult to handle. This follow-up workshop has been piloted to much acclaim and will be available in the very near future.

From Lullabies to Literacy: The Importance of Relationships -- This workshop is about the role of nurturing relationships in encouraging language through lullabies and lap songs, reading and the appreciation of books, and writing.

Encouraging Curiosity: Why? Why? Why? -- This workshop is currently under development.

National Outreach Initiative

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood schedules its "What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?" week during the National YWCA Week Without Violence. YWCA staff are encouraged to offer the Mad Feelings training workshop to parents and child care providers.

"This material is a valuable resource in the YWCA's work with children. It gives strong support to our long history of providing quality child care and our commitment to eliminate violence."

-- Dr. Prema Mathai-Davis, CEO, YWCA of the USA

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In this section:


    Mister Rogers'

        Goals & Audience

>      Educational
        Outreach Elements


        Challenges &
        Lessons Learned

    Sesame Street


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