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January 2017
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FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

As with most people and organizations, January starts with a flurry of activities as we strive to achieve our resolutions for the New Year. At the Center, our work has primarily focused on professional development and academics. This year we will begin to take steps to reaching an important audience directly, families. 
 
When Fred Rogers founded his production company, he named it Family Communications, Inc. because that's what he wanted to create -- healthy family communication. That goal is still essential today.  But how do we develop and disseminate messages to improve outcomes for children and families?  We begin the process on Sunday evening, May 14, when we kick off Fred Forward. This year's Fred Forward will be a smaller invitation-only symposium. Sessions will utilize a variety of formats, including keynote and featured speakers, panel discussions, and “Ask the Expert” design-thinking discussion groups for addressing complex communications challenges.
 
We believe these sessions will provide us important insight as we move forward to assist families with positive messages in building strong and deep connections with the children in their lives.  This will allow us not only to keep Fred’s legacy alive, but his larger vision as well.

Sincerely,


Rick Fernandes

IN THE ARCHIVE

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Family Communications, Inc.


Fred Rogers founded the aptly named Family Communications, Inc. in 1971, as the production company for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred’s vision for the company was to produce media that would inspire meaningful dialogue in family settings. We can read Fred’s intentions for the company in many of his speeches. 
 
In 1972 he traveled to Yale University to speak at the symposium “Who Is Talking to Our Children?” He said, “Those of us who have formed Family Communications Inc. think of our main goal as facilitating communications within the nuclear family as well as the families of humanity.” 
 
Throughout the years, Fred and his staff worked hard to maintain the original vision for the company.  “On the walls of our Family Communications offices are reminders of who we are and what we do,” Fred said in 1994. Those items included letters from parents and drawings from children, reminding the staff that their work extended beyond the television screen. We preserve some of those “reminders” in the Archive so that they now guide our work in furthering Fred’s legacy. 
 

EXPANDED REACH IN CHINA

Academic Hood Quilt

 

The Fred Rogers Center is reassuring parents in China’s oldest newspaper, Wenhui Newspaper (daily print circulation 500,000), which serves as the government's official newspaper of record on civic, cultural, and education issues. For the last two years, our Rita M. McGinley Chair  and Co-Director Junlei Li has been asked to contribute full-length columns on topics ranging from early childhood and brain science, childcare quality, and digital media and young children. As with all of our work, our message in China integrates Fred’s legacy with the newest science to reassure parents that they have what really matters when it comes to raising their children. Though Chinese readers are not acquainted with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, they resonate with Fred’s simple and affirming messages.

 

NEW ON THE BLOG


Check-Out Tech Lending Kits Bring Technology to More Classrooms

by Tanya Baronti

One of the Fred Rogers Center’s initiatives – Digital Media and Learning – recognizes the presence and influence of digital media and technology in the daily lives of children, families, and educators. We know that when technology tools are used effectively, they can enhance children’s cognitive and social abilities. They can also allow children to explore experiences outside of their communities. The Center is dedicated to helping children and adults thrive in the digital age, and to ensuring that technology use is balanced alongside children’s social interactions, play, and other activities with caring friends and family.
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CARRYING THE LEGACY FORWARD

In My Own Words


Just as Fred Rogers understood the importance of community, we know that it takes advocates, collaborators, donors, and so many other friends, to help achieve our mission.

As the youngest of four children, I always felt pushed to conform to the paths and behaviors of my older siblings. Fred’s message of embracing our differences stayed with me all through my childhood and teenage years. I support the mission of the Fred Rogers Center because I want all children to accept themselves for who they are, and I believe it is the best path to a happy life and successful career.


—Nell Stuart
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WORDS OF WISDOM


"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else.."

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I've felt that many times. My hope for all of us is that "the miles we go before we sleep" will be filled with all the feelings that come from deep caring delight, sadness, joy, wisdom-and that in all the endings of our life, we will be able to see the new beginnings. — Fred Rogers
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