Original Post: June 12, 2020

This week's featured post comes to us from national marketing and communications associate, Paloma Mariz, from ReadingPartners.org. 

Kids and adults alike can experience higher levels of stress and anxiety as a result of current events and the state of the world around us. When we are bombarded with messages and images based on fear and uncertainty, we are more prone to experiencing physical and psychological manifestations of stress. 

Learning how to cope with stress is a lifelong skill. While adults and caregivers may have tried and true coping mechanisms to fall back on, kids are still figuring out how to navigate through their fears. 

One way for kids (or anyone) to de-stress, whether they’re living through a worry-filled world or not, is to read. This booklist can help kids better understand and address their feelings now and into the future. The books included here cover everything from fear to germs to the uncertainty of the future. Books like these can give young children the vocabulary to express themselves and their feelings about the world. They can also remind kids that they aren’t alone.

Share these books with your kids to help them cope with stress, fear, or anxiety.

~ My Hero is You ~

This story helps children understand and navigate a worry-filled world and learn how they can take small actions to become the heroes in their own stories. The new book is a collaboration of more than 50 humanitarian organizations. The book is aimed at children ages 6 to 11 years old and has already been translated into six languages to reach as many children as possible. Thirty more languages are in the pipeline, the release said.  Best of all, the book is available online in PDF form for free for families.

~ The Feelings Books ~

This book talks about all of the different feelings a person may have.  Author Todd Parr finds ways to make these feelings tangible to the youngest of audiences. He includes a message to kids that it is ok to feel any of the feelings and that they should always talk about how they are feeling. In this time of high stress, this idea of talking about how we feel is as important as ever for kids.

~ Ruby's Worry ~

A great book that shows how our fears or worries get bigger and grow when we keep them to ourselves.  Ruby learns that she is never alone and that everyone is worried or scared sometimes. The story is ultimately reassuring about what to do when a worry won’t leave you alone and would allow parents/caregivers the chance to open a dialogue about why children may be worried.

~ What Are Germs ~

A book for younger children about germs, how they can spread, and how we can take care of ourselves to stay healthy. This is a board book with over 20 flaps that young readers can lift and engage with as they are read to by a parent/caregiver.

~ Sick Simon ~

A great book for kids that shows how a sickness can spread—through being together, a hug, or eating together. In a time marked by fear of spreading germs or catching viruses, kids can feel empowered and in control through greater understanding.

~ The Dark ~

For children experiencing fear in a time of uncertainty, this book helps children understand their feelings of fear and the importance of confronting their fears. Lazlo, the main character, is afraid of the dark. Lazlo learns to talk to the dark, to ask questions, and how our fears can actually help us be brave. 

~ The I'm Not Scared Book ~

“Sometimes we are scared of things when we don’t understand them.  When you are scared, tell someone why.” This book illustrates how fear is perspective and how talking about what makes us scared helps us move forward. When kids may be scared of the unknown, this book will help open a conversation about how the things that scare us can get better and help you not be scared.

~After the Fall:How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again~

Looking towards the future and the unknown this book opens the door for conversation. Parents/caregivers and children can reflect upon the experiences and talk about how the future and their favorite activities may be different but that is a chance for new adventures and memories.

Hello Readers! Today we welcome the spring season, with a little poetry.

This video feature comes to us from the Favorite Poem Project founded by 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky. Though you may notice a snowflake or two, Mary Jane Doherty's meditation on The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens gives you a sense of stillness and peacefulness that is much needed during this hectic time. Enjoy! 

FEATURED POST by Sandy Brannan

Books have always been great friends to me. My mom, an avid reader, created an environment where early literacy just sort of happened in my family. I am beyond thankful for the fact that I don’t remember a time without reading in my life. I naturally passed this love of reading on to my children, and I am blessed to see that my grandchildren are as enthralled with books as I am.

As an English teacher for the past quarter century, I am painfully aware that not every child has that legacy. The crucial period of a child’s first three years unfortunately for some was not spent discovering the wonder of the world of reading. I often teach students who tell me they are “nonreaders” which is a term I simply refuse to add to my lexicon. When those students, and oftentimes their parents too, tell me they just don’t like to read, I always have the same response. They haven’t been introduced to the right book. Yet! 

There are perfect books out there for all of us; we just have to find them. I believe, as caretakers of children (whether in the role of parent or teacher or librarian) we have a huge responsibility to make reading appear to be the joy it is. So often we are guilty of presenting reading as a chore. Who likes chores? Books can stand on their own. Let’s just share them for what they are: beautifully bound creatures full of words and sometimes even with the bonus of companion pictures.
How do we do this? 

1. Model reading to children. If they see reading as something the adults in their lives enjoy, they will naturally be drawn in.

2. Share books. Don’t put limits on them. If your three year old asks you to read a chapter book, give him a chance. He will let you know if he’s not ready for it. Obviously we should make an attempt to set children up for success. We do this by providing a print-rich environment with age-appropriate books. The public library is a great resource for this. Go weekly if possible. This will allow you to rotate your child’s book stash. But beware! They are going to discover favorites which they will ask you to check out again and again. Indulge them. Children thrive with repetition.

3. Relax. I know we all want our kiddos to achieve. Sometimes we think the earlier the better, but there is usually no need to worry. Or hurry. Our children let us know what they are ready for. Back off when they don’t seem ready for a concept. Gently push forward when they are. Don’t stress about investing a lot of money. There are so many blogs out there with ideas about how to introduce the alphabet through fun. After they know their ABCs, introduce the sounds they make (phonemic awareness). Transition to phonics (putting those sounds together). Once they can handle a few CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, you have a reader on your hands. Trust me, in most cases, they learn quite organically.

4. Never stop. Reading is not something you should ever stop. It’s fun. And there are an endless supply of good stories. It is like a really good buffet. Only it’s free. And nothing on the buffet ever runs out.


Original Post Date: November 19, 2019
Source: https://www.literacyworldwide.org/blog/literacy-daily/2019/11/19/reading-the-world

Offering stories that reflect our contemporary communities is important for our children. “Let’s read the world” is a goal to champion! As a classroom and special education teacher, and now a university professor in curriculum, I’m interested in the opportunities we have in schools and libraries to teach so much more than literacy when we’re teaching the language arts.

In my role as a researcher in children’s literature, I’ve been exploring patterns and trends that should be concerning to educators. How many of the titles we share in our classrooms reflect people with exceptionalities? Are we representing gender in diverse, nonstereotypical ways? Could we do better in messages that help save our planet, that inspire children to care for each other and themselves, that break down barriers? 

I think of some amazing teachers I had in my own classroom contexts. Mrs. Gaston read aloud from Meindert deJong’s House of Sixty Fathers (HarperCollins) and—even today, almost 50 years later—I can recall everything about the way this exceptional story motivated discussions that we would not have initiated on our own. Mrs. Nichols shared Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (Macmillan) and Paul Zindel’s The Pigman (HarperTeen), two books I occasionally reread today for the courage they bring. But these teachers were the exception rather than the rule, and I continue to see classrooms where reading to students is not a key activity. 

Some titles I share with my undergraduate students that bring currency and engagement to their preservice teaching experiences are Kai Cheng Thom’s From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (Arsenal Pulp Press), Sara Leach’s Penguin Days (Pajama Press), Sara Cassidy’s A Boy Named Queen (Groundwood Books), Beth Goobie’s Jason’s Why (Red Deer Press), Pamela Porter’s The Crazy Man (Groundwood Books), Kate DiCamillo’s The Tiger Rising (Candlewick), Cynthia Lord’s Rules (Scholastic), Kenneth Oppel’s Darkwing (HarperCollins), Arthur Slade’s Dust(Random House), Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s Skim (Groundwood Books), and Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse (Douglas &McIntyre).

If you are a teacher who shares great literature with your students, or a teacher educator who models readalouds, I am grateful. You truly make a difference!


The public library has served and continues to serve the interest of the reading community.  The library offers a collection of material in a variety of formats, but the essence of a library is its books.  Throughout history, countless people have testified to the significant role the availability of books has played in their lives.  And, just imagine, at the local public library, it’s free!  Reading is the key to enrichment and enlightenment.

But what of the non-readers in a community?  For a non-reader, entering the library building itself may be formidable.  To serve the non-reader, library staff need to be warm and welcoming and eager to offer assistance.  The library may offer a collection of books for the beginning adult reader, but how in the world can they be found without the help of a compassionate librarian?  Additionally, digital literacy is critical for success in the modern world, and libraries do a good job in providing this training.  But again, how in the world is a non-reader expected to navigate the digital world without help?
At the Wayne County Public Library, the staff understand the needs and anxieties of the non-reader and recognizes the library can offer a safe space for literacy tutoring, and this is a good way to become comfortable in a new environment.  Another way to break the cycle of illiteracy is for a young child to attend story time at the local library.  There is magic during these programs, and they can be the start of loving books.  And it’s all free!

The Friends of the Library annually provide support for the mission of the library and to support literacy in the community through the Friends Annual Book Sale.  Thousands of volumes, including children’s books, and all sorts of adult titles are sold for nominal sums.  Low pricing is intentional.  The Friends do like the revenue generated from the sale, but the greater purpose is to get books into people’s homes.

FEATURED POST by Valerie Wallace

You’ve heard it said -

“Children are made readers on the laps of 
their parents”, this statement is so true.  

The love of books and reading starts at an early age in the 
stories parents read to us.  Parents spending time with their children and reading stories to them will help them learn to read and comprehend stories on their own.  When they are read to frequently, children will learn to love reading and will begin to read more on their own.  Parents are also exposing their children to a rich vocabulary. 

A love for books is timeless and shared across all
generations.  Nothing beats curling up with a good book, having your child beside you and exploring the wonderful world of their imagination as you read to them. 

Here are a few ways to promote literacy.

~ Set aside time each day to read. ~

~ Visit the local library. ~  
(Did you know that infants can now receive a library card?)

~ Keep a variety of books available around the house. ~

~ Have older siblings read to their younger siblings. ~

~ Have a planned reading night. ~ 
(i.e. Read Going on a Bear Hunt and make a bear cave out of blankets and chairs.)  

Read with friends through FaceTime or using Skype. ~

~Read “popcorn” style.~  
(Each family member take a turn reading a page or two.  
For younger children, have them describe the page.)

By reading together, learning happens and most 
importantly memories are made that last a lifetime.



original post date:September 26, 2019

Can students who struggle with reading learn to love it? The short answer is yes, of course—but accomplishing such a feat is easier said than done. How can students for whom reading is a difficult task find joy in it? 

Often, nurturing a love of reading in students who have
struggled with it comes down to making sure they are given access to the right kinds of support and intervention, as well as time to develop their own connection to books and stories.

Do they need help finding the right book?

According to a 2018 post by Terry Heick on the education-focused website TeachThought, the No.1 reason students don't like to read is that they have yet to “find the right book or type of book.” Heick insisted that “no one hates reading”—instead, they just need to be nudged toward the right materials. But, he acknowledged, there is more to it than just finding the perfect book. 

More specifically, Heick explained that students often need 
reading strategies to help them become confident readers, as facilitated by assessments that examine their strengths and challenges. Another TeachThought post compiled by the site’s staff members provides a long list (25 items' worth!) of overall reading strategies for teachers to share with students, including visualization, predictions, annotation, and so on.

Are they getting the right evaluation and support? 

Although helpful, general reading strategies may not be 
enough. After all, millions of students in the United States qualify each year for special education services, and data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that the majority of those have a specific learning disability (SLD). Dyslexia, which impacts students’ ability to decode words and learn to read well, is the most common SLD. 

For many students, however, there is not a straight line 
between having dyslexia and receiving the kind of evaluation and interventions that can make this SLD manageable and nurture a love of reading. Instead, as the Mayo Clinic and other sources have noted, “Many children with learning disorders, also called learning disabilities, struggle in school long before being diagnosed.” 

One in 5 students with an SLD do not receive a diagnosis at 
all, according to the National Center on Learning Disabilities, and as an informative post on the NCLD website noted, “When these children receive the right interventions and informal supports, many can succeed in general education.” If they don’t, “children with unidentified disabilities may not reach their full potential and risk falling behind and having to repeat a grade.”

Rediscovering an early love of books.

Writing for the magazine ADDitude, Jill Thomadsen 
described how her son Ryan “fell out of love with books” once he became school-age and the expectation that he could and should be learning how to read independently took hold. Thomadsen recalled that, as a toddler, her son carried “armloads of books” around with him and loved to be read to; as a 6-year-old, however, his frustration with not being able to decode the words on the page led him to declare that he hated books and reading.

Although Thomadsen and her husband suspected their son 
had a problem with reading, it wasn’t until second grade that he was diagnosed with dyslexia after two previous rounds of testing that she was told were “inconclusive.” During that period, Thomadsen says, “the chasm between Ryan’s desires and a preference for reading had developed into a Grand Canyon-size abyss. He didn’t want to see, try to read, or be in the vicinity of books.”

But Thomadsen’s son is fortunate. Not only did his mother 
work to keep his love of books alive through frequent trips to the library and an insistence on nurturing his connection to stories, he now attends a school with plenty of resources available for students with dyslexia.

Resources are crucial.

Thomadsen’s ADDitude piece serves as a reminder that it is 
often necessary for parents to persist in seeking help when they suspect there is something more going on with their children than a simple distaste for reading. Although attending a specialized school for students with learning disorders may not always be an option, public schools can also provide the required intervention and support—indeed, they are expected to under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) that was passed in the 1970s and requires public schools to meet the needs of all students. 

Despite IDEA's clear mandate to serve all students, including those with special education needs, the money has yet to fully follow. That said, a 2019 overview of IDEA published by the online education news site Education Week noted that funding is not the only issue impacting the delivery of special education services in public schools:

“Children with disabilities aren't always identified for needs 
when they have them. When they are identified, what happens in the classroom is hit-or-miss. And, as Ford and countless school officials, advocates, parents, and teachers have said since 1975, there's not enough money in the law to accomplish all that it requires.”

A 2018 public radio report by Emily Hanford echoed this 
sentiment by arguing that, when it comes to reading, many of today's students are being left behind by their public schools—not just those with possible or diagnosed dyslexia.

"Proper remediation" matters. 

Jennifer Bryant, a parent of a child with dyslexia, pointed out 
in a recent blog post that her daughter only began making progress after her school district “implemented a dyslexia testing schedule and program.” At first, Bryant didn't realize that “a public school district that actually tests for dyslexia and has a program specifically for it” was unusual. As she recalled in her post, “I didn't know at the time that this didn't happen in every school across the nation.”

After receiving nearly five years of “proper remediation” at 
school, Bryant's daughter has discovered a love of reading—and the blog post includes a photo of the beaming girl standing next to a timeline of books she had recently read to prove it!

While Heick’s advice to direct students toward books they 
like is important, it may not be enough to nurture a love of reading in struggling students. As stories like Bryant’s demonstrate, access to proper evaluations and support can make all the difference when it comes to turning frustrated non-readers into confident, independent book-lovers.


"After learning Spanish in high school, it opened up my eyes to the world. I became interested in learning other languages, traveling, and the academic field of linguistics." A lover of languages, blogger Elica helps us understand and shares a few tips on how to find our study personality. 
original post date: March 25, 2019
source: http://www.travelengua.com/how-to-study-smarter-figuring-out-your-study-personality/

The first time I really learned to study was at a 4-year university. For me, that came a little later than others; community college wasn’t particularly difficult for me, and most people say that it’s just an older version of high school. But go time for me was when I challenged myself to take four classes per quarter at UCLA, and I knew I had to study smarter.
Finding out how to study smarter is, at least in my eyes, more about learning how you function. In learning about how you operate, you can optimize both your time and your brain power.
Main Questions to Ask Yourself:
Where are you most comfortable without wanting to take a nap?
Though anyone can technically study anywhere, many of us have preferences and ideal places to study. For most of the people I know, that’s the library or a coffee shop. For me, that was my bed.
When I told people that I would study on my bed, they ask me, how?! I can’t even study at home, and if I study on my bed, all I want to do is take a nap!
Studying on my bed was comfortable to the point where I could focus without wanting to sleep all the time. Studying in the library or coffee shop for me would be uncomfortable, particularly because I know I wouldn’t be able to focus with so many people around me. It sounds weird, but I would feel self conscious. I would rather be in the comfort of my own space, with ready access to my snacks, the bathroom, and whatever else I had in my dorm room.
This comfortable study space is different for everyone. So if you don’t know where you feel comfortable, experiment the first couple of weeks and figure out where you feel most productive. Popular picks would be the library or a coffee shop, and less popular picks might be in your room (on your bed) or at home in general.
How long is your attention span? 
Some people can study for an hour without too much distraction, while others can only study for 20 minutes. One is not better than the other, just different. Finding ways to adapt your studying to your attention span will help you to not waste hours of precious time.
For those who have a shorter attention span, I recommend finding out what your limit is. Study in increments and take a shorter break in between, put your phone away completely, and have snacks waiting for you so you don’t have an excuse to get up because you are hungry and can’t concentrate. Ultimately, getting rid of all exterior distractions will (hopefully) help you to make the best of your time.
For those with a longer attention span, I still recommend taking breaks in between, but your study increments may be longer (maybe 30 to 45 minutes?).
When is the best time to study for you? 
College is famous for all-nighters. College may also be known for students guzzling cups of coffee.
But that doesn’t have to be you. One of the most helpful things I learned about myself was whenI was most focused. For me, my brain is most alert in the morning; I didn’t get distracted as easily, I had just woken up a couple hours prior, and I wasn’t constantly thinking about food because I had just had breakfast. I focused on sleeping at 10 or 11 pm in college so I could wake up early enough to study (crazy, right? Sleep is important!). 
But this is not the case or everyone. Some people study better in the afternoon, others in the evening, and others at night. I recommend playing around with your schedule and studying at different times to figure out what time is best for you.
Another tip: This is a personal thing, but is a trick I used a lot. It may or may not work for you. No matter what time I was studying at, if I studied material before sleeping (nap or going to sleep for the night), I would retain information well and remember most of what I looked over after I woke up. I used this trick a day or two before I had a big test, but that’s along with studying leading up to the test. While this may be helpful, I wouldn’t suggest it as fix-all for last minute cramming.
Who do you want to study with? 
The last major question has to do with who you want to study with. Do you prefer studying alone? With friends? Or both, eventually? I preferred studying alone because I only had to rely on myself to find the information if I didn’t know the answers. Doing study guides by myself allowed me to be accountable for my learning.
Others thrive on studying in a group. They are able to talk through their thought process and ideas, can be corrected on the spot, and you have the safety net of having more than just yourself if you completely get something wrong. Studying with others is also a huge help for those who need help staying on track (but also a downside if you get distracted easily. Pick your study buddies wisely!).
There’s also the approach where you can combine the two. Sometimes, I liked to do the work myself and come together with a friend to go over what we already know. That way I have the knowledge that I reviewed while studying, but also an extra person there to help me if I was forgetting something.

Bonus Tips:

Set Check Points/Mini Goals
I liked setting tiny goals for myself during reading or writing papers, or even doing homework. This helps to break up the monotony of doing one thing for too long. For example, if I had 10 questions for a homework assignment, I would do 5 and take a break, and get back to it after. For reading, I would set time limits (20 minutes of reading and 5 minutes of break) and for (research) papers, I would try to finish by sections or chunks: introduction, background, research participants, etc.
By setting these mini goals, there’s a greater sense of accomplishment and you won’t get tired too quickly. Or bored.
Take a Break, Take a nap
If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re thirsty, get a drink. If you want to stop, stop. If you need to take a nap, take a nap! Challenging and pushing ourselves can be a good thing, but being too tired or sleepy to continue studying only works against us.
If you’re too sleepy to keep studying, but push through it instead of napping, it may be counter productive. You waste time on studying material you won’t retain. If you do take a nap, you have something valuable (rest) going into the next study session and will have an easier time retaining more information (less work for you!).
Stay Organized 
Don’t underestimate the power of staying organized. By staying organized, you know exactly where your papers are, which folder to find that research paper in, when that assignment is due, and by when you have to have that reading done.
By just knowing where all your stuff is and when it’s due, you save a lot of time and stress, and you’re better able to create an effective study schedule.


Featured in The Atlantic back in June of 2018, author Maxwell King discusses the simple language dubbed "Freddish", inspired by the one and only Mr. Fred Rogers.

This article was adapted from Maxwell King's book, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/06/mr-rogers-neighborhood-talking-to-kids/562352/


Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children: The TV Legend possessed an extraordinary understanding of how kids make sense of language.

Fred Rogers on the set of Mr. Rogers's Neighborhood in 1993GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility. On Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the show that he created 50 years ago and starred in, he was the epitome of simple, natural ease.
But as I write in my forthcoming book, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, Rogers’s placidity belied the intense care he took in shaping each episode of his program. He insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely, because he knew that children—the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience—tend to hear things literally.
As Arthur Greenwald, a former producer of the show, put it to me, “There were no accidents on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He took great pains not to mislead or confuse children, and his team of writers joked that his on-air manner of speaking amounted to a distinct language they called “Freddish.”
Fundamentally, Freddish anticipated the ways its listeners might misinterpret what was being said. For instance, Greenwald mentioned a scene in a hospital in which a nurse inflating a blood-pressure cuff originally said “I’m going to blow this up.” Greenwald recalls: “Fred made us redub the line, saying, ‘I’m going to puff this up with some air,’ because ‘blow it up’ might sound like there’s an explosion, and he didn’t want the kids to cover their ears and miss what would happen next.”

The show’s final cuts reflected many similarly exacting interventions. Once, Rogers provided new lyrics for the “Tomorrow” song that ended each show to ensure that children watching on Friday wouldn’t expect a show on Saturday, when the show didn’t air. And Rogers’s secretary, Elaine Lynch, remembered how, when one script referred to putting a pet “to sleep,” he excised it for fear that children would be worried about the idea of falling asleep themselves.

Rogers was extraordinarily good at imagining where children’s minds might go. For instance, in a scene in which he had an eye doctor using an ophthalmoscope to peer into his eyes, he made a point of having the doctor clarify that he wasn’t able to see Rogers’s thoughts. Rogers also wrote a song called “You Can Never Go Down the Drain” because he knew that drains were something that, to kids, seemed to exist solely to suck things down.
In 1977, about a decade into the show’s run, Arthur Greenwald and another writer named Barry Head cracked open a bottle of scotch while on a break, and coined the term Freddish. They later created an illustrated manual called “Let’s Talk About Freddish,” a loving parody of the demanding process of getting all the words just right for Rogers. “What Fred understood and was very direct and articulate about was that the inner life of children was deadly serious to them,” said Greenwald. Per the pamphlet, there were nine steps for translating into Freddish:
  1. “State the idea you wish to express as clearly as possible, and in terms preschoolers can understand.” Example: It is dangerous to play in the street. ​​​​​​
  2. “Rephrase in a positive manner,” as in It is good to play where it is safe.
  3. “Rephrase the idea, bearing in mind that preschoolers cannot yet make subtle distinctions and need to be redirected to authorities they trust.” As in, “Ask your parents where it is safe to play.”
  4. “Rephrase your idea to eliminate all elements that could be considered prescriptive, directive, or instructive.” In the example, that’d mean getting rid of “ask”: Your parents will tell you where it is safe to play.
  5. “Rephrase any element that suggests certainty.” That’d be “will”: Your parents can tell you where it is safe to play.
  6. “Rephrase your idea to eliminate any element that may not apply to all children.” Not all children know their parents, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play.
  7. “Add a simple motivational idea that gives preschoolers a reason to follow your advice.” Perhaps: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is good to listen to them.
  8. “Rephrase your new statement, repeating the first step.” “Good” represents a value judgment, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them.
  9. “Rephrase your idea a final time, relating it to some phase of development a preschooler can understand.” Maybe: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them, and listening is an important part of growing
Rogers brought this level of care and attention not just to granular details and phrasings, but the bigger messages his show would send. Hedda Sharapan, one of the staff members at Fred Rogers’s production company, Family Communications, Inc., recalls Rogers once halted taping of a show when a cast member told the puppet Henrietta Pussycat not to cry; he interrupted shooting to make it clear that his show would never suggest to children that they not cry.

In working on the show, Rogers interacted extensively with academic researchers. Daniel R. Anderson, a psychologist formerly at the University of Massachusetts who worked as an advisor for the show, remembered a speaking trip to Germany at which some members of an academic audience raised questions about Rogers’s direct approach on television. They were concerned that it could lead to false expectations from children of personal support from a televised figure. Anderson was impressed with the depth of Rogers’s reaction, and with the fact that he went back to production carefully screening scripts for any hint of language that could confuse children in that way.
In fact, Freddish and Rogers’s philosophy of child development is actually derived from some of the leading 20th-century scholars of the subject. In the 1950s, Rogers, already well known for a previous children’s TV program, was pursuing a graduate degree at The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary when a teacher there recommended he also study under the child-development expert Margaret McFarland at the University of Pittsburgh. There he was exposed to the theories of legendary faculty, including McFarland, Benjamin Spock, Erik Erikson, and T. Berry Brazelton. Rogers learned the highest standards in this emerging academic field, and he applied them to his program for almost half a century.
This is one of the reasons Rogers was so particular about the writing on his show. “I spent hours talking with Fred and taking notes,” says Greenwald, “then hours talking with Margaret McFarland before I went off and wrote the scripts. Then Fred made them better.” As simple as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood looked and sounded, every detail in it was the product of a tremendously careful, academically-informed process.



Original Post: June 12, 2020 Source:  https://readingpartners.org/blog/books-help-kids-cope-uncertain-times/ This week's featured po...