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FRED ROGERS CENTER LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE EARLY LEARNING WEBSITE FOR FAMILIES AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROFESSIONALS

Public Relations
Posted: Wednesday Mar 28, 2012

The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College today launched a unique website that provides high quality digital media resources for early learning teachers, family child care providers, and families of young children birth to age five, free of charge.

The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™— “Ele” (pronounced “El-Lee”) for short—is located at www.yourele.org. The site includes:
Activities—A library of more than 100 ebooks, digital games, videos, music, mobile apps, and other activities selected as quality resources that support learning and literacy development. Some activities help adults support children’s language and literacy skills; others are designed for use by adults with children.
Let’s Talk—An online community where teachers, families, and others can ask questions, and connect and share with others who care about issues affecting young children.
My Ele—By signing up for a free Ele account, users can organize the site’s resources around their own needs and interests, and then share them by creating Play!Lists. All resources include research-based suggestions and information on how and why to use Ele’s activities, under the headings, “Talk About It” and “Why This Is Important.”

Visitors meet Ele, an avatar that serves as the site’s friendly “guide.” Activities are easily searchable by age, educational setting, and media type; each activity includes accompanying user tips.

Ele Supports Literacy and School Readiness

“The Fred Rogers Center created Ele to support early literacy development and school readiness by identifying high quality digital early learning tools and making them accessible to caregivers everywhere,” explains Michael Robb, PhD, Director of Education and Research at the Fred Rogers Center, and one of the site’s developers.

Ele encourages caregivers to treat media like they would treat a book,” Robb adds. “The videos, songs, games, and other resources on Ele promote adult-child interaction, an essential component of healthy media use and literacy development.”

The Fred Rogers Center, part of Saint Vincent College, worked with leading non-profit organizations in the field to develop the site. Content partners to date are the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The Fred Rogers Company, International Children’s Digital Library, National Center for Family Literacy, Reading is Fundamental, Teaching Strategies, Vanderbilt Peabody College, and Videatives.

A New Chapter in Fred Rogers’ Legacy

“Just as Fred Rogers pioneered his distinctive approach to tapping the educational potential of television, Ele demonstrates the unique capability of today’s communications and digital media to enhance learning for adults and young children alike,” says Rita Catalano, Executive Director at the Fred Rogers Center.

Today’s launch is just the starting point for Ele. Several free mobile apps developed for the site will be released in the coming months, and additional content will be added on an ongoing basis, keeping the site fresh and dynamic. Users are also encouraged to submit comments, share stories, and provide examples of how they use Ele.

The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™ was developed with the support of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

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Ele is a signature program of the Fred Rogers Center. The mission of the Center is to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media by acting as a catalyst for communication, collaboration, and creative change. The Center houses the Fred Rogers Archive including videos and materials from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Other national signature programs of the Center include the Early Career Fellows program and the Fred Forward Conference series.

Additional information about the Fred Rogers Center is available at www.fredrogerscenter.org or 724-805-2750.

PR2012-139