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Fred Rogers Center to Host Virtual Symposium for Educators

Fred Rogers Center to Host Virtual Symposium for Educators

by Public Relations | June 16, 2021

LATROBE, PA – On Tuesday, July 20, and Wednesday, July 21, the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College will host a virtual symposium designed to help educators apply the life and work of Fred Rogers into practice with children, families and fellow educators.

The two-day learning experience will be anchored in archival and community resources of the Fred Rogers Center and is open to all educators (formal and informal), educational leaders, care providers and others who work in the service of children, families and educators.

“We have a special opportunity to combine Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Fred Rogers’ foundational writings and speeches with the practical experiences of those who work with children and families every day,” said Dr. Dana Winters, The Rita McGinley Endowed Chair for Early Learning and Children's Media at the Fred Rogers Center.  “We hope this symposium offers a unique learning experience for educators from various contexts and places to engage around the teachings of Fred Rogers in direct application with children and families.”

The cost is $143 to attend both days and $75 to attend one day. Registrants will receive access to session recordings and a certificate of attendance. Registration is available online at

The symposium will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20, with an opening keynote address by Hedda Sharapan, child development expert and former associate producer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” At 1 p.m., Emily Uhrin, Fred Rogers Center archivist, will introduce the vast Fred Rogers Archive and share artifacts that connect Rogers’ legacy to educators’ practices. At 2:30 p.m., Katie Palmer, curator of education at the Musical Instruments Museum and the inaugural Gretsch Music Fellow at the Fred Rogers Center, will present on Rogers’ relationship with music and how music fosters healthy development in children. The symposium’s first day will wrap up with a 4 p.m. presentation by Dr. Annie White, senior research associate at the Fred Rogers Center, on the intersection of Fred Rogers’ teachings and the Simple Interactions approach, which emphasizes the importance of simple, everyday interactions in child-serving settings.

At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21, Winters will lead a panel entitled “Integrating Fred Rogers into Your Neighborhood,” which will include Renata Capozzoli, Pittsburgh Public Schools kindergarten teacher; Jeremy Holbrook, creator and director of Big Idea Camp; Dr. Sara Lindey, Saint Vincent College professor of English; Sarah O’Callaghan, graduate assistant at the Fred Rogers Center; and Sally Rushford, retired Pittsburgh Public Schools elementary principal. From 1 - 2 p.m., Melissa Butler, project lead of Educators’ Neighborhood, will lead a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episode talk, during which clips from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be shown to examine the foundational child-development methodology found in episodes of the legendary television program. The two-day symposium will then wrap up at 2 p.m. with a closing keynote address by Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski, authors of “When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids.”

Complete information on the scheduled programming for the Fred Rogers’ Center Educators’ Symposium can be found online at For more information, contact the Fred Rogers Center at 724-805-2750 or


PHOTO: The Fred Rogers Exhibit in the Fred M. Rogers Center


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