One of my favorite TV personalities that has helped children over the years is Mr. Rogers of “Won’t you be my neighbor” fame.  Fred Rodgers died from cancer in 2003 but his heritage lives on.  One of my favorite quotes of his is – “Anyone who helps children is a hero to me”. 

A heart for Children

I am writing this post to let you know of a special that is coming March 9th on PBS. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of his show and is titled “Mister Rogers: Its You I like”. The show will feature many TV personalities who share how Mister Rogers influenced their own careers.  The producer of the show, Ellen Doherty, explains that one of his great contributions to the lives of children was his ability to talk about important things in an age-appropriate and simple manner. The hour-long show will incorporate clips from some of the show’s most memorable moments. Koko the gorilla (who stole his trademark sneakers while they were playing) and a duet with Jeff Erlanger (a quadriplegic boy) will be featured among many others.

Judd Apatow, Joyce DiDonato, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and son Nicholas Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and Caroll Spinney reveal their favorite memories from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, while Joe Negri (“Handyman Negri”), David Newell (“Mr. McFeely”) and Joanne Rogers, Fred’s widow, share their personal stories. Also featured are performances from the archives by Tony Bennett, The Empire Brass Quintet, Hillary Hahn, Margaret Hamilton, Yo-Yo Ma and Nicholas, Wynton Marsalis and Perlman.

Mister Rodgers played by Tom Hanks

Later this year Tom Hanks will star in a documentary that profiles Mister Rogers (played by Hanks). It will depict the real life friendship that existed between Rogers and the journalist Tom Junod, who wrote about him for the Esquire magazine. In the story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed. “I’m thrilled to be making ‘You Are My Friend,’” the director Heller said. “The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit. As a mother, I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and as a human I am in awe of his life’s work. I can’t wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.

Also on March 23rd the Post Office will release a stamp featuring Rogers and puppet King Friday XIII. It seems like it will be the year of “Mister Rogers” (and it can’t come too soon if you ask me).

I think our children today can use a little of “Mr. Rogers”. Many need a comfortable lap to sit in and hear from adults – “Your feelings matter – they are manageable and you can talk about them.” Lets get the popcorn ready and make a date to see what looks like a great set of shows. Thank you so much for reading our blog and if you would like more information about Family Christian Counseling Center just click on the link.

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