‘Won’t you be my neighbor?’ Videos & activities for early learners

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris

“You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” 

Strong, meaningful words from Fred Rogers, my early childhood hero. He was, as most know, the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS for almost 40 years, and his legacy lives on with shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Donkey Hodie, and Alma’s Way

His slow, intentional style taught generations of preschoolers about emotions, relationships, and the world around them. I am deeply honored and excited to be part of the Fred Rogers Institute’s Educator’s Neighborhood this school year, with the goal of bringing his work and theories on child development to my work as an early learning librarian. 

There is so much for everyone who lives or works with kids to take from his wisdom and experience. I hope to bring some of it to you in our posts and Early Bird Learning videos this year. 

But for now, you can explore what the library currently has to offer.

Watch these videos

This video is about neighborhoods and being a good neighbor:

This video, starring Miss Jenny and her mom, is all about using music to show and feel your emotions, just like Mister Rogers always did: 

Check out these titles

The library collection offers a wide variety of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood content:

Be inspired by these quotes from Mister Rogers

I’ll leave you today with a handful quotes from Mister Rogers to reassure and inspire you in your parenting and teaching journeys: You’ve got this!

“Just as it takes time for children to understand what real love is, it takes time for parents to understand that being always patient, quiet, even-tempered, and respectful isn’t necessarily what ‘good’ parents are. In fact, parents help children by expressing a wide range of feelings—including appropriate anger. All children need to see that the adults in their lives can feel anger and not hurt themselves or anyone else when they feel that way.”

“When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like ‘struggle.’ To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

“Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.”

“Attitudes are caught, not taught.”

“Taking care is one way to show your love. Another way is letting people take good care of you when you need it.”

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”

“I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”

“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully, your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”

“Some days, doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect on any front, and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else.”

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a neurodivergent children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.