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Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers) hosted a television show by his name for children from 1968 to 2001. He was also a Presbyterian minister.
Fred was displeased by the way most television shows addressed children. So he began writing and performing local shows in the Pittsburgh area.
Show - Hit - Distribution - Television - Icon
The new show was a big hit and gained nationwide distribution in 1968. Fred became a television icon of children’s entertainment and education.
At first glance, the show seems very laid back and at ease. But under the surface was a strategy for engaging kids with the message that was being shared.
Look - Curtain - Minutes - Mr - Rogers
Let’s take a look behind the curtain for a few minutes and see why Mr. Rogers was so successful at connecting with kids.
Tip #1 – Communicate with Attention to Detail. Fred went to great lengths to make sure every part of the show effectively connected with kids. Here’s an example. One of the episodes was in a hospital. A nurse was inflating a blood-pressure cuff and her line was originally, “I’m going to blow this up.” Well Fred, decided to change it to “I’m going to puff this up with some air” because “blow it up” might make kids think there is going to be an explosion.
Mister - Rogers - Neighborhood - Detail - Product
As simple as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood appeared, every detail in it was the product of a tremendously careful, academically-informed process.
Tip #2 – Partner with educators. Fred often talked with academic researchers and education experts to make sure the show was effectively connecting with children based on the latest research.
Years - Story - Man - Railroad - Bridge
A few years ago, I decided to tell the story of a man who worked at a railroad bridge. I’m sure you’ve heard it. The man’s job was to raise and then lower the bridge when trains came through. He brought his son to work with him one day. His son falls...
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