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"Mister Rogers" Goes Digital

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Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., has begun digitizing 900 episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" dating to 1967 and will make them available to educators and media specialists studying child development, early learning, and children's media, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Children's television icon Fred Rogers chose to house his archives at Saint Vincent before his death in 2003. He was a native of Latrobe. The college has since gone on to create the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, which is designed "to create an environment that supports and encourages such good and important work on behalf of children and families."

Phase one of the project—digitizing 200 television episodes—should be finished by September, according to the Post-Gazette.

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Loved watching Mr. Rogers with my toddler son as he was growing up (he's now 22). Much of his show was really great for little kids. And then, along came Eddie Murphy's take-off, Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, on Saturday Night Live. It was an absolute scream - for adults. The one caveat I always had while watching "Man" (my son's nickname for the show) was what he would have been like in front of a classroom of 7-8 year olds while attempting to sing one of his innocent little songs like: "I'm Proud of You" or "Boys Are Fancy on the Outside - Girls Are Fancy on the Inside." Or how about one of his nap inducing conversations with Mr. McFeeley, the postman. As a public school teacher of many years I was never sure he would have been able to pull this stuff off in a "real world" situation. But again, it was classic viewing for young children and we both looked forward to watching it together regularly.


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