Two St. Vincent College professors have published a book that focuses on the environmentalism of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
“The Green Mister Rogers: Environmentalism in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” written by Dr. Sara Lindey and Dr. Jason King, delves into the theme week of the 1990 program, “Caring for the Environment.”
The authors examined Fred Rogers’ ecological imagination by examining his television show, as well as seminary school articles, sermons, and lectures. They studied his use of art, music, puppets, crafts and history to show how Rogers reminds us that when we care for the environment, we care for each other and even from ourselves.
The Caring for the Environment theme week coincided with the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, which is also when the event first went international with events held in over 140 countries. Over the course of five episodes, all written and produced by Rogers, the neighborhood of Make-Believe finds itself at the center of a trash disaster.
From the book’s description, throughout the week, “Rogers offers environmentalism for kids that secures children in their family homes while extending their perspective to faraway places, from the local recycling center to the coral reef of Florida Rogers portrays animal wisdom and uses puppets to express anxiety and hope and shows an interconnected world where every part of creation is valued and love flows through webs of care. Rogers cultivates a practical wisdom that empowers children to confront environmental crisis through action and hope and, in doing so, grow into adults who care more about the environment and have great imaginations in solving the ecological problems facing them. we are facing. “
“Fred Rogers was a creative genius,” Lindey said, “and we hope our book does his artistry justice.”
Lindey is an English teacher and teaches extensively on American Literature, including Traditional Surveys and Canonical Periods as well as Women’s Literature and Environmental Literature.
King is professor of theology and holder of the Irene S. Taylor Chair in Catholic Family Studies. King holds a Bachelor of Arts from Berea College, while he holds a Masters and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America. He joined the faculty of Saint Vincent College in 2005 and his taught courses include Aliens, Monsters, Heroes and Jesus; Catholic marriage; Aquinas’ Ethics; God, work and money and children’s theology.
The Fred Rogers Center on the campus of Saint Vincent College will present a webinar on Thursday, May 26, featuring Lindey and King in conversation with Dr. Dana Winters, Endowed Executive Director Rita McGinley of the Fred Rogers Institute for Early Learning and Children’s Media , and Dr. Junlei Li, Co-Chair of the Human Development and Education Program and Saul Zaentz Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The webinar is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend should register for the webinar by visiting https://us06web.zoom.us/…/reg…/WN_UQQSHtwsQTmzb82Wviz7PA.
Lindey and King have previously co-authored an article titled “Mister Rogers’ Environmentalism: Children’s Spirituality in a Trash Apocalypse,” which appeared in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, as well as a chapter in “Mister Rogers and Philosophy,” titled ” Puppets are also people.
“The Green Mister Rogers” can be purchased wherever the books are sold or by visiting https://www.upress.state.ms.us/…/T/The-Green-Mister-Rogers. Through May 9, hardcover and paperback editions of the book will be on sale for 40% off on the University of Mississippi Press website.