Wednesday would have been Fred Rogers' 85th birthday and several local celebrations are planned.
But first, a new book takes an interesting approach to the wisdom of the host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
"Fables and the Art of Leadership: Applying the Wisdom of Mister Rogers to the Workplace" ($81.39, Palgrave MacMillan) by Ian I. Mitroff and Donna D. Mitroff takes Rogers' philosophies and applies them to office life.
Donna Mitroff is a former Pittsburgher who worked at WQED in the 1980s and was a producer on a 2003 Television Academy of Arts & Sciences tribute to Rogers. "Fables and the Art of Leadership" uses seven stories Rogers told through his career.
"These even stories were carefully selected because they illustrate specific principles so beautifully," the authors write in the book's preface. "[This book] exists to help foster the emotional health and well-being of adults, especially in schhol, that is, colleges and universities, and at work, two fo the settings where we spend the majority of our waking hours."
The Mitroffs divine The Seven Cs as key principles of Rogers' work: Connect, Concern, Creativity, Communication, Consciousness, Courage and Community. The book presents seven "fables" -- really plots from episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" -- and then offers interpretations of them and ways to put the lessons from Rogers' stories into practice.
As for those local events timed to Mister Rogers' birthday, read on after the jump. ...
The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh celebrates Mister Rogers Day with free admission all day Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and a visit from Mr. McFeely (David Newell) from 12:30-2:30 p.m. There will also be a performance by members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at 2 p.m.
Mr. McFeely will also make an appearance tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon at Market Square for a lunchtime celebration concert.
Here's the United Way release on its plans:
A Celebration of Volunteerism and the Legacy of Mister Rogers
Honoring Mister Rogers by recognizing corporate leaders in workplace volunteer programs
Pittsburgh, PA (March 14, 2013) – For the third year, United Way of Allegheny County will celebrate
volunteerism and celebrate the life and legacy of Mister Rogers on March 20th
, what would have been his
United Way of Allegheny County offers a number of meaningful, sustained, relationship based volunteer
opportunities. With signature programs such as Be 1 in a Million, Free Tax Prep, and Open Your Heart to
a Senior more than 3,000 volunteers provide invaluable hours of service to the community, the
“With these volunteer opportunities, United Way helps people find ways to be good neighbors every day.
Helping children, students, families and seniors.” said Christy Stuber, Director of Volunteer Initiatives,
United Way of Allegheny County. On Fred Rogers Good Neighbor Day, United Way will celebrate with a
number of activities to raise awareness of the impact volunteers make in the community and what better
way than to do so than of volunteering the values Mister Rogers taught us - being a good neighbor is
Community Art Project & Display – United Way has partnered with a number of organizations to create
art projects inspired by Mister Rogers Neighborhood, creating buildings to create a unique United Way
Neighborhood. These projects will be on display at Pittsburgh Children’s Museum March 20-21.
The community is invited to join and participate in the celebration, with a lunchtime celebration concert
in Market Square on Wednesday, March 20. First and foremost, wear sneakers. Bring a sweater (men’s,
women’s, girls or boys) and donate to United Way. The collected sweaters will be distributed to area
organizations; Catholic Charities, South Hills Interfaith Ministries, Jewish Family & Children’s Services,
and North Hills Community Outreach. Listen to Pittsburgh band, Neighbours, four guys rocking a few
Mister Rogers classics, with media partners WYEP and WESA. Meet Mr. McFeely and learn about the
volunteer opportunities available with United Way. And we have a few surprises in store.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 12:00 noon | Market Square
At 5:30pm on March 20th, United Way will continue the celebration of the life and work of Mister Rogers
by honoring the companies and their employee volunteers who make our neighborhoods a special place.
A Celebration of Volunteering will honor the companies with outstanding volunteer programs.
Companies being honored: Alcoa, Inc., BNY Mellon, CCAC, City of Pittsburgh, Eaton Corporation,
Equitable, Pittsburgh Board of Education, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, Rite Aid, Robert Morris
In addition to recognizing these companies’ outstanding volunteer programs, United Way will present
mini-grants to several of partner agencies. These grants will assist the organizations in bolstering their
volunteer efforts and help them achieve greater impact in the community.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 5:30 – 7:30pm | Market Square
About United Way of Allegheny County – United Way of Allegheny County is a change agent and
efficient community fundraiser that improves lives by addressing critical community needs. By convening
diverse partners and investing in programs and people to advance solutions, United Way creates longlasting change and helps children and youth succeed, strengthens and supports families by promoting
financial stability, ensures the safety and well-being of vulnerable