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Letter: Children, parents can learn lessons from Mister Rogers

In June students were making plans for how they would spend their summer recess. Teachers then assign reading lists of books to be read and reported on when when school resumes.

These young students are thinking more about beach vacations, trips to amusement parks and other fun endeavors and the reading of books is often placed on the back burner.

I recently spent two hours watching the film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” which documents the life of Fred Rogers, better known to all of us as the host of the classic TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

In addition to reading, I believe we would be better served if young adults from fifth grade through high school, together with their parents, were directed to view this film demonstrating the gentle and compassionate approach Mr. Rogers shared in his interaction with children. This film is as important to the development of children’s moral conscience as are the words of a book they may not actually read.

Hopefully it would afford both parent and child an opportunity to appreciate the meaning of the word “respect” for self and others, both at home and in school.

I would love to be a “fly on the wall” of the classroom this September, to hear discussion on what this film has meant.

Perhaps it is not too late to send a “text” or “tweet,” which we know will be read, advising students and parents of this alternative form of education.

Gregory Stamm

East Amherst

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