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MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD TO CELEBRATE 25TH SEASON ON PBS

 MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD TO CELEBRATE 25TH SEASON ON PBS
 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, the longest-running national program in the history of public television, will begin its 25th season this fall with fanfare and an eye toward the future.
 The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Family Communications, Inc., the Pittsburgh-based, nonprofit group founded by Neighborhood creator Fred Rogers, are planning a series of special events throughout the 1992-93 television season. In future weeks, fans can expect an announcement of plans for an ongoing national celebration.
 "One of the hallmarks of Fred's work is his ability to make every child feel as if he or she is a special part of the Neighborhood," says William H. Isler, vice president of Family Communications. "In keeping with that spirit, we are plan?g a number of local and national events that will give everyone a chance to share in our Neighborhood's 25th celebration."
 Along with producing three new weeks of programming for the 1992-93 season, Family Communications will expand MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD Child Care Partnership, a project designed to help child care providers use daily broadcasts of MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD to plan activities and discussions.
 Widely regarded as one of the country's best examples of children's television programming, MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD first aired nationally in 1968. Today, it is carried on more than 300 PBS stations and viewed in almost 8 million households each week. Because of the program's popularity, many elements of the Neighborhood have become part of America's cultural identity, including the opening song, "Won't You Be My Neighbor," the red Trolley, and Mister Rogers' familiar cardigan sweaters and blue sneakers.
 Behind Mister Rogers' contributions to the larger popular culture are his daily television visits with children in the nation's homes, and child care homes and centers. For three generations, he has brought children a one-on-one affirmation of their self-worth, and offered them a place where they can feel accepted, safe and understood. For this reason, many of his most enthusiastic supporters, besides children and families, are child-development specialists, psychologists, educators and other professionals who work with children.
 "Over the past 25 years," says Rogers, "PBS has given us the opportunity to communicate with children and families. Our Neighborhood and our viewing neighbors have grown in many different ways; nevertheless, our original purpose remains: to encourage human beings to be honest with themselves and with each other, and to become convinced that each one of us is a unique and precious part of our world."
 Through his work with Family Communications, Rogers continues to speak with children and their families using a variety of media materials, including books, audio and video cassettes and the expanded child care project.
 As they prepare to enter a 25th season of broadcasting on PBS, Rogers and the people of Family Communications feel as though much of their work is just beginning.
 "Issues related to needs of children and their families are beginning to occupy a higher position on the national agenda," says Isler. "We intend to help people meet those needs, not only in our work with the Neighborhood, but through the expanding variety of media available to us."
 MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD is underwritten by Public Television stations and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD is produced by Family Communications, Inc., the Pittsburgh-based, nonprofit company founded and headed by Rogers.
 -0- 10/12/92
 /EDITORS: Color and black and white photographs and background information are available by calling the contacts listed./
 /CONTACT: David Newell and Hedda Sharapan, 412-687-2990, or fax, 412-687-1226, both of Family Communications/ CO: Family Communications, Inc.; MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD ST: Pennsylvania IN: ENT SU:


CD-MP -- PG002 -- 8737 10/12/92 09:06 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1992
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