AETN, Gen­try and Gravette li­braries part­ner in Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive

Project helps pro­vide warmth in Arkansas com­mu­ni­ties

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - Staff Re­ports

GEN­TRY — The Arkansas Ed­u­ca­tional Tele­vi­sion Net­work has part­nered with Gen­try Pub­lic Li­brary and Gravette Pub­lic Li­brary to spon­sor a Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive as a trib­ute to Fred Rogers and his ex­am­ple of be­ing a car­ing neigh­bor. The drive will be held Nov. 1-30.

Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are asked to do­nate new or gen­tly worn sweaters at Gen­try Pub­lic Li­brary, 105 East Main Street in Gen­try, or Gravette Pub­lic Li­brary, 119 Main Street SE in Gravette. A re­cep­ta­cle to col­lect the sweaters will be lo­cated promi­nently within each li­brary. Sweaters col­lected in this drive will be dis­trib­uted by the Arkansas Sal­va­tion Army.

“Fred Rogers is an icon for both pub­lic me­dia and pub­lic ser­vice,” AETN ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Court­ney Pledger said. “He ded­i­cated his life’s work to en­sure that chil­dren and their fam­i­lies had the ed­u­ca­tional and emo­tional tools needed to grow and pros­per. “AETN is proud to work with part­ners across the state to carry on Fred Rogers’ legacy through the Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive.”

The Gen­try and Gravette li­braries are among the more than 30 li­braries across Arkansas par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s statewide Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive. A com­plete list of li­braries and ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at aetn. org/swea­ter­drive.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive again this year,” Gen­try Pub­lic Li­brary Direc­tor Darla Threet said. “It feels so won­der­ful to con­nect across the com­mu­nity and to give back to those who need it the most.”

This is the fifth year for the statewide Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood Sweater Drive. In 2017, 34 li­braries par­tic­i­pated and col­lected more than 3,000 sweaters.

To help set the tone for a “com­fort­able” visit with his young view­ers, Rogers put on a sweater and changed into sneak­ers as a way to help chil­dren set­tle in for “Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood.” All of Rogers’ orig­i­nal sweaters were knit­ted by his mother, Nancy McFeely Rogers. Each year, she knit­ted a dozen sweaters and gave them to fam­ily and close friends at Christ­mas.

Over the course of more than 40 years, “Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood,” PBS’ long­est-run­ning chil­dren’s se­ries, earned four Day­time Em­mys. As a tes­ta­ment to his legacy, Rogers re­ceived a Life­time Achieve­ment Award in 1997 and was rec­og­nized in 2002 with a Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom, the na­tion’s high­est civil­ian honor, for his con­tri­bu­tions to chil­dren’s devel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tion us­ing broad­cast tele­vi­sion.

The Fred Rogers Com­pany was founded by Rogers in 1971 as the non­profit pro­ducer of “Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood” for PBS. In the years that fol­lowed, it not only cre­ated hun­dreds of episodes, but it also ex­tended Rogers’ values and ap­proach to other ef­forts in pro­mot­ing chil­dren’s so­cial, emo­tional and be­hav­ioral health and sup­port­ing par­ents, care­givers, teach­ers and other pro­fes­sion­als in their work with chil­dren. The Fred Rogers Com­pany con­tin­ues to build on his legacy through a wide va­ri­ety of me­dia and by en­gag­ing new gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren and fam­i­lies with his time­less wis­dom. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at FredRogers. org.

The Arkansas State Li­brary pro­vides the re­sources, ser­vices and lead­er­ship nec­es­sary to meet the ed­u­ca­tional, in­for­ma­tional and cul­tural needs of the cit­i­zens of Arkansas, and pro­vides guid­ance and sup­port for the devel­op­ment of lo­cal pub­lic li­braries and li­brary ser­vices. For more in­for­ma­tion on the li­brary’s ser­vices, visit li­brary.arkansas.gov.

The Sal­va­tion Army, an evan­gel­i­cal part of the uni­ver­sal Chris­tian church es­tab­lished in 1865, has been sup­port­ing those in need with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 mil­lion Amer­i­cans re­ceive as­sis­tance from The Sal­va­tion Army each year through the broad­est ar­ray of so­cial ser­vices that range from pro­vid­ing food for the hun­gry, re­lief for dis­as­ter vic­tims, as­sis­tance for the dis­abled, out­reach to the el­derly and ill, cloth­ing and shel­ter to the home­less and op­por­tu­ni­ties for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at sal­va­tion­armyusa.org.

The Arkansas Ed­u­ca­tional Tele­vi­sion Net­work is Arkansas’s statewide pub­lic tele­vi­sion net­work that en­hances lives by pro­vid­ing life­long learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple from all walks of life. AETN de­liv­ers lo­cal, award-win­ning pro­duc­tions and clas­sic, trusted PBS pro­grams aimed at shar­ing Arkansas and the world with view­ers. AETN de­pends on the gen­eros­ity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to con­tinue of­fer­ing qual­ity pro­gram­ming. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at aetn.org. AETN is broad­cast lo­cally on KAFT (Fayet­teville).

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