Avonworth School District News Article

frED Camp

Mister Rodgers made his mark more than 60 years ago, but his enduring lessons continue to help educators and parents teach young learners how to thrive and become the best they can be. This May, educators from around southwestern PA gathered at Avonworth Primary Center to participate in frED Camp. The goal was to unite educators and enable them to network while learning more about the methods used in Mister Rogers Neighborhood that can help every learner thrive.

More than 180 educators attended this free professional development event that was a part of Remake Learning Days and made possible with support from the Grable Foundation.  

“It starts with the kids - investing in their education, giving them more opportunities to learn,” explains Kristine Spitznagel, a participant and senior program manager at STEM Coding Lab.

Although today’s generation may not know Mister Rogers, teachers like Leanne Theic from Lakeview School District are harnessing his powerful messages.  

“I want to add more kindness, more connectivity.  I also want to bring in that element of the things that Fred Rogers stood for because it applies today – more so than ever before,” Theic said.

Participants had several interactive workshops to choose from, including titles such as “Everyday Interactions Matter,” “Building Classroom Community Through STEAM,” and “Parents as Allies.”  

Jeff Evancho, who presented for Agency by Design PGH, explained how his background as an art teacher utilizing demonstration of ideas as a form of assessment can be translated into a mathematics or ELA classroom.  

“[It] has always happened in the arts and [students] could benefit from it happening in every classroom,” said Evancho. 

Educators learned from guest speakers from the Fred Rogers Institute and Project FUEL. They were also able to patriciate in interactive workshops by:

  • Agency by Design Pittsburgh
  • Kidsburgh.org
  • Pittsburgh STEAM Channel + Capturing Creativity
  • Sharpsville Area School District
  • Trying Together
  • Wilmington Area School District
  • World of Work Pittsburgh
  • WQED Education

FrEd Camp was a huge success thanks to the many partnerships.  

As Rachel Courbis, an educator at Falk Laboratory School at the University of Pittsburgh noted, “to see so many groups coming together to collaborate...was pretty inspiring.” 

As Mister Rogers would say at the end of each episode, “You’ve made this day a special day by just being you.”

For more information on frEd Camp, please visit https://remakelearningdays.org/event/fred-camp/ or email [email protected]..

View photos from frED Camp

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