Mister Rogers Neighborhood set photo.

People all around America grew up feeling like they were part of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. But what was it like to grow up in Mister Rogers’ actual neighborhood — not just Squirrel Hill, where he lived, but the many parts of western Pennsylvania that he explored during episode after episode of his remarkable television program?

“If you were a Pittsburgh kid watching him in his 1970s and 1980s heyday, you believed that his neighborhood was in our midst, and that he was in there somewhere. By extension, you could believe in the neighborhoods around you just a little bit more,” native Pittsburgher (and my husband) Ted Anthony writes in an in-depth Associated Press story out today.

“And in words that came from Mister Rogers, from parents, from teachers, from Pittsburgh’s beloved mayor Richard Caliguiri, you could believe this, too: that in a region beleaguered by industrial transition, a hopeful path might be found in the patchwork neighborhoods that dotted western Pennsylvania’s hillsides. Ones that, for so many here, felt like those tiny houses at the beginning of his program.”

The story contains many Pittsburgh voices, including Mayor Bill Peduto, Grable Foundation Executive Director Gregg Behr, Falk Laboratory School Director Jeff Suzik and writer-activist Tereneh Idia.

Read the full story here.

Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The...