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Are Good Role Models Still on TV?

Who on TV can children look up to? Are there any television shows that can give children a good education? Tell us what you think.

At 31 years old, I can say that I still watch Mister Rogers’.

OK—admittedly, I don’t really still watch Mister Rogers’. I think I can safely say it’s been at least two decades since I watched an episode. But I recently saw him on my screen, and since then, I’ve shared him with not just my 6-year-old nephew, but also many of my adult friends.

This instance wasn’t a rerun on PBS, but rather, a clip on YouTube. The “Mister Rogers Remixed” video titled “Garden of Your Mind” was published on YouTube on June 7, and as of just after midnight today, it was approaching five million views.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look, no matter if you’re young or if you’re old enough, like I am, to have grown up with Rogers’ program. And it definitely has a kid-friendly, positive message.

Since then, I’ve thought back to the early days of my life, watching shows on PBS like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street, and then programs like Square One TV and Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? as I grew older.

What TV personalities do you present to your children to serve as role models? Are there any TV shows you consider to be good teaching tools? Tell us in the comments.

All of these shows had a learning component, while the first two went even further by sharing positive messages, such as the importance of self esteem and being nice to others.

I don’t have kids, but I know there are still educational programs out there—some days when I’m flipping through the channels, I see on my screen the E/I logo denoting an educational and informational children’s program. But I have to wonder if any of these shows can hold a candle to what Fred Rogers once presented to kids each weekday.

Rogers taught an entire generation of children, and if public television is doing its job, then he’s still teaching our country’s youth even after his death.

I’ve said my piece; now it’s your turn: Who on TV today can children safely look up to? Are there any television shows that you trust to give children a good education?

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