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Heinz Endowments advances children’s educational media with $3M grant to The Fred Rogers Company

PITTSBURGH, Pa., Nov. 27, 2017 – The Heinz Endowments has awarded The Fred Rogers Company a $3,000,000 grant over three years to fund new media content, educational technology, production equipment updates, and increased capacity for staff and income-generating properties.

The grant will help support creation of new programming that continues the educational, social, and creative themes of company founder Fred Rogers and his landmark PBS series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” including educational technology and expanded staffing, fundraising, marketing and community outreach.

Specifically, the grant will support:

  • Production of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” – PBS KIDS’ top rated series for preschoolers that helps children learn key social skills necessary for school and life;
  • Creative development, acquisition, and production of new programming for educational television - including digital content - produced by The Fred Rogers Company;
  • Five new positions and professional development to assist in expanded programming, educational, fundraising, and community outreach initiatives;
  • Educational technology – includes increased digital content and interactive programming components for children, parents and educators and archiving The Fred Rogers Company’s growing library of content, which features 900 episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and
  • Production facility improvements – updated production equipment to allow for increased efficiency and capacity.

The Endowment awards grants in the strategic areas of Creativity, Learning and Sustainability, and The Fred Rogers Company grant addresses three tenets of the Learning realm: family and child well-being, holistic education and access equity. The Endowments’ Learning team and grantees focus on the education, health, and socioeconomic needs of children and families in the Pittsburgh region.

“We are delighted to support the capacity to continue the legacy of Fred Rogers with new programming and the use of technology that preserves and promotes his messages of inclusion and kindness,” said Grant Oliphant, President of the Endowments. “The unique work of The Fred Rogers Company has a special place in the hearts and minds of children in Pittsburgh and beyond.”

The Fred Rogers Company produces popular children’s educational programming through PBS KIDS, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat” and “Odd Squad.” The programs are aimed at children 2 to 8 years old, and focus on improving the viewer’s social and emotional abilities.

The Heinz Endowments grant will provide major support for production of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” as well as creative development, acquisition and production of future children’s educational television and digital content produced by The Fred Rogers Company.

The first grant payment will be awarded in January 2018, with funds supporting five new hires who will foster expanded marketing, communications and fundraising efforts, local creative outreach activities, and improved technology infrastructure.

The Endowments funds grantees that further the aim of improving the quality of life for those in the Pittsburgh region, and supports innovative programs that have potential for replication across the country.

“The Fred Rogers Company shares The Heinz Endowments’ appreciation for the benefits that creative and holistic education provides for our children,” said Michelle Figlar, Vice President of Learning for The Heinz Endowments. “Their devotion to providing high-quality educational programming that is accessible to all speaks to the essence of the Endowments’ equity work, and has made them an integral part of the lives of countless children, parents and educators. We are excited to see them expand capacity for programming, staff, and technology, allowing even more children to be better prepared for their school, community, and world.”


For information contact:

Carmen Lee
The Heinz Endowments
412 338 2628