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Children write their own remembrance of Mister Rogers

Friday, February 28, 2003

By Johnna A. Pro, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

At St. Cyril of Alexandria Elementary School in Brighton Heights, Principal Peggy Bookser usually begins each morning by pinning a "Far Side" cartoon to the bulletin board in the teachers' lounge, a little humor to go along with the day's reminders.

Yesterday, she drew her own picture -- a fairy-tale castle, its banners waving in the breeze.

"Flags at 'half mast' in the village of make-believe," she wrote underneath. "Mister Rogers died."

Later in the day, Bookser and teachers Chris Matuszewski and Melissa Marcincak asked second- and fifth-graders to write their own remembrances of Mister Rogers and his neighborhood. The following are excerpts:

"I think Mister Rogers was a wonderful man. He helped children with their problems. He told kids how to treat other people the same. And he was my best friend. And I miss him a lot. Friends never forget each other. And I will never forget him. And I love him. We are one BIG SPIRIT ! We're in the circle of life."
-- Emma Sciullo, 7

"I really miss Mister Rogers because he helped me read in his show. I like him because he told me a lot on TV. You are good at puppets."
-- Tim Lagnese, 7

"Mister Rogers was nice to kids. He likes to show kids movies. He was very helpful. And he liked to feed his fish."
-- Michael Partridge, 8

"I'm missing you so much. I love your shows that you made. I love your friends that you have there. I like the trolley train. I like the fish in the fish tank."
-- Shawn Drwal, 8

"I really miss you. I love your show. I really liked the puppets. The trolley was great. I like your songs. I really like his show."
-- Lauren Wolosik, 7

"I'm going to miss Mister Rogers. I love his shows. I like the trolley too. The puppets are very neat. I like how he helps people with their problems. That's neat!"
-- Kala Cinker, 8

"I liked Mister Rogers because he was nice to kids. Your show was good because you always taught us something. The trolley was funny too. I'm going to miss you. Your puppets were funny."
-- Michael Clark, 7

"I liked Mister Rogers because he was nice. He was helpful. He was a kind man. He was nice to kids. His puppets were colorful. I'll never forget you. He taught me to care for others."
-- Kara Cinker, 8

"I will miss him. His shows helped me with my math and reading and mostly he helped me with everything. He was my friend. I love his show. I liked him on TV and I mean it. I will miss him."
-- Nick Najanick, 7

"I feel sad because he was my second favorite show. I love you Mister Rogers."
-- A-Lexus Zorn, 8

"I liked Mister Rogers because he was nice. He liked kids. He was kind. He was nice to kids. He was very helpful. Your puppets were cute."
-- Michaela Mudd, 8

"Mister Rogers you are a good singer. You were a good dancer. I like your trolley. II like your balloon animals."
-- Alex Cassel, 8

"I like Mister Rogers' movies. They have adventure in them."
-- John Daley, 8

"Mister Rogers was very kind to kids. He had a good show. I like Mister Rogers' show. I love Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers loved others too. Mister Rogers was a good man. I am going to pray for Mister Rogers."
-- Timmy Mulvey, 7

"He put his heart into everything he did. I'm very sure he went to heaven."
-- Brandy Geist, 11

"To so many people, it wasn't just a TV show, it was real. He inspired so many children to try their hardest and give it their all."
-- Chelsi Steigerwald, 10

"Mr. Rogers, thanks for being a good friend."
-- Emily Murtha, 10

"He'll always be watching over us all and now he's in a good place."
-- Kaitlyn Sheets, 10

"He taught me to hang up my coat."
-- Nicole Szulborski, 11

"I would just want to thank him for devoting his time to me and everyone else."
-- Leanne Costa, 11

"The land of make-believe was a home to many kids each week."
-- Jordan Holland, 11

Johnna Pro can be reached at jpro@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1574.

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