Cape Cod Toy Library Special Events for July 20 to August 2

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" at Chatham Orpheum

From the Cape Cod Toy Library...

Special Showings of Mister Rogers Documentary w/Mister Rogers’ Playtime (beforehand) & Panel Discussion with community child development experts (afterwards)

Chatham Orpheum Theatre – Chatham, MA  

Series of special showings will take place on Friday, July 20th  Sunday, July 22nd, Monday, July 23rd, Wednesday, July 25th and Friday, August 2nd

In collaboration with the Chatham Orpheum Theatre and Cape Cinema in Dennis events and programs have been planned for June and July to help attract audiences to the theaters and promote Mister Rogers’ positive educational and inspiring messages.

Cape Cinema in Dennis received the film first – so a kick-off event took place at the Cape Cinema on June 20th . 180 enthusiastic people attended -this local debut showing of the film ”Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” included a follow up panel discussion of community experts on nurturing children’s social-emotional development and curiosity.  Doors opened at 6:00 pm welcoming viewers with live fiddle and guitar music for meet and greet reception, silent auction and cash bar. The film showed from 7:00-8:30 pm, and the panel discussion followed from 8:30-9:00 pm with panelist Marcia Galazzi (Family Educator Development Psychologist), Paul Kehoe (Teacher & Musician), Dr. Bart Main (Child Psychiatrist) & Aimee Ruzum (LMHC, Mental Health Counselor and Art Therapist).

Now a series of special events is planned for Chatham Orpheum Theater – July 20-Aug 2nd.

Mister Rogers’ Playtime Programs @ 8:00 –9:30 am are planned for children and families. These Playtime Programs will provide a selection of play props and toys in the theatre and/or in the lobby for participants to engage in play together. These play experiences will support children’s social-emotional and creative .

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Films @ 9:30-11:00 am  (This showing will be at the same time as the children’s matinee)

Panel discussions with community child development experts @11:00-11:45 is planned to inspire and support parents and grandparents and educators in their efforts to strengthen relationships with their children and provide them with helpful reference information. 

The “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” film messages are strong reminders of how important each relationship is and the difference it makes in the lives of children, and adults, when each individual experiences respect, kindness and love. Examples of Fred Rogers’ conversations and relationships with children demonstrate his genuine interest in and love of children which often inspired them to tell him “I like you.” His non-judgmental, inclusive, caring example serves as a role model for children and adults. His intentional planning of messages he wanted to convey in each television program that supports children’s social and emotional development serves as an example for any program, whether through technology or through an in-person program in a school, museum or a toy library.  Rogers Center’s core values of respect, deep & simple authenticity, and empathy are also values embraced by Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc.

Cape Cod Toy Library’s mission is to provide enriching, accessible, culturally sensitive, educational environments and resources that promote learning through play experiences to foster healthy child development. Our purpose is:

  • To increase community play-based learning experiences for children, families, childcare providers and educators.
  • To increase understanding of the lifelong need for play, as well as knowledge and skills to promote developmentally appropriate practices with children.
  • To facilitate children’s health and brain development including their social-emotional, cognitive, sensory- perceptual, creative and physical development.

Our vision: Children’s need to play will be respected, nurtured, listened to and responded to in developmentally appropriate ways. Children and families will be equipped with the fundamental play-based learning experiences that give them the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to:

  • Achieve successful relationships in families, school and work,
  • Realize joy in learning at school, work and life,
  • Express creativity and innovative thinking to their fullest potential,
  • Adapt to changes in their lives and the world, and
  • Lead healthy and socially-emotionally balanced lives.

Research studies show that there is a deficit in children’s social-emotional skills today, as well as a decline in children’s empathy, creativity, language and vocabulary development. Over the past 60 years there has also been a gradual decline in play for children,  as well as a significant increase in children’s mental health issues, substance abuse and youth suicides. (*On the Cape, there is a high opiate addiction rate, 30-40% of children enter kindergarten without any preschool experience, 1 out of every 3-4 public school students are identified as economically disadvantaged, and the suicide rate is double that of the state.) 

Fred Rogers understanding of play for children’s healthy development are best stated in his words:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

"When we treat children's play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that's to be found in the creative spirit.  It's the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”

“Being curious about the world around us is an important part of learning. When children show interest in wanting to find out about how things work and when they ask why things happen, it shows that they are developing the skills they will need for later school learning. We can encourage this interest in learning by talking with children about the things they are wondering about and explaining things that may seem quite familiar to us, but are a source of curiosity for children…”

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning…They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play.”


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