CONWAY, Ark. — The Arkansas Educational Television Network and 30 libraries across the state, including in Booneville, have partnered to sponsor the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive as a tribute to Fred Rogers and his example of being a caring neighbor. The drive will be held Nov. 1-30.

“Fred Rogers devoted his life to ensuring that children and their families had the educational and emotional tools they needed to grow and prosper,” AETN Executive Director Courtney Pledger said. “He is a true public media icon, and AETN is proud to further his legacy by working with outstanding library and charity partners across the state through the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive.”

Members of the community are asked to donate new or gently worn sweaters at participating libraries or AETN headquarters in Conway. Sweaters collected in this drive will be distributed by various local charities and the Arkansas Salvation Army.

This is the sixth year for the statewide Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. In 2018, more than 30 libraries participated and collected more than 3,000 sweaters.

Additional information is available at aetn.org/sweaterdrive. To help set the tone for a “comfortable” visit with his young viewers, Rogers put on a sweater and changed into sneakers as a way to help children settle in for “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” All of Rogers’ original sweaters were knitted by his mother, Nancy McFeely Rogers. Each year, she knitted a dozen sweaters and gave them to family and close friends at Christmas.

Over the course of more than 40 years, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” PBS’ longest-running children’s series, earned four Daytime Emmys. As a testament to his legacy, Rogers received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 and was recognized in 2002 with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his contributions to children’s development and education using broadcast television.

The Fred Rogers Company was founded by Rogers in 1971 as the nonprofit producer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes, but it also extended Rogers’ values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. The Fred Rogers Company continues to build on his legacy through a wide variety of media and by engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. Additional information is available at FredRogers.org.

The Arkansas State Library provides the resources, services, and leadership necessary to meet the educational, informational and cultural needs of the citizens of Arkansas, and provides guidance and support for the development of local public libraries and library services. Further information about the library’s services is available at library.arkansas.gov.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).