There are still spots left in Children in Pittsburgh, an innovative new course designed to give Pitt students a chance to engage with child-oriented institutions, programs, and activities available to children in Pittsburgh. Organizations like the Carnegie Museums, the Carnegie Libraries, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, WQED and the Fred Rogers Company, Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Remaking Learning Network, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Gemini Children’s Theater, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and many others are continually creating spaces and developing programs aimed at fostering children’s knowledge of and participation in various forms of culture: from literature and poetry, to theater, music, and dance, to fine art, to new forms of digital communication and artistic production.
The course is organized around field trips and speakers, and reading assignments will highlight the history and context of the kind of work they do. Some things on our list:
--Sit in on a kids’ creative writing workshop with locally-based New York Times Bestselling author, Jonathan Auxier (author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, The Night Gardener, Sophie Squire and the Last StoryGuard)
--Talk with Hollywood writer and producer, Carl Kurlander, who worked on Saved by the Bell and other teen TV, and who now has a company, Steeltown, devoted to the entertainment industry in the Pittsburgh region (which includes a program for kids on filmmaking)
--Connect with child development experts promoting literacy and positive racial identity in the Pittsburgh region
--Learn about Pittsburgh’s connection to innovative children’s TV programming and the changing media landscape from the Fred Rogers Company and Schell Games (maker of apps related to recent shows like Daniel Tigers’ Neighborhood)
--Visit the Carnegie library and learn about its innovative and historically significant children’s programming
--Go behind the scenes of the exhibits and research happening at the Heinz History Center and Pittsburgh Children’s Museum
--Observe a children’s theater workshop and learn about programs devoted to children’s involvement in the arts in Pittsburgh
This is a chance not only to have some fun and get out in the community, but also to build your cred as a researcher and build connections for future careers. Students will conduct independent research into the history and composition of an institution of their choosing, using the special holdings of Hillman library collections, and will profile the career of an active professional in this field.
The course, offered Mondays 1:00-4:50 to give us plenty of time for travel to visit these folks, counts for a children’s literature certificate elective, but you do NOT have to be a children’s literature program student to do this course, so tell your friends to join us!