Our neighborhood

January 30, 1998

SINCE Robert J. Shuman became president of Maryland Public Television in 1996, the station has sought to emphasize the "Maryland" and "Public" in its name as much as the "Television." MPT has produced more shows about the state and, to fulfill its public responsibility, undertaken such efforts as arranging two-way "distance learning" in classrooms, online teacher training and "reading stations" in local libraries.

Its latest outreach cleverly ties into public television's longest-running series, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." The courtly children's show celebrates its 30th anniversary next month. Playing off Fred Rogers' dependable cardigan, MPT is teaming with Baltimore-area McDonald's outlets, H&S Bakery and United Way of Central Maryland to hold a "sweater drive" this weekend.

People are asked to bring "gently worn" sweaters to McDonald's today through Sunday. High school students will sort them; United Way hopes to have 5,000 ready by Valentine's Day for distribution to folks in need.

Just as the privately owned television networks organize their own good civic deeds, it is heartening to see publicly funded MPT turn resources toward the community.

Please find a sweater that could be put to good use, and drop it off.

Pub Date: 1/30/98

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