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Lessons from Elwood City: What "Arthur" Taught Me

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  • Rachel Knowlton
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America’s favorite aardvark hit the big screen 20 years ago! On October 7, 1996, “Arthur” was introduced to what would become a dedicated following.

Every morning started with Arthur. My dad would carry me from my bed to the living room, put breakfast in front of me and give me 30 minutes to wake up with Elwood City before it was time to get ready for school.

“Arthur” is full of life lessons, and these are my favorites:

  1. Reading is fun! And it’s for everyone! From reading Marc Brown’s books about Arthur, to learning to appreciate the library — Arthur instilled in me a love of reading and libraries. I remember several episodes that included scenes and lessons from the Elwood City library. Now, as a college student, every time I use my library card I can still hear, “… having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!”
  2. Arthur’s
  3. Comfort zones are overrated.Whether we thought glasses made us uncool or summer camp was a punishment, Arthur and his friends taught us not to make assumptions. I learned to try new and scary things at a young age. We don’t always know as much as we think we do. It’s important to learn about a subject or an issue before we decide how we feel about it. Even now, I work to push myself out of my comfort zone because there may be something better on the other side.
  4. Arthur
  5. Real friends love you anyway.There were several times Arthur was afraid that his friends would think he was a baby — like when Mister Rogers stayed at their house, he started watching the Love Ducks, or when his family went to Crazy Bus Live. Every time Arthur thought his friends would make fun of him, and every time he was proven wrong. Like Mister Rogers said, “Real friends don’t make fun of real friends … ” — and he’s right. I was taught that real friends don’t make you feel bad about yourself, and that rule hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Thanks, Arthur, for teaching me how to be my best self. From the theme song to the end credits — I was taught to believe in myself (for that’s the place to start).

Check out episodes of “Arthur” on AETN weekdays at 2 and 4:30 p.m. For more fun and games with Arthur and his friends, visit


“Arthur, ” weekdays at 2 and 4:30 p.m.


“Arthur” on PBS KIDS

Rachel Knowlton is a Marketing and Outreach intern for AETN and a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, studying communication and broadcast journalism. She is a native Arkansan and has been a faithful AETN viewer for as long as she can remember.