faqs

Sesame Street
SesameStreet.org
Sesame Workshop and Its Mission

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Can my child appear on Sesame Street?

The children who appear on Sesame Street are chosen from schools, agencies, and mail submissions of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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Why are there more male Muppets than female Muppets?

Throughout the show’s history, Sesame Street‘s producers have placed great emphasis on cast diversity. In recent years, there has been a strong push towards increased diversity among the Muppets as well, as is seen in the creation and visibility of Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Rosita, and Kingston Livingston.

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Why does Elmo refer to himself in the third person? Won’t this teach children improper English?

Elmo mimics the behavior of many preschoolers. Like 3-year-olds, he doesn’t always have the skills or knowledge to speak proper English. Cast members and many of the other Muppets, however, do demonstrate proper usage of the English language.

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How do I find out when programs are on PBS?

To find out when shows are on in your area, please visit this page. For more information, contact your local PBS station.

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How did Sesame Workshop and Sesame Street begin?

Sesame Workshop and Sesame Street began as an experiment in 1968, and the show debuted on November 10, 1969. The series was designed to use television to teach preschoolers, and give them skills that would ensure a successful transition from home to school. The show gave children a head start, and aimed to provide them with the confidence to learn the alphabet, numbers, and social skills.

From the beginning, Sesame Street has been the most thoroughly researched and tested television show ever produced, and it has received more Emmy Awards than any other program in television history.

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How did Sesame Street get its name?

After a long search for a catchy name, one of the show’s writers suggested “Sesame Street.” The word “sesame,” an allusion to the fabled command from The Arabian Nights, “Open, Sesame!” suggested excitement and adventure. Since the show was set in an urban street scene, “Sesame Street” seemed an ideal combination.

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Why does Sesame Street include Spanish in the program?

Sesame Street includes Spanish to convey the message that knowing more than one language is useful and fun, and that all languages are important. We teach a few Spanish words and phrases that can make it easier for English- and Spanish-speaking children to communicate.

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Can I submit a show idea or a song?

Sesame Street Production does not accept any unsolicited material.

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Is it possible to see a taping of Sesame Street?

Sesame Street is not filmed in front of a live studio audience and the set is not able to accommodate guests.

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Where can I find information on Sesame Place and other parks?

For more information and directions to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania, please visit sesameplace.com.

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Where can I find information on Sesame Street live shows?

For more information on Sesame Street Live, visit sesamestreetlive.com.

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I cannot view Flash animations or games. What should I do?

If you cannot see some of our Flash content you may need to update your Adobe Flash Player, or download it HERE. If you are on a mobile device that does not support Flash, you will not be able to access the main site. You can access the mobile site by going to m.sesamestreet.org.

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What is My Street?

My Street is an easy, free way for you to create a personalized Sesame Street web page for your child. You can add favorite games, videos, Sesame Playlists, and photos to the page. You can add favorite games, videos, and Sesame playlists. Learn more.

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What are Sesame Playlists?

Sesame Playlists are a collection of fun and educational games and videos organized around a curricular theme. Each playlist includes seven games and videos.

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Why do I see different games when I visit this site on different devices?

Different devices support different technologies, so some games only play on certain devices. If you play a game on your desktop computer and later access the site through your tablet, you may not find that same game because the tablet doesn’t support it.

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I have a question about a Sesame Street app I downloaded.

No problem. Please send your questions here: sesameworkshopapps@sesame.org.

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Is Sesame Workshop a for-profit company?

No. Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit, educational 501(c)(3) organization with charitable, tax-exempt status. We use the funding we receive from various sources to develop and produce educational programs and initiatives that help children around the world learn and grow; these projects produce meaningful, measurable, and lasting differences in children’s lives.

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Who provides financial support for Sesame Workshop?

As a mission-driven, nonprofit for educational organization, the Workshop recieves funding from a variety of sources, including charitable foundations, corporations, government agencies, program sales, and product licensing. Maintaining a diversified stream of income helps us avoid relying too heavily on any single source and ensures our continued ability to create innovative, engaging, educational content for children in the United States and around the globe. See a list of our partners here.

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What does Sesame Workshop do with the funding it receives?

The support Sesame Workshop receives from various sources goes towards:

    1. Domestic programs that help children in the United States reach their highest potential.
    2. International projects that address children’s unique educational needs in countries around the world.
    3. Research that helps us understand children’s ever-changing needs and how best to respond using a wide variety of media.
    4. Community-based, multilingual outreach initiatives targeting children’s health and development, featuring resources for parents and caregivers as well as children.

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Does Sesame Workshop make Sesame Street toys, videos, and other products?

No. Sesame Workshop grants licenses to a variety of trusted manufacturers who create toys, apparel, and other products featuring our characters. Sesame Street books, videos, and educational toys enable us to extend the learning beyond the television viewing experience. Other products, such as diapers, pajamas, and party supplies, offer a fun way for children and their caregivers to interact with their favorite Sesame Street characters. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these items comes back to the Workshop and is used to support our programs and intiatives around the world.

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Doesn’t Sesame Workshop get all the money it needs from Sesame Street merchandise?

Sesame Workshop receives a portion of the proceeds from licensed manufacturers’ sales of Sesame Street toys and other merchandise. While this income does constitute a significant and crucial share of our overall funding, it fluctuates based on the retail market’s demands and the economy’s overall health.

Even in the best of times, this income only partially covers the cost we incur with our domestic and international work. In addition to Sesame Street, the Workshop has developed and implemented programs that help children learn and grow in countries as widespread as South Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. And as we continually expand our efforts to help educate children around the globe, the Workshop seeks to broaden its base of support through philanthropic support and corporate underwriting.

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How is Sesame Workshop related to PBS and my local public television station?

Sesame Workshop is an entirely separate and independent organization. The Workshop is the creator of Sesame Street and other popular educational programs which are broadcast on PBS. While PBS provides some funding for those programs, the money received covers only a fraction of our production costs. In keeping with our mission, the Workshop relies on public broadcasting to provide a safe, non-commercial environment for young children and to ensure that all children have access to our educational programming.

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My Sesame-age child has an email address. Should I sign him or her up for Sesame Workshop communications?

Sesameworkshop.org is designed to tell adults about the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. Unless we clearly state otherwise, email communications from the Workshop are intended for adults.

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How can I sign up for email communications from Sesame Workshop?

Click here for our email sign-up page.

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