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Yearly Archives: 2012

With a Little Help from Sesame Street: A Teacher’s Story of How Her Class Survived a Storm

Image via blackrose916... on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

I have taught in a K-4 elementary school for twenty-five years.  The school is located at the south end of a beautiful old seaport on the south shore of Long Island, the last exit before Jones Beach.  I lived here for over thirty of my adult years, and as a child, my family docked our boat behind an antique shop on one of the canals.  I remember families of otters swimming in front of the boat and real church baptisms held on the opposite bank from our dock.  A lot of things have changed here over the years, and a lot of the old Victorian homes have seen better times, but it is still a beautiful place.

The school was built fifty years ago, a blue two story building opposite a large park, and at the head of a canal that is home to many restaurants, fishing boats, and party boats.  It is a popular Long Island destination especially in summer.  From the classrooms, you can hear the horns blow as the fishing boats go out for half day charters in the early afternoon.  Mergansers, gannets, and Canadian geese spend time in the park across from the school.  Sometimes you can spot what looks like a football floating on the canal and upon second look realize that it is a seal.  I have always felt lucky to be here. (more…)

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New National Children’s Museum Includes Sesame-themed Section

Photo Credit: Adam Kissick

On Friday, December 14, the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor in Maryland opened its doors for the first time, and Sesame Workshop was happy to be a part of it. The 3-and-under section of the museum is Sesame Street­-themed, and includes hands-on activities and interactions with Sesame Street’s characters, such as Big Bird, who greets the incoming children. The museum is the first congressionally designated museum focused exclusively on children.

The Museum’s exhibits, programs and outreach activities focus on six core content areas: the arts; civic engagement; the environment; global citizenship; health and well-being; and play. The National Children’s Museum’s mission is to inspire children to care about and improve the world. In addition to the Sesame-themed 3-and-under section, the Our World section, which centers on the museum’s encouragement of global citizenship, includes an interactive table about all of Sesame Workshop’s international productions.

(more…)

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December 17, 2012

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Talking to Children about Recent Events: Our Resources for Parents and Caregivers

The tragic events from Friday morning left the nation shocked, horrified, and speechless. But while often, adults can’t find the words to express the anguish we’re feeling, the children in our lives still have questions and fears.

“What’s happened?”

“Are we safe?”

“I’m scared.”

As parents and caregivers, we want to help our children through this, and make sense of the words and imagery they are seeing on TV an other media. Over the course of decades, Sesame Street has been asked these very questions, and we’ve put together a packet of materials in hopes of helping families cope with these issues. Those materials, available here (as a pdf), are free for you to download. You may also view our Emergency PSA’s available on YouTube. While we can’t make the concerns go away, we hope these materials help you address the recent tragedy, and other emergency situations, with the children in your lives.

 

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Sesame’s Best Practices Guide for Children’s App Development

Touch screen technology is revolutionizing interactive digital experiences for children. No longer do our little ones need to wait to learn to navigate a mouse or press keyboard keys in order to access a host of interactive content designed for them. Instead, we see toddlers and preschoolers confidently navigating their parents’ iPhones, iPads, and other touch screen devices with astonishing agility and purpose. The explosion of apps for young children is not surprising; there is high demand and high appeal.

Sesame Workshop, whose mission is to help children reach their highest potential, is learning as much as we can about these media platforms so that we can use them to best meet children’s educational and developmental needs. We scour academic journals and policy-based reports; we consult experts in the field, and we also spend as much time as we can with children and parents observing and talking to them while they use touch screen devices. (more…)

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Sesame Street Releases Resources for Families Coping with Divorce

Sesame Street has never shied away from taking on tough topics. If it’s a challenge young children face in their lives, it’s a challenge Sesame Street would like to help them weather. Over the years we have tackled everything from the death of a loved one to helping children through challenging economic times. And now Sesame Workshop is providing tools and resources to help children and parents stay resilient during divorce and separation. (more…)

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December 10, 2012

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An In-depth Look at Sesame Street’s Efforts to Take on Divorce

Since its inception Sesame Street has been committed to tackling the challenges that young children face, no matter how difficult or unorthodox it may be to discuss those topics with children. With this commitment in mind, Sesame Workshop is taking on the subject of divorce, an emotional trial many children go through. Yet many parents are uncertain how to reassure or even explain what is going on to their children.

Storyboard, a storytelling project by Tumblr’s Department of Editorial, took a deeper look at the way Sesame Workshop is handling the subject of divorce. They wrote this piece about our divorce-focused outreach efforts and created the above video. We encourage you to check out both. (more…)

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The Long Journey of a Letter to Big Bird


I never believed that things happen for a reason. Rather, I thought this was just something said to help a person cope when things don’t go their way. But earlier this week, when I found myself on the set of Sesame Street standing next to my childhood idol, I instantly became a believer.

As a young girl I had always been a fan of Sesame Street, but in 2003 when I was 12 years old, I realized that just being a fan was not enough anymore. I happened to see an A & E documentary on the beloved children’s television show that gave a behind the scenes look at the production, the people and the puppeteers involved.  It was during this documentary that I learned about Caroll Spinney; the wonderfully talented performer bringing the characters of Big Bird and Oscar to life. Suddenly, two things became apparent: I needed to write a letter to Caroll telling him how big of a fan I was and I needed to find out exactly how to get to Sesame Street. (more…)

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Here for Each Other: Helping Families in the Aftermath of Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was an unprecedented super storm that hit parts of the East Coast badly, and we at Sesame knew we wanted to do anything we could to help those affected by it. Fortunately, a few years ago we had created Here for Each Other: Helping Families After An Emergency, an outreach resource that we knew could be helpful in getting families through this tough time. We reached out to our various partners to offer up this resource, and were relieved to find that so many of them were already doing such wonderful work in their communities, helping families through the aftermath of the storm. In particular, a partner in our Healthy Habits for Life initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Region II, (HHS) was already working with other federal agencies to support the response and recovery efforts for communities impacted by the storm. We wanted to support them in any way we could. (more…)

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Fostering a New Tradition of Indian Puppetry That Educates as it Entertains

This article originally appeared on the Sesame Workshop India site. VisitSesameWorkshopIndia.org to learn more about Galli Galli Sim Sim and all the wonderful work Sesame Workshop India does to improve the lives of and educate the children of India.

Sesame Workshop in India is committed to sustainable projects that enrich children’s lives long after our work is complete. We do this through partnerships, local development, and by investing in the furry heart of our programs—the puppeteers themselves.

Folk traditions of string puppets and shadow puppetry flourished in India long before our Galli Galli Sim Sim television show arrived in 2006. Yet the program’s Muppets represent something new: a sense of humor and emotional depth that connects powerfully with children and opens them to all types of learning. (more…)

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Kinect TV and Sesame Workshop’s Commitment to Innovation

J Milligan, the creative director of the Content Innovation Lab at Sesame Workshop, spoke at this year’s PSFK Conference in London. In his presentation J explains how Sesame Street Kinect TV, the Workshop’s newest interactive educational platform, is just the latest step in a decades long exploration of how technology can enhance early education.

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