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March 19, 2013

By Graydon Gordian

Sesame Workshop Partners with IICF to Support Literacy

Literacy. It’s been at the heart of Sesame Workshop’s mission since Sesame Street began airing in 1969. We’re continually spreading our message of laughter and learning to new countries and utilizing emerging technological platforms to educate American preschool children. All the while, literacy remains a central element of Sesame Worskhop’s curriculum, no matter where or how a child is seeing our educational material.

That’s why we’re excited to partner with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation whose National Early Childhood Education Initiative focuses on literacy for young children, particularly those in underserved communities around the U.S. The partnership will develop a program that provides children, parents, caregivers, and facilitators with tools to support young children’s development of essential literacy skills around rich conversations, reading, and writing. This program will provide rich and engaging opportunities for IICF Volunteers.

“We are committed to combining the collective strengths of the insurance industry to positively impact communities at the local and national level, specifically young children at risk of illiteracy,” said William Ross, Chief Executive Officer of the IICF.

The program, which launches in the fall of 2013, will consist of original Sesame Street video segments, downloadable materials for parents, educators and volunteers that help advance literacy for preschool children and a dedicated section of Sesame Street’s website.

Literacy remains a crisis in underserved communities across the United States. Studies show that, by age three, children from low income households knew 600 fewer words than children from families with higher incomes. As long as this literacy gap remains, Sesame Workshop will make closing it a priority.

To learn more about Sesame Workshop’s other efforts to advance literacy in underserved communities, click here.

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