Bill Ayres is the executive director of WhyHunger, an anti-hunger organization he co-founded in 1975. Summer is an important time of year to focus on child hunger, which Sesame Workshop’s Food For Thought outreach initiative is committed to battling. Ayres sat down with the Workshop to explain how his organization fights child hunger, why it is such an important issue during the summer months and why his organization utilizes the anti-hunger materials Sesame Workshop makes available.
To put it simply, Why hunger? Why, as Americans, is hunger an issue that we should be concerned about?
Well, that is our name: WhyHunger. We have that name because we are asking the question, why is there hunger in the richest country in the world? Why is there hunger in a world that can feed itself? Hunger is an obscenity. Hunger in America is the ultimate obscenity. There are about 17 million children and 49 million people all together that are food insecure. That means they aren’t starving but they miss meals and they eat less. They don’t get the right kinds of food. That is devastating for kids especially.
Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of the second season of The Adventures of The Electric Company onPrankster Planet, the newest segment on our award-winning show The Electric Company.
The Electric Company has evolved since the iconic program first aired in 1971. Since the show was revived in 2009, we have utilized a variety of media to ensure that the show’s rigorously researched educational material, which has a renewed focus on math, helps six to nine-year-olds acquire the academic skills they need to achieve their full potential. Prankster Planet is at the heart of the show’s transmedia approach.
At the end of each episode, Marcus and Jessica will go on an adventure to try and stop tricky prankster Francine from causing chaos. But the story doesn’t end once the show is over. Kids are encouraged to go online to the new Prankster Planet website where they can play games that help them learn simple math equations, graphing, and data collection, representation and analysis.
Since the introduction of Prankster Planet 1.0 last season, millions of kids have visited the show’s website to have fun, interactive adventures, all the while building up their math and literacy skills. The show has won three Emmy’s for Outstanding Children’s Series in a row – every year since it was revived – and was also a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold Award for Television.
The fun and imaginative wall art was created by our Creative Services team:
Graphic Designer Molly Hein (Bert and Ernie in the Subway, Ernie bowling, Gluten Free),
Associate Art Director Evan Cheng (Bert and Ernie in the Subway, Ernie Bowling, Gluten Free, Grover Michael Jackson)
Senior Design Director Vanessa Germosen (Bert and Ernie in the Subway)
Creative Director Kip Rathke (Super Grover)
Creative Director Janis Beauchamp (Elmo Peaking in)
Vice President Creative Director Theresa Fitzgerald (Super Grover)
Louis Henry Mitchell (Full Cast Welcome Sign, Elmo/Big Bird/Cookie Monster Welcome Sign, Herry)
Each of the artists brings his or her own style and technique to the portrayal of Sesame Street’s iconic MuppetsTM. The entire Sesame Workshop team loves the chalk drawings so much that we decided it was about time we shared them with everyone.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is committed to making an impact on the health, wellbeing and education of children across the globe. While we may be best known for our groundbreaking television programs, we’re committed to using a variety of media to educate and entertain children. That’s why Hikayat SimSim, the Jordanian version of Sesame Street, recently launched HikayatSimSim.com, a new online resource with activities and guides for parents, teachers and children.
The site, which launched on May 30, is targeted at the parents and teachers of children ages 4-8, as well as the children themselves. The site includes games that help teach concepts that are critical for school readiness, “tips” and parental guides for caregivers, and introductions to Tonton, Juljul and Elmo, the furry friends children see when they watch Hikayat SimSim. Over time additional games, videos and stories will be added to the site as well.
Since 2003, when Hikayat SimSim first aired, Sesame Workshop has been helping the children of Jordan acquire the educational foundation necessary to achieve their full potential. As an organization we have a firm belief that educational messages are better retained if experienced on multiple platforms. That is why we are so excited to add an online component to our educational efforts in Jordan.
For the second week in a row we are proud to announce that a member of the Sesame Workshop team has been honored with an Emmy award. On Saturday night Kevin Clash, the performer of Elmo, was awarded the Emmy for best performer in a children’s series. The Emmy is Kevin’s 21st overall Emmy, his eighth as a performer and his fourth in a row in the category. We also wanted to congratulate Sesame Workshop performers Carroll Spinney and Leslie Carrara, who were nominated for the award. The imagination and talent of Kevin, Carroll and Leslie have long been an indispensable part of Sesame Workshop’s ability to help children across the world laugh and learn.
There’s no greater reward for the work we do here at Sesame Workshop than seeing children smile and develop a genuine love of learning. However, we’re appreciative when other organizations recognize how hard individuals here at the Workshop work to help better the lives of children both here and abroad. That’s why we wanted to congratulate all the people who work on both Sesame Street and The Electric Company who were awarded Emmys at Sunday’s 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Here at Sesame Street we do everything we can to make sure our men and women in uniform know we support them. That’s why we’re excited to wish the United States Army, which was founded on June 14, 1775, Happy Birthday! We’re so excited that we asked Rosita, Sgt. Major Raymond Chandler and his wife Jeanne to record a special birthday message for our service men and women, their spouses and children.
Matt Rogers with Rosita, Elmo, Gordon and the Marine Corps band.
Matt Rogers is the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home. On Memorial Day he performed Sesame Street’s new resiliency anthem with Elmo, Rosita, Gordon and the Marine Corps band. We recently sat down with Matt to talk about his Memorial Day performance, his admiration for our servicemen and women, and how he became the host of Coming Home.
Tell me a bit about the performance on the Intrepid on Memorial Day.
I had a blast. I felt like I was in my element. I’m a father of two and being in that role with two small kids is so much fun. When you’re doing something that you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like fun. It felt great to be able to go out there and help these military families take their mind off what they’re going through. Read More
Lynn Chwatsky (right) stands next to Gen. Raymond T. Odierno during the ceremony.
As an entire organization, Sesame Workshop is dedicated to improving the lives of servicemen and women and their families, but a few people at Sesame deserve special recognition for the work they do on behalf of military families. Lynn Chwatsky, Vice President of Outreach Initiatives and Partners for Sesame Workshop, is one of those people. That’s why we’re proud to announce that last week Lynn was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, an award given to civilians who make a “substantial contribution” to the military.
General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, presented the award to Lynn and an esteemed group of fellow recipients: New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, NBA referee Bob Delaney, and Linda Patterson, President and Founder of America Supporting Americans.
“I’m humbled,” Lynn said. “Every second of everyday our servicemen and women serve our country with dignity, honor and respect. For them to thank me – I was honored. It was very special. It was one of the top few days of my life.”
To learn more about the ways Lynn and the rest of the Sesame Workshop team support military families, click here.