Today Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, announced a multi-year partnership with Teaching Strategies, the educational company that publishes The Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD. The partnership will develop a series of educational offerings for the preschool classroom that utilizes Sesame Street’s proven content. Over the next five years, Sesame Workshop and Teaching Strategies will work together to develop new ways to educate young children both at home and in school. Read More
Author Archives: Sesame Workshop
Divorce is one of the most common transitions young children experience today, with ultimately 40 percent of all children experiencing the divorce of their parents. Join Sesame Workshop’s Lynn Chwatsky, VP of Educational Outreach Initiatives and Partners, and clinical psychologist, child specialist, and author Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll on May 20 at 9 a.m. as they discuss Sesame Street’s newest educational outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce. Learn how Sesame Street’s videos, storybook, caregiver guide, Sesame Street: Divorce app, and online resources can be used to help families with young children (ages 2–8) as they encounter the tough transitions that come with divorce and separation.
To watch a replay of the webinar, click here.
Once again families are coping with how to explain tragic and scary news events to their children. These events shake our very foundation, as our sense of security erodes with each incident. In times such as these, it is important to reassure your child that you, their teachers, law enforcers, and members of their community are doing everything possible to keep them safe from harm. Children are resilient and can use coping strategies to help them deal with their fears. As a caregiver, you know your child best and can tailor your communication about these news events in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner.
Here are some tips to help you and your children cope with frightening events:
* As parents and caregivers, it is important to first calm your own fears before talking with your child. Children will first react to your level of fear and anxiety. To help you plan what you will say to your child, talk to friends, neighbors, and your child’s teacher to get their advice. Please take care of yourself by limiting your television viewing and seeking comfort from your family and community.
* Be available and provide physical comfort. In fearful times, children need to be reassured that their parents and caretakers have their family life under control and are comforted by having their loved ones physically close to them. This family time reassures them that they and the whole family are safe. Hugs and special comfort items also help them to cope with their fears.
* Try to keep a normal routine. Children will be less anxious if life is as stable and predictable as possible. To the degree possible, stick to your usual schedules and routines.
* Avoid watching television coverage. Older children who know what is happening are often traumatized by the ongoing news coverage. For the younger children, they may interpret the ongoing news coverage of an event to mean that it’s actually happening over and over and possibly occurring in their neighborhood.
* Listen and allow your child to ask questions. Create an atmosphere during together time with your child to allow him or her to freely express his or her thoughts and concerns. Once you have an idea of the source of fear or anxiety, you can have an open dialogue with your child.
Coping with Emotions
* Help your child deal with frightening times by discussing activities you can do together to feel better (e.g. drawing pictures, writing letters, reading, playing games). Resilient children learn that although they might feel sad, angry, or anxious, these emotions will change. They will not always feel this way and there are things they can do to feel better.
* Children need to know that it’s okay to express their feelings in their way. Your child may want to talk about his or her emotions openly or may prefer drawing pictures, writing stories, or taking comfort by reading books, listening to music or playing games.
* Empowering your child with a sense of control of his or her life is also beneficial to coping with this situation. Involve your child in decision making about activities the family can do together, and for older children, discuss strategies for maintaining their activities while being mindful of their safety.
Sesame Workshop is proud to announce that Erica Branch-Ridley, Vice President and Executive in Charge of Production of Sesame Learning is a member of the first-ever class of recipients of the Multiethnic TV Leadership Awards. The awards, which honored 11 television executives, celebrate the viability of the multiethnic television business. Ms. Branch-Ridley’s award was specifically for her work in the area of programming distribution and technology.
Erica Branch-Ridley is a cherished member of the Workshop community and the entire staff is excited to hear about her award.
Today, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to toilets. Investing in sanitation leads to healthier people and stronger communities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program focuses on the development of tools and technologies that can lead to radical and sustainable improvements in sanitation in the developing world. An important component is reaching children and families with critical health messages. A new grant to Sesame Workshop will promote hygiene and sanitation among children and families in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria. Cookie Monster was so excited to work with the Gates Foundation that he sat down with the Impatient Optimist, the foundation’s blog, and answered a few questions. Sesame Workshop looks forward to working with the Gates Foundation in the coming years.
Impatient Optimist: Cookie Monster, we know you are very busy. Why have you taken the time to speak with us today?
Cookie Monster: Well, me heard that if me be very patient, there will be chocolate chip cookies available at the end of this interview. Me not see them yet, but me optimistic. Read More
It is with great sadness that we relay the news of the passing of Jane Henson, wife of Jim Henson and a beloved member of the Sesame Street community. Born Jane Ann Nebel, she married Jim Henson in 1959 and gave birth to five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather. In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Mrs. Henson was an artistic collaborator of her late husband’s, performing Muppets alongside him on both Sesame Street and earlier projects. The entire Sesame Street community mourns her passing. She will be missed.
To learn more about Jane Henson’s life and achievements, visit The Jim Henson Legacy.
Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.
We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.
In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a then 23 year old man who alleged that he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 years old with Kevin Clash, a Sesame Workshop puppeteer who performs as Elmo.
We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined.
Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.
Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years.
When it comes to Sesame Workshop’s budget, there are a lot of numbers out there. The Count may get it, but almost everyone else is confused.
Sesame Street receives, on average, about $1.5 million from PBS each year. You may have read that PBS gives us $7 million or $8 million each year. That’s an easy mistake to make. But we’re Sesame Street, and we’re going to do what we do best.
We’re going to explain it.
Not-for-profit organizations are required to publish their informational returns, IRS Form 990, on their websites. It shows where the organization’s money comes from and where it goes to. If you look at our Form 990s from years past and go to Part VIII (page nine), there’s a “Statement of Revenue.” That’s where our money comes from.
The first part of that has a line – 1e, if you’re following along — called “Government grants (contributions).” In our fiscal year 2010 (ending June 30, 2010), that number was just under $8 million; in fiscal year 2011, it was about $7 million. Many people are looking at that number and thinking “PBS!”
But PBS funding for Sesame Street is not included in that number. Let’s break it down. We’ll use the fiscal year 2011 number because it’s our most recent.
The $7 million came primarily from three sources:
* About $1.6 million from the Department of Education, for The Electric Company.
* Another $4.4 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development, facilitating the production of local educational initiatives in places like Nigeria, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
* And another $700,000 or so from the Department of Health and Human Services, for our Healthy Habits for Life initiative.
But PBS funding for Sesame Street is not there.
PBS is funded, in part, by an organization called the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (or CPB), which you’ve probably heard mentioned on PBS shows for decades. CPB is “a private corporation funded by the American people.” CPB gives money to PBS and to NPR, among others. A lot of that is on a project basis — for example, a few years ago, CPB gave us money so that we could bring back The Electric Company in order to help bridge the literacy gap among underprivileged children in early elementary school.
So where’s the PBS’s financial support for Sesame Street appear on our Form 990? It’s part of line 1f – “All other contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts not included above.” It includes all the money we get from our corporate sponsors who have partnered with us to bring our educational content to children around the world, and, yes, it includes PBS, too.
Of the nearly $32 million on that line, $1.5 million is from PBS. PBS pays us a $4 million licensing fee to produce and deliver about two dozen new hour-long episodes of Sesame Street each year. And we give part of it back.
Our corporate sponsors and product licensees bring in revenue so that we can meet our mission, and we could not do that without the reach of PBS. So each year, we return about $2.5 million of that $4 million to PBS.
$4 million minus $2.5 million? As a Sesame Street fan, you can quickly figure out that each year, we receive $1.5 million from PBS.
But let’s be perfectly clear, were it not for PBS and CPB, Sesame Street would not exist. From initial government investment, we’ve built a financially sustainable model through public private partnerships. And today, we continue to rely on PBS to deliver on our mission of helping all children reach their highest potential. It is through PBS and their member stations, that we are able to provide commercial free educational programming to all US children, particularly those who need Sesame Street the most.