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June 25, 2012

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Congratulations to Kevin Clash on His Most Recent Emmy Award

By Graydon Gordian


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.

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June 19, 2012

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Congratulations to Sesame Street and Electric Company’s Emmy Winners!

By Graydon Gordian


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.

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June 05, 2012

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Sesame Workshop Comments on Status of Pakistan’s Sim Sim Hamara

By Sesame Workshop


When Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop was selected by USAID in 2010 to work on Sim Sim Hamara, a multi-platform children’s educational media program, Sesame Workshop was selected and funded independently by USAID as one of the sub-award recipients on the project.  Sesame Workshop was surprised and dismayed to learn about the recent serious allegations made against Rafi Peer.  Beyond what we have read in the press, we do not know the specific details of these allegations.  We trust that the facts will be fairly and fully assessed, and we will wait for the full report.

We are grateful for USAID’s initial investment which has allowed Sesame Workshop to provide its expertise in children’s media to help Rafi Peer reach three million children, many of whom otherwise would not have access to any early childhood education.  It is our hope that the achievements of Sim Sim Hamara, and the gains we have made in the lives of children in Pakistan, will carry on.

 

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Sesame’s Annual Gala Celebrates Workshop’s Global Impact

By Graydon Gordian


Last night Sesame Workshop held its 10th annual benefit gala. At the gala, which was hosted by Elmo and The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart, President Bill Clinton and UnitedHealthcare were honored for the work they do on behalf of children’s health and education across the globe. The above video, an extended look at the history and global mission of Sesame Workshop, was featured, as were performances by the Sesame Street Muppets™ of  “We Are the World” and the Sesame Street classic “sing.”

To learn more about the global mission of Sesame Workshop, click here.

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A Message from Elmo and the Girls Prep Bronx’s ‘Joan Ganz Cooney’ Class

By Graydon Gordian


Over 40 years after she co-founded Sesame Street, Joan Ganz Cooney remains as dedicated to educating children in underserved communities as ever. That’s why Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School, which names each class after a successful woman its students should emulate, named its kindergarten class after Mrs. Cooney.

The students are so appreciative of Mrs. Cooney’s support that they asked Elmo to stop by the school, located in the South Bronx, so they could record a special message thanking her.

Joan Ganz Cooney became the kindergarten class’ “namesake” in 2009. Many of the students at Girls Prep come from poor backgrounds. 100 percent of the students are African-American, Latina or of multi-racial decent. Children in communities like the South Bronx are the kind of students Mrs. Cooney was hoping to reach when Sesame Street first aired in 1969. And although they move onto the class of a different inspiring woman after they graduate kindergarten, the foundations for a lifetime of education are established while the girls are in the “JGC” class, as it is known. Every girl in the JGC class has signed the Commitment to College Completion and has a college savings account established by the school.

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Sesame Workshop Launches New Sesame Street China Website

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is committed to the future of children’s educational media in China. That’s why last week we launched the Sesame Street China website, a new online resource with activities and videos for children and tips for Chinese parents.

The site is made up of three sections, titled “The Show,” “Grown-ups,” and “Meet Sesame Street.” The first includes segments from Sesame Street’s Big Bird Looks at the World, the Chinese version of Sesame Street, created in partnership with Shanghai Media Group’s Toonmax. “Grown-ups” has professional parenting tips to help Chinese families with their children’s mental, physical and emotional development. And “Meet Sesame Street” has information about Sesame Workshop’s research model, our historical international educational efforts both inside and outside China and the Workshops’ key partners. The website is also highly interconnected with Weibo and Kaixin, two extremely popular Chinese social media networks.

Sesame Workshop first began helping Chinese children fulfill their full potential in 1983 when we collaborated with CCTV to create Big Bird in China. With the launch of the Sesame Street China website, we’re proud to continue that tradition.

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The Book on Books: the History of Sesame Street and Random House

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop Co-Founder Joan Ganz Cooney signs a contract with Random House in 1984.

In January 1970, less than two months after Sesame Street first aired, Joan Ganz Cooney, the co-founder of Sesame Workshop, received a letter.

“Our editorial staff in particular and many other of our associates have been watching the outstanding progress of your Sesame Street show with real respect and admiration,” read its opening line.

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The Story Behind Sesame Street’s Latest Spoof: The Beatles!

By Graydon Gordian


At Sesame Street we love spoofing cultural touchstones. It’s a great way to bring smiles to the faces of parents, and humoring parents along with children has been a goal of the show since its beginning. Recently, to help promote a new series of home videos, we’ve been spoofing classic posters and pop art. Our playful versions of iconic propaganda posters such as Rosie the Riveter and Uncle Sam for our “Bye Bye Pacifier” home video were very popular, but our art department’s most recent creation may be my favorite so far.

To celebrate the release of our “Singing with the Stars” DVD, Sesame Workshop artist Diana Leto created a parody of the cover of the Beatles iconic album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Diana and Art Director Mark Magner pulled from Sesame Street’s vast library of characters to create an intricate reimagining of the album’s cover art.

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April 26, 2012

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The Making of a Sesame Street Mural

By Louis Mitchell


Ed. Note: Louis Henry Mitchell is the Associate Design Director of Special Projects. He was recently tasked with drawing chalk murals of the Sesame Street MuppetsTM on the 8th floor of Sesame Workshop’s offices. The drawings have become an office favorite, so we invited Louis to talk about his creative process.

When Sesame Workshop’s CEO Mel Ming asked me to draw murals on the recently opened 8th floor of Sesame Workshop’s offices, I was excited and intrigued. Despite having been a professional artist for 35 years and having worked with Sesame for 20 of those, the murals presented some real challenges. I had worked on a black background before but never to this degree of detail, and, except for Elmo I had never drawn such large versions of some of the characters. Read More

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April 25, 2012

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Sesame and USAID Work Together to Promote Children’s Health and Emotional Wellbeing

By Graydon Gordian


Promoting the health and wellbeing of children around the world is a critical part of Sesame Workshop’s mission. That’s why we’re excited to support USAID’s Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday child survival campaign. The above video, which pulls together footage from our international co-productions, highlights the importance of vaccination campaigns, hand washing, malaria control and HIV anti-stigma efforts to our educational content across the globe.

To learn more about “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” campaign, please click here. To learn more about Sesame Workshop’s work around around the world, please click here.

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