our blog

December 08, 2014

Tags
share this +

Sesame Workshop at the Mubadala Business Forum

By Robert Knezevic


Last month, I was invited to speak about Sesame Street’s work around the world at the Mubadala Business Forum, where 300 international industry leaders attended.  Mubadala is the primary sponsor of our Abu Dhabi based joint-venture, Bidaya Media, an organization dedicated to bringing Arabic educational TV programs to young children and their families in the region.  Bidaya’s inaugural project is Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic version of the award-winning children’s series Sesame Street.  Targeted to children ages 4-6, Iftah Ya Simsim is being locally produced to cater to the needs, culture, traditions, and will launch in 2015.

The talk was a big hit  and received a great reception.  I wanted to share it with you – it’s the Sesame story I like to tell!

share this +
printprint
divider

December 03, 2014

Tags
share this +

Early Childhood Literacy – It Takes A Village

By Sesame Workshop


By Kimberly Saccaro, IICF Midwest Executive Director     

In 2013, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) launched a national partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, called Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day  in response to the wide gap in literacy rates between children of high and low income families.  Our primary objective was to create impactful and meaningful experiences for children, caregivers, and IICF volunteers.  What we have learned since our partnership began has been both surprising and inspiring.

Following the successful program launch in 2013, our focus has been engaging the insurance industry and working with our expansive networks to aid in the distribution of the Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day program materials. Industry engagement surged to record numbers during our recent Week of Giving, held across the country in mid-October.

Insurance industry volunteers, community partners, and municipalities came together during our 16th Annual Week of Giving to provide preschool-aged children and their caregivers the opportunity to experience the basic tenets of the Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day program – reading, writing and talking.  In partnership with public libraries in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, over 5,000 children and caregivers took part in Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day activities throughout the week.

I had the opportunity to experience the Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day event first-hand in the Midwest at the Chicago Public Library. The day started with an excited and nervous energy as 200 volunteers from 20 different insurance companies gathered in the grand lobby of the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago.  Industry volunteers received assignments as a “Buddy”,  “Reading Station Volunteer”, or one of the other many volunteer roles. Others volunteers headed down to the bus arrival area to greet and escort the children upstairs. Remaining volunteers were teamed up with one of our nonprofit grantees,  Bernie’s Book Bank, to prepare bags of books to be distributed to the children to take home with them after the event.

And then the children arrived.  The broad and welcoming smiles exchanged between our volunteers and the 170 wide-eyed young children was an inspiring scene to witness.  Children linking up with their Buddies, a children’s book author reading her book, and excited little ones shrieking with glee as they spotted Cookie Monster waiting to give them a hug.   It was truly inspiring to see the positive reaction to all involved.

As I walked throughout the library photographing the conversations, drawing, and story-telling, I was struck by how these simple, every day  activities were captivating the attention of not only the children in the room but their grown-up counterparts.  It struck me how happy and engaged so many of the children seemed with an adult giving them their undivided attention during these every day moments.

This concept of “every day moments” having a significant impact on early literacy is something we learned from the knowledgeable research and program teams at Sesame Workshop during our partnership, but to witness it in action was a different story – it was surprising.   Even as a mother of a five-year-old kindergartener, I was still surprised that so much impact could be made with such simple and relatively short activities.  It occurred to me, in witnessing these every day moments between a child and a caring adult that had just met each other that day, early literacy is a group effort.  It is our responsibility as a society, as parents, educators, business people, and corporations, to each do our part to help our youngest and most promising citizens become literate.  Their future, and therefore our future as a society and economy, can be significantly and positively influenced by a collaborative community effort.

I am proud to be a part of an industry that both acknowledges this important social issue and is committed to taking action to bridge the gap in early literacy.  We can do more, together and continue to support organizations like Sesame Workshop fulfill their mission to help all kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

share this +
printprint
divider

November 19, 2014

Tags
share this +

“When Raya Speaks, the Children of the World Listen.”

By Sesame Workshop


Those words were spoken by Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-R). He’s talking about Raya, a six-year-old Muppet who recently joined the Sesame Street family.

2.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe toilets, and in some regions, more people have access to cell phones than to toilets. And even as we work to bring attention to that problem, we also need to work toward changing the attitudes, habits, and practices around water, sanitation, and hygiene. Raya is one of many voices leading the charge through Sesame Workshop’s WASH UP! initiative.

On Saturday, September 27, Raya attended the Global Citizen Festival, an event designed to bring global leaders, socially conscious celebrities and musicians, and thousands of concerned citizens together in an effort to end extreme poverty by 2030. Raya kicked the day off with Sesame Workshop’s Vice President, International, Stephen Sobhani, at MSNBC on Melissa Harris Perry. The segment included Congressman Aaron Schock, wherein on camera, he stated, “When Raya speaks, the children of the world listen.”

She then moved on to the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park where she rocked out with 60,000 of her closest friends in New York to No Doubt and Jay Z. (And she grabbed a selfie along the way!)

IMG_3126

Raya’s selfie!

At the concert, Raya and Elmo had a special meet and greet with Prime Minster of India, Narendra Modi and World Bank President, Dr. Jim Kim. Dr. Kim was eager to tell Elmo and Raya about how he and Prime Minster Modi would be cleaning the Ganges for children.

During the festival, a public service announcement highlighting proper latrine use was broadcast to the live audience and aired on MSNBC’s live festival coverage.

IMG_3119

Raya and Questlove!

Raya and Elmo had a special meet and greet with Prime Minster of India, Narendra Modi and World Bank President, Dr. Jim Kim.

Raya and Elmo had a special meet and greet with Prime Minster of India, Narendra Modi and World Bank President, Dr. Jim Kim.

For more information on the Open Defecation Campaign, visit: http://opendefecation.org/news/resources/.

Click here to find out how you can get involved!

share this +
printprint
divider

October 09, 2014

Tags
share this +

I Found My Way to Sesame Street: Cheryl Baxter, Sesame Street Live

By Sesame Workshop


Cheryls head shot

Cheryl Baxter (pictured above) is a director and choreographer with Sesame Street Live. Here’s her look back at how she found her way to Sesame Street.

I have directed and choreographed shows for Sesame Street Live since 1996. Some years I may work on two or three shows during a season. “Let’s Dance!” is a different format than other shows we have done in the past. There will be more audience participation, and, for some of the numbers the characters will be in the audience teaching various dances!

I really enjoy the rehearsal process. The creative team has a vision first on paper, then the music and choreography is set, and then it’s put on the performers. We start creating the shows months before rehearsals start in August – it’s exciting when we see it come to life.

The new challenges the show poses is to build in enough time musically for the characters to come on and off of the audience floor. At times there are eight characters going from the stage and covering the floor to interact with as many audience members as possible; building extra time to get them back on stage to do their next number is important.

My annual visit to La Crosse has always been a special time for me personally. I now live in Los Angeles, but I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin about an hour away from La Crosse, so getting the opportunity to open a show near my hometown is fantastic. My mom is a dance teacher in Wisconsin so she brings her dance students to the shows in La Crosse every year!

 

share this +
printprint
divider

October 08, 2014

Tags
share this +

Doctors, and Academic Medical Journal and… Sesame Street?

By Sesame Workshop


AnnalsThe authors of an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine (available here) say that physicians are getting a wake-up call about the effects of mass incarceration from an unexpected place: Sesame Street. Currently, more than two million people are incarcerated in the United States – more than any other country in the world. The authors of “Sesame Street Goes to Jail: Physicians Should Follow” argue that while many people need to be in prison for the safety of society, a majority are incarcerated due to behaviors attributable to treatable diseases such as mental illness and addiction. The authors suggest policy changes that would allow doctors to steer eligible defendants into treatment programs rather than correctional facilities, when appropriate. When incarceration is necessary, doctors and correctional medicine should coordinate transfer of patient care upon release so that any gains made during incarceration are not lost. They say that physicians also should be aware of social issues such as education, housing, race, and poverty because they can adversely affect health. These same issues also increase the risk of incarceration.

The authors were inspired to call physicians to action by Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration initiative. A Muppet named Alex provides support and a voice for young kids, while the online toolkit provides caregivers with a range of materials to help guide children through the challenges associated with the incarceration of a loved one. This is important, say the authors, because incarceration plays a role in health and health disparities for not only the person incarcerated, but also for their families.

Two of the authors, Scott Allen MD and Jody Rich MD, MPH, pictured above, shared their thoughts with us, below.

Scott:  What common ground would a couple of doctors writing for an academic medical journal have with Sesame Street?  Well, thanks to the groundbreaking work on the impact of incarceration on families and communities done by Lynn Chwatsky and her team at Sesame Workshop, we learned that there’s plenty of common ground.

Dr. Jody Rich and I like to say that we met in prison –  which is true – we were both physicians treating patient in the Rhode Island system in the late 1990’s.  In prison, the process of seeing patients is often interrupted by the prison routines including an important process called “the count.”  The count is the process of literally the counting of the inmates by officers that occurs at multiple times across the day.  Anyone working in prison knows when they hear the announcement “Time for the count!” work comes to a stand still.  And just as predictably, whenever we’d hear that announcement, Dr. Rich would assume the voice of Sesame Street’s Count von Count.  “I count a-one… I count a-two… I count a-three…”

Over the years and through our work with inmate patients and their communities, we grew increasingly concerned about the impact of the widespread use of incarceration in the United States.  We co-founded the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at the Miriam Hospital, Brown University in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of incarceration on health.  And then one day, our colleague Dora Dumont brought the character of Alex the muppet with an incarcerated father to our attention.  Inspired by Sesame Street’s attention, we cited the character of Alex in a paper written for an academic journal, Annals of Internal Medicine arguing for increased attention by physicians to the impact of incarceration on patients and their communities.  The good people at Annals loved the paper, and after a few calls to the folks at Sesame Street, we agreed there was great synergy in our efforts. We agreed to collaborate on a short video news release.

Jody and I traveled to New York to Sesame Street, and despite our academic titles and roles as physicians, we were as excited as school kids to meet Alex, our new muppet friend, along with Lynn and the staff behind this terrific outreach effort.

And as a bonus, once we wrapped up the shoot with Alex, out of nowhere appeared the one and only Count to participate in another unrelated shoot.

I looked over at Jody.  I knew what was coming.

“It’s time for the Count! I count a-one… I count a-two… I count a-three…”

The Count overheard our conversation.  “Ahh!  You like to count, too!  Let’s count TOGETHER!”

Jody: Dora Dumont came up with the idea and Scott and I immediately jumped on. This work by the Sesame Street team is outstanding and synergistic to our efforts. What is going on in the United States right now with incarceration rates higher than ever before is downright un-American. It is unjust, unfair, wrong and detrimental to the very fabric of our society. Everybody loves Sesame Street and what better way to get our message across.

When the Annals of Internal Medicine agreed to publish our article and mentioned that there could be an accompanying video, we began chanting “We’re going to Sesame Street!”

When we finally went it impressed our friends and families more than anything we’ve done before: instant credibility from our children and their friends.

Scott is accurate in his description of our excitement upon arriving at Sesame Street. We were as excited as school kids getting ice cream.

We were so honored to meet Alex, but also the Count.  Over the years, I’ve imitated the Count so many times when explaining the prison “count” to students and visitors.  And never in my wildest dreams did I think we would actually get to meet THE Count!

share this +
printprint
divider

October 07, 2014

Tags
share this +

I Found My Way to Sesame Street: Lisa Marie Fulton, Sesame Street Live

By Sesame Workshop


vee1Lisa Marie Fulton (pictured in the green hat above) is a professional Sesame Street character performer. She is going into her sixth season with Sesame Street Live and her seventh with VEE Corporation. Here’s her look back at how she found her way to Sesame Street.

My journey started in 1985, I was 4 years old and my mom and grandma took my brother and me to see Sesame Street Live in Detroit. I was mesmerized — hooked. I was going to be on that stage when I grew up! We continued to see the show year after year. As I grew older, my ambitions changed as fast as my shoe size. When I grew up I wanted to be a teacher, a cartoonist, or a stay-at-home mom. But in my heart I always knew I wanted to be on stage.

Throughout my life, I’ve worked to get there. When I was young I started taking dance classes at Randazzo Dance Studio. At Ypsilanti High School I joined a club that involved performance. I went to college and graduated in 2003 with a degree in theatre from Bowling Green State University. My first audition out of college? It was for Sesame Street Live in Columbus, OH.

I didn’t get it.

Of course, I was disappointed. But I was a performer and rejection is inevitable. Sometimes you’re just not the right fit.

Shortly thereafter, I moved to Minneapolis. While there I acted, taught, designed costumes, danced and even became the mascot for the Saint Paul Saints professional baseball team. I was pretty content with my life until one day I saw a posting for Sesame Street Live auditions at Target Center. It had been more than three years since my first audition, but I had more professional experience and even costume character experience so I decided to go. Six months after that audition I got the call to go on tour with VEE Corporation.

Three years after that I stepped on stage as Baby Bear. I had finally found my way to Sesame Street.

This is where I live. Of course traveling the country I miss my friends and family back home (luckily, I’ve gotten to perform for them in my travels) but tour is my home away from home and the people I tour with are like family. I’ve been like an older sister, younger sister, mother and even the cool aunt to some of my tour mates. I still have close relationships with people I’ve toured with, especially those I shared hotel rooms with for ten months at a time. For example, I know I can call or text fellow performer Timmy Hayes, former management team members Dave and Mary Hart, and countless others at anytime for a laugh or tough love.

Touring is a lifestyle full of hard work and adventures. It requires a dedication to your craft unlike any other. Touring also has it perks like traveling to new places. On my days off I like to visit major and minor league ballparks (Go Tigers!) and try the different foods each state has to offer. (New Orleans has my vote for the best!) I also love seeing what challenges each year brings. This year I decided to go back to school. I was accepted to Purdue’s Master in Communication program. So while I continue to travel the country performing I will be taking online classes and fulfill another dream of mine by obtaining my master’s degree. I know it won’t be easy, however, like Grover says (which I also quoted in my essay to get into grad school, thank you Grover!):

 I, Grover, am big and tall
and very smart and kind of cute and wonderful
I think that there is nothing I cannot do

I wholeheartedly believe that. I can do anything. Hey, I found my way to Sesame Street, didn’t I?

share this +
printprint
divider

October 03, 2014

Tags
share this +

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families Hits a Major Milestone!

By Dan Lewis


Nicole McClendon is the tour manager for the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families, a free traveling USO tour created exclusively for troops and their families.  As the tour prepares to celebrate visiting and entertaining more than 500k service members and their families, we asked Nicole to share some of the experiences she has had while traveling to military bases around the world with Elmo and friends.

Milestone of 500K service members and their families set by Sesame Stree/USO.Nicole, what made you decide that you wanted to be a part of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families?  Do you have family in the military?

I have always admired the USO and what it has done for our troops all over the world.  My grandmother was actually a “USO girl” during World War II, and I grew up listening to her stories, as well as those of my grandfathers and uncles that served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The USO was always a bright spot in their service. I have an uncle who is now an award winning gourmet chef, and to this day, he rates all egg salad sandwiches by the delicious ones served by the USO that he enjoyed in Vietnam. I also have many childhood friends who served and continue to serve in the military.

That said, I have always wanted to find a way to express my gratitude to our troops stationed at home and around the world for the sacrifices they make every single day that allow me the freedoms that I enjoy as I travel our country and the world.  This particular show is especially meaningful to me because I have many friends who grew up as military kids themselves, and they have often talked about how hard moving can be.  This show is catered to today’s military kids, who are experiencing the same thing many of my closest friends did when they were young.  It’s an ideal way for me to express my gratitude and give back to the folks who need it most.

How is this show special?

This show is special in so many ways.  First, we bring the show right to the base so there’s no need for families to travel far.  Second, Sesame Street is an American treasure that so many parents trust and grew-up with, and this show is an outgrowth of Sesame Workshop’s military families initiatives Talk, Listen, Connect.  It’s fun, entertaining and hits on important topics that today’s military families face every day.  Kids and parents dance and sing, but the show is also an icebreaker for parents to talk to their children about their feelings after the final curtain.  And last, but not least, the partnership between Sesame Street and the USO just works.  The USO has been lifting the spirits of troops and military families for more than 70 years, and is always by their side.  Sesame Street knows kids. And when you put the two together – it is a perfect combination.

What is it like living on a bus for six or seven months at a time? 

Living on a bus for six to seven months at a time is a great way to see the country.  As we drive from place to place, we often watch the scenery rather than the television.  After about a month, the novelty of eating out at different restaurants every night wears off a bit and we find ways to “cook” for ourselves.  Care packages from home with such treats as home baked cookies go a long way, especially since Cookie Monster shares them with everyone on the bus.  Just like our troops that are far away from home, a home cooked meal is often the highlight of wherever we are.

Do you feel like traveling from base to base, making new friends and then leaving provides you a glimpse into what it is like for military kids who have to move?

Traveling on this tour and being on the road certainly allows me a glimpse into what military life is like.  Of course I have the benefit of being an adult and not having a parent in the military who happens to be deployed at the moment.  We pack-up the show and move to the next military base every few days, so just as Katie says in the show, just when we feel settled in a place, maybe even just unpack our suitcase, it’s time to pack it all up on the bus and truck again and head down the road.  Of course, traveling with Elmo by my side makes it a wee bit easier to make friends at each new base we go to!

What makes this whole experience worth it for you?  Have you experienced any moments during the tour that made you think, wow, I’m part of something so much bigger?

Seeing the smiles on hundreds of kids and parents faces each day makes the experience more than worth it for me.  When parents take pictures of their kids enjoying the show and tell their youngsters that the Sesame Street/USO show is for military families like us, it definitely resonates with me. When we bring the show to these bases, it means so much to the military families, and they tell us that every day.  It’s wonderful to think that just be getting up in the morning and doing my job, I can help spread happiness from base to base.

Why is the 500K milestone worth celebrating?

Pausing for a moment to recognize that we will have visited and entertained more than 500k military family members is essential to celebrate.  The fact that all these years, performances and bases later, this show is still something that military families show up for in droves and still enjoy attending, means that Sesame Street and the USO have succeeded in their mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families.  If 500K military family members have seen the show, that means we’ve made that many military family members smile and know they are not alone.  As smiles are contagious, we can only hope that the 500k visitors spread smiles to at least one other person, which would mean we’ve helped create almost a million more smiles and special moments amongst our military friends.

What’s the best thing about this experience for you?

There are so many things that I enjoy about this Sesame Street/USO Experience, but the thing that gives me the most warm fuzzies every single performance is seeing parents in uniform enjoying the show with their kids.  Bringing families together is always a tremendous thing to witness.

What’s the coolest thing you have seen?  The craziest?

In Fort Lee, VA, we had a 40-member volunteer detail for load-out that showed up early in order to watch the last show prior to helping us pack up happiness.  Every single one of them got up on their feet and danced the Elmo slide.  It was amazing!  I haven’t seen a lot of crazy things.  We tend to contain crazy, like the tornado warning at Dover Air Force Base, where several parents got alerts on their phone, but didn’t want the show to end due to crazy weather.  Luckily, the venue was also the “Shelter In Place” location for the base, so the muppets didn’t miss a beat!

Is Elmo hard to work with off camera?

Most of the time I spend working with Elmo is actually off camera, and he is actually a joy to work with and be around.  He’s always on time and ready for his shows, no matter if they interfere with naptime or not.  Elmo is great about pacing himself too; so that he has all the energy he possibly can to dance, play with Katie and meet new military friends at every base.

I consider it an honor to do what I do and to be a part of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families.  Now that I spread happiness from base to base, I don’t know if I could ever do anything else.  Making military families happy makes me happy beyond my wildest dreams and I can’t thank them enough for everything they do for us.

share this +
printprint
divider

September 08, 2014

Tags
share this +

Sesame Workshop Appoints Jeffrey Dunn as President and CEO

By Sesame Workshop


Vincent A. Mai, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, announced today the appointment of Jeffrey D. Dunn as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop, effective September 29, 2014. Mr. Dunn, formerly the President and CEO of HiT Entertainment, will succeed Mel Ming who announced his retirement earlier this year. Mr. Dunn will lead the nonprofit educational organization in its mission to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential.

Mr. Dunn currently serves as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University with a focus on media and education. Previously, he served as President and CEO of HiT Entertainment from 2008 until 2012. HiT was one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers airing its content in more than 160 countries around the world, primarily on public broadcasters. HiT’s signature property was Thomas & Friends, which was the world’s leading boys’ preschool brand. Before joining HiT, Dunn served as Group Chief Operating Officer of the Nickelodeon Networks group and the President of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises, where, among other things, he built Nickelodeon’s international networks business and oversaw the growth of Blue’s Clues, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer into three of the world’s largest licensed property brands.

“Jeff Dunn has an outstanding track record in the world of children’s media,” said Vincent Mai. “At HiT Entertainment, Jeff led the company’s resurgence and successful turn-around before it was sold to Mattel in 2012. And under his leadership, Nickelodeon became one of the industry’s most global networks, largest licensing businesses, as well as the world’s largest digital media business for kids. His current experience at Harvard is a testament to his commitment to the educational power of media and we look forward to the Workshop thriving under his creative, inspired leadership.”

Jeff Dunn said, “Sesame Workshop really invented the business of kids television as we know it today and all of us in the kids media industry recognize the debt we owe the Workshop for leading the way. I am truly humbled by this opportunity to join the Workshop and help to steer its future and educational mission.”

Jeff Dunn recently served on the board of American Greetings and Sprout, the award-winning preschool children’s TV network. He graduated with honors from Harvard College, and earned his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve, helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

Photo by Gil Vaknin

share this +
printprint
divider

July 30, 2014

Tags
share this +

Sesame Street Explores National Parks

By Monique VanLandingham


Editor’s note: This post is by Monique VanLandingham, Interpretation and Education, National Park Service.
 

This week, Elmo discussed the great outdoors with Katie Couric. Their conversation happened at a perfect  time because summer is a great time to explore the outdoors..  There are puddles to splash in, baby animals to discover, and the wonders of nature to explore.  Summer’s also a perfect time to enjoy our country’s national parks, local parks, and even the adventures that can be found in your own backyard. The National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation (NPF), its nonprofit partner, have teamed up with Sesame Street to inspire kids to do just that.

Together, NPS, NPF, and Sesame Workshop created a multimedia experience for children, educators and families to help kids learn more about science and nature and encourage them to get outdoors. In Sesame Street Explores National Parksreal life park rangers interact with beloved Sesame Street characters Elmo and Murray as they introduce children to the natural world of habitats, animal families, and the changing of the seasons.

Research shows that many children are now lacking opportunities for positive experiences with nature, and that this lack of interaction with their natural surroundings can lead to troubling results such as attention difficulties, a diminished use of the senses, and a lack of physical activity that can contribute to higher rates of childhood obesity.

 Sesame Street Explores National Parks helps reverse those trends and supports learning about the natural world and science. Sesame Street Explores National Parks comprises:

* A series of six short videos, featuring  awe-inspiring footage of Grand Canyon National Park and Gateway National Recreation Area (NYC), in which Murray Monster, Elmo and a park ranger highlight scientific inquiry skills through science and nature topics relevant to both the national parks (Grand Canyon and Gateway) and local park or backyard settings.

* Printables, including a nature journal, a scavenger hunt, nature badge, coloring page, and a vocabulary sheet; that parents and caregivers can print out and enjoy with their preschoolers

* View-and-do activities for parents, caregivers and educators (including park rangers) that extend the learning experience of each of the videos by offering concrete, developmentally appropriate ways to help young children to learn more about the topics introduced by the videos;

Parents love that the Sesame Street Explores National Parks materials are age-appropriate and family friendly.  Parents are also delighted that the activities give them opportunities to engage as a family and interact with their little ones. There’s nothing quite like watching a four-year-old singing along with the lively song, or pretending to be a park ranger.  But best of all, Sesame Street Explores National Parks is just plain fun for everyone!

By visiting the National Park Service website, www.nps.gov, families can find out what is happening in nearby parks.  Each park hosts a calendar of events detailing – mostly FREE!! – activities for visitors of all ages.  Get out there! Get active! And enjoy all that your national parks offer.

share this +
printprint
divider

July 15, 2014

Tags
share this +

Kindergartners’ Skills at School Entry Report and Sesame Street Framework for School Readiness

By Sesame Workshop


Preparing children for school has always been a part of what we do at Sesame Workshop. To continue to do this and understand the needs of today’s children, our research team commissioned an analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to ascertain the status of preschoolers school readiness and their abilities as they enter kindergarten. The findings are being released today in the Kindergartners’ Skills at School Entry report. The report shows wide differences in school readiness persist with 44% of children entering school with one or more risk factors that impact their success in school. The analysis examined four risk factors that have been associated with children’s development and school achievement: single parent households, mothers with less than a high school education, households with incomes below the federal poverty line and non-English speaking households. High-risk children (those with all four risk factors) were found to be nearly a year behind their peers with no risk factors in their reading and math abilities.

In light of these findings, we are sharing our Sesame Street Educational Framework for School Readiness. The Framework is a guide that outlines the developmental progressions of preschoolers within the 20 core school readiness skills. Up until now, it has been an internal guide used to complement the whole child curriculum that is the basis of all Sesame Street content that helps children grow smarter, stronger and kinder.  We are releasing this document in the hopes that fellow content developers will use it to better understand the developmental needs of preschoolers and create educational content that will help close the school readiness gap.

Find the Kindergartners’ Skills at School Entry report here and check out the Sesame Street Educational Framework for School Readiness.

share this +
printprint
divider