I never believed that things happen for a reason. Rather, I thought this was just something said to help a person cope when things don’t go their way. But earlier this week, when I found myself on the set of Sesame Street standing next to my childhood idol, I instantly became a believer.
As a young girl I had always been a fan of Sesame Street, but in 2003 when I was 12 years old, I realized that just being a fan was not enough anymore. I happened to see an A & E documentary on the beloved children’s television show that gave a behind the scenes look at the production, the people and the puppeteers involved. It was during this documentary that I learned about Caroll Spinney; the wonderfully talented performer bringing the characters of Big Bird and Oscar to life. Suddenly, two things became apparent: I needed to write a letter to Caroll telling him how big of a fan I was and I needed to find out exactly how to get to Sesame Street. Read More
Hurricane Sandy was an unprecedented super storm that hit parts of the East Coast badly, and we at Sesame knew we wanted to do anything we could to help those affected by it. Fortunately, a few years ago we had created Here for Each Other: Helping Families After An Emergency, an outreach resource that we knew could be helpful in getting families through this tough time. We reached out to our various partners to offer up this resource, and were relieved to find that so many of them were already doing such wonderful work in their communities, helping families through the aftermath of the storm. In particular, a partner in our Healthy Habits for Life initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Region II, (HHS) was already working with other federal agencies to support the response and recovery efforts for communities impacted by the storm. We wanted to support them in any way we could. Read More
This article originally appeared on the Sesame Workshop India site. VisitSesameWorkshopIndia.org to learn more about Galli Galli Sim Sim and all the wonderful work Sesame Workshop India does to improve the lives of and educate the children of India.
Sesame Workshop in India is committed to sustainable projects that enrich children’s lives long after our work is complete. We do this through partnerships, local development, and by investing in the furry heart of our programs—the puppeteers themselves.
Folk traditions of string puppets and shadow puppetry flourished in India long before our Galli Galli Sim Sim television show arrived in 2006. Yet the program’s Muppets represent something new: a sense of humor and emotional depth that connects powerfully with children and opens them to all types of learning. Read More
J Milligan, the creative director of the Content Innovation Lab at Sesame Workshop, spoke at this year’s PSFK Conference in London. In his presentation J explains how Sesame Street Kinect TV, the Workshop’s newest interactive educational platform, is just the latest step in a decades long exploration of how technology can enhance early education.
On Thursday the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will work its way through the streets of Manhattan. Millions of people will line the parade route. Millions more will be watching at home. And for the 38th year in a row, they’ll see Big Bird, Cookie Monster and countless other beloved Muppets making their way down the avenues on Sesame Street’s parade float. Read More
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.
Sesame Workshop Founder Joan Ganz Cooney and her husband Peter Peterson
On Tuesday night the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) hosted their sixth annual Heroes Gala, and Sesame Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney and her husband, Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations Peter G. Peterson, were honored at the event. Mrs. Ganz Cooney received the IAVA’s 2012 Civilian Service Award in recognition of all the work Sesame Workshop does to help military families, but in particular Sesame’s Talk, Listen, Connect outreach initiative, which focuses on providing military parents with the tools they need to discuss complex issues like deployment, relocation, injury and the loss of a parent with their children.
“Many parents don’t have the right words to help explain to their child what happens when they must go away, how to reassure their children when they return from service injured, or worst of all, when a parent dies,” Mrs. Ganz Cooney said while accepting the award. “But with the right language, support, and the help of the Muppets, we are able to help. Since its launch, our Talk, Listen, Connect initiative has grown to reach virtually every U.S. military family with young children.”
Mrs. Ganz Cooney went on to thank the IAVA, saying, “It makes it all the more meaningful to receive this honor from an organization that is working every day to advocate for and support our veterans and their families.”
To learn more about the Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, click here. To get a firsthand look at the resources and tools we provide for military families, visit Military Families Near and Far.
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.
On Sunday over 20,000 people will march down New York City’s 5th Avenue in celebration of and appreciation for our nation’s veterans, and Sesame Workshop is proud to stand alongside them. The annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest in the country, has been just one part of the many ways Americans show our thanks to our veterans and their families for 93 years.
This year, Sesame Workshop did a little something extra to say thank you: Associate Design Director of Special Projects Louis Henry Mitchell created the above painting as a special way of saying thank you to all the men and women who either currently or once served in our nation’s military and their families. On Thursday Mitchell and other members of the Sesame Workshop team presented it to the United War Veterans Council, which puts on the Veterans Day Parade. Read More