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November 08, 2012

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Sesame Workshop Helps Support and Reassure in the Wake of Sandy

By Graydon Gordian


After Hurricane Sandy struck, Sesame Workshop sprang into action. Elmo took to the airwaves to calm children and help them understand the disorder surrounding them. We used our social media outlets to make sure as many affected families as possible were aware of the resources and tools offered by our hurricane outreach kit. And this Friday we’re airing a very special episode of Sesame Street. Read More

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October 26, 2012

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Sesame and UnitedHealthcare Partner to Prevent Lead Poisoning

By Graydon Gordian


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, and yet it is one of the most common environmental health problems for American children under the age of six. That’s why UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop partnered to provide parents with helpful prevention information, encourage lead testing and share tips to help families stay healthy. Read More

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Working Together to Brighten San Francisco’s Smiles

By Rachel Garber


Photo Credit: Rachel Garber

Ed. Note: Rachel Garber is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sesame Street was in San Francisco last week to catch some of the annual October sunshine that gets San Franciscans through its famously cold summers. On Oct. 16, students at ER Taylor Elementary chattered excitedly to each other on the blacktop, but not about the weather: They were talking about their teeth.

“I brush for three minutes—not two, just to be safe,” one 5th grader bragged to his friends as his class waited to have their teeth examined by volunteer dentists. Their school participated in a three-day dental screening program Oct. 15-17 in San Francisco, as part of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Give Kids a Smile initiative. Read More

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October 23, 2012

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Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me Hits the Streets of San Francisco

By Jennifer Shin


Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to San Francisco to be a part of the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile oral health screening program, which took place at two elementary schools and a hospital over the course of three days.  In collaboration with the San Francisco Dental Society, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Colgate’s Bright Future, Bright Smiles program, and the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, over 2,000 San Francisco children received free oral health screenings and education on those three days.  We were a part of these events for our work on our Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me outreach initiative, with the ADA distributing over 2,000 of the Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me kits to all of the participating children, along with free toothbrushes and toothpaste. Read More

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October 16, 2012

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From Paper to iPad: The Evolution of the Great Cookie Thief

By Susan Tofte


Ed. Note: Susan Tofte is Sesame Workshop’s archivist.

How would you update a classic? Take a treasured story from one era and spruce it up for a new century’s readers?

Sesame Workshop has produced over 1200 books in a variety of formats since the early 1970s. Part of the philosophy of our publishing group is the willingness to tell stories in whatever formats will attract and reach preschoolers. Animated book apps and e-books are the most recent formats in which Sesame Street characters have come to life. For the Workshop, an eagerness to create books in emerging digital formats is tempered by the need to balance innovation with our mission of education. It is a delicate balancing act, but one that the Workshop’s publishing group has pulled off time and time again. Read More

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October 10, 2012

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Cinemagic Students Swing by Sesame Workshop to Learn TV Techniques

By Robert Harvey


Cinemagic students during a class at Sesame Workshop

Ed. Note: Robert Harvey is a student at De La Salle College in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he writes music.

I recently attended an educational workshop at Sesame Workshop in New York as part of an international film festival hosted by Cinemagic, a youth charity organization based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Cinemagic aims to eliminate societal boundaries by bringing people tuogether from all backgrounds who want to break into the film and music industry. It offers opportunities like the one I received: I came over to New York and attended film festivals and classes at places like Sesame Workshop. Read More

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October 09, 2012

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Sesame Workshop Response to Campaign Ads

By Sesame Workshop


Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and, as is our general practice, have requested that both campaigns remove Sesame Street characters and trademarks from their campaign materials.

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October 08, 2012

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Big Bird Needs His Home

By Sherrie Westin


A few days before the first Presidential debate I talked with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien about Sesame, not knowing that with all the issues we face in this country, the Presidential election would come down to a referendum on Big Bird!  But that is what Governor Romney made it when he said he liked Big Bird, but would cut PBS funding.

I had tried to explain that Sesame Workshop as an independent, non-profit organization cannot just depend on PBS for funding, and that most of our revenue comes from private contributions and from licensing fees from our characters.

But that’s only half the story.  Sesame Workshop has created a financially sustainable model to fund production of our educational programming here and around the world.  But Sesame Street would not exist were it not for PBS and its local stations, which is the distribution system for Big Bird and friends to reach all children across the United States, particularly the low income children who need us most.

There have been over 80 million graduates of Sesame Street in the U.S. since 1969, and longitudinal studies have shown that children who grew up watching Sesame Street had 16% higher grade point averages throughout high school!

A CNN poll said 7% of the American public think that PBS gets as much as half the US budget! 30% think it’s 5%.  In reality it’s 0.014%.  Let’s keep that in perspective and also not forget the return on that investment: millions of children who have benefited from early childhood education brought to them by the letters, P. B. S.!

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October 04, 2012

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Sesame Workshop’s Statement On Our Partnership With PBS

By Sesame Workshop


Sesame Street has been a proud partner of PBS for 43 years, and is dependent on PBS to distribute our commercial-free educational programming to all children in the United States. At a time when improvements in school readiness are recognized as being much needed for a significant number of America’s preschoolers, PBS’s ability to connect Big Bird and Friends to these children is essential.  We highly value that connection.  Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization. We do not comment on political campaigns, but we’re happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird.

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October 04, 2012

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Using Apps to Bring Sesame’s Message of Resilience to Military Families

By Lynn Chwatsky


Lynn Chwatsky is Sesame Workshop’s Vice President of Outreach Initiatives and Partners. She has been overseeing the work the Workshop does with military families since 2006.

When we think about the challenges of military life, we sometimes forget the transitions the youngest members of our military families go through. Our service members’ young children are faced with a number of uniquely difficult circumstances: repeated relocation, the deployment of a parent, homecomings, injuries, even the death of a parent – to name a few.  For years, Sesame Workshop has been providing resources that help both military parents and their children stay resilient during those trying transitions, and now those bilingual (English and Spanish) resources are available on our new, free Military Families mobile application.

The Sesame Street for Military Families app includes videos, articles, storybooks and caregiver guides on how parents and children can communicate and express their emotions about challenging transitions.

Sesame Workshop has long been dedicated to the well-being of military families and their children. We reach out to families wherever they are: online, on mobile devices, even on the road. Our partnership with the USO, which brings The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families to thousands of families around the world, has provided infinite smiles and messages of love and support.

As technology evolves, new ways to help children through challenging transitions have emerged. That’s why Sesame Workshop uses online resources like our FamiliesNearAndFar.org website, which provides digital tools for military children, and social media like our Sesame Street for Military Families Facebook page to create an online community for sharing these resources. Our Feel Electric! app for military kids proved that mobile apps could deliver much needed content to help children express themselves during tough transitions.  From those successes we knew we needed to provide the grown-ups in these same military families with resources on the device they rely on more and more – that is why we launched the Sesame Street for Military Families mobile app.

Learn more about the app and download it for FREE from the App Store(SM) or Google Play.

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