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July 09, 2012

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The New Season of Prankster Planet Starts Today!

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of the second season of The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet, the newest segment on our award-winning show The Electric Company.

The Electric Company has evolved since the iconic program first aired in 1971. Since the show was revived in 2009, we have utilized a variety of media to ensure that the show’s rigorously researched educational material, which has a renewed focus on math, helps six to nine-year-olds acquire the academic skills they need to achieve their full potential. Prankster Planet is at the heart of the show’s transmedia approach.

At the end of each episode, Marcus and Jessica will go on an adventure to try and stop tricky prankster Francine from causing chaos. But the story doesn’t end once the show is over. Kids are encouraged to go online to the new Prankster Planet website where they can play games that help them learn simple math equations, graphing, and data collection, representation and analysis.

Since the introduction of Prankster Planet 1.0 last season, millions of kids have visited the show’s website to have fun, interactive adventures, all the while building up their math and literacy skills. The show has won three Emmy’s for Outstanding Children’s Series in a row – every year since it was revived – and was also a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold Award for Television.

Click here to learn more about the story of The Electric Company’s revival, or visits PBSKids.org to play the new Prankster Planet 2.0 games.

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July 05, 2012

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A Tour of Sesame Workshop’s Wall Art

By Graydon Gordian


In April we featured the work of Associate Design Director Louis Henry Mitchell, who created the wonderful chalk murals on the 8th floor of Sesame Workshop’s office. Many of our readers really enjoyed the post, so we wanted to show you the rest of the chalk art that can be found around the office.

The fun and imaginative wall art was created by our Creative Services team:

  • Graphic Designer Molly Hein (Bert and Ernie in the Subway, Ernie bowling, Gluten Free),
  • Associate Art Director Evan Cheng (Bert and Ernie in the Subway, Ernie Bowling, Gluten Free, Grover Michael Jackson)
  • Senior Design Director Vanessa Germosen (Bert and Ernie in the Subway)
  • Creative Director Kip Rathke (Super Grover)
  • Creative Director Janis Beauchamp (Elmo Peaking in)
  • Vice President Creative Director Theresa Fitzgerald (Super Grover)
  • Louis Henry Mitchell (Full Cast Welcome Sign, Elmo/Big Bird/Cookie Monster Welcome Sign, Herry)

Each of the artists brings his or her own style and technique to the portrayal of Sesame Street’s iconic MuppetsTM. The entire Sesame Workshop team loves the chalk drawings so much that we decided it was about time we shared them with everyone.

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Jordanian Sesame Street Launches New Website for Parents and Children

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is committed to making an impact on the health, wellbeing and education of children across the globe. While we may be best known for our groundbreaking television programs, we’re committed to using a variety of media to educate and entertain children. That’s why Hikayat SimSim, the Jordanian version of Sesame Street, recently launched HikayatSimSim.com, a new online resource with activities and guides for parents, teachers and children.

The site, which launched on May 30, is targeted at the parents and teachers of children ages 4-8, as well as the children themselves. The site includes games that help teach concepts that are critical for school readiness, “tips” and parental guides for caregivers, and introductions to Tonton, Juljul and Elmo, the furry friends children see when they watch Hikayat SimSim. Over time additional games, videos and stories will be added to the site as well.

Since 2003, when Hikayat SimSim first aired, Sesame Workshop has been helping the children of Jordan acquire the educational foundation necessary to achieve their full potential. As an organization we have a firm belief that educational messages are better retained if experienced on multiple platforms. That is why we are so excited to add an online component to our educational efforts in Jordan.

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June 27, 2012

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‘A Woman in the Boardroom’: A 1978 Interview with Joan Ganz Cooney

By Joan Ganz Cooney



Ed. Note: This interview with Sesame Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney originally appeared in the 1978 January-February edition of the Harvard Business Review. It has been re-published with the permission of the Harvard Business Review and edited for length. Special thanks goes to Ms. Cooney for taking the time to reflect upon her interview and write an updated introduction, which you can find below.

I find it hard to believe, upon re-reading this interview from Harvard Business Review, that it was published only 34 years ago… As the kids would say, “It’s so last century!” I was among the first women to be asked to join a Fortune 300 corporate board. Today, it is not unusual for major corporations to have two or three women as board members. I was embarrassed to read how afraid I was to offend the sensibilities of the businessmen of that era. I’m happy to say that today men and women interact as equals; Women CEO’s, while still rare in the Fortune 500, exist in much greater numbers than they did in the 70′s and women are almost always in high executive positions. Xerox’s two most recent CEO’s have been women; the current one is African American. So yes, things have changed for the better. We still have a long way to go but there is no question that astonishing progress has been made by women in business.

Harvard Business Review: We’d like to look at several conventional views concerning the question of women at top management and board levels.  The first concerns qualifications. Many people believe that women can’t make the same tough decisions that men can, that they aren’t qualified in the same way that men are. What is your response to that view?

Cooney: Well, I don’t think there’s anything to it in one way, but in other ways there’s a great deal to it. Little girls and young women are trained on both conscious and unconscious bases, by the family and by society, to “get along”—to be diligent and dutiful, to take instructions from older people, first from their parents and then from men. Some men are comfortable in that role, merely following instructions, but virtually all women are comfortable in it.

To make decisions women have to debrief themselves, which causes an enormous amount of anxiety and stress, to understand that they can take action—can, for instance, perform the necessary surgery if it must be performed. Such surgery includes eliminating a department, eliminating, here at Children’s Television Workshop, a show, eliminating personnel; sometimes for budgetary reasons, sometimes for competency reasons.

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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 14, 2012

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Sesame Street Wishes the U.S. Army Happy Birthday!

By Graydon Gordian


Here at Sesame Street we do everything we can to make sure our men and women in uniform know we support them. That’s why we’re excited to wish the United States Army, which was founded on June 14, 1775, Happy Birthday! We’re so excited that we asked Rosita, Sgt. Major Raymond Chandler and his wife Jeanne to record a special birthday message for our service men and women, their spouses and children.

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June 11, 2012

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A Strong Sense of Pride: Matt Rogers on His Work with the U.S. Military

By Graydon Gordian


Matt Rogers with Rosita, Elmo, Gordon and the Marine Corps band.

Matt Rogers is the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home. On Memorial Day he performed Sesame Street’s new resiliency anthem with Elmo, Rosita, Gordon and the Marine Corps band. We recently sat down with Matt to talk about his Memorial Day performance, his admiration for our servicemen and women, and how he became the host of Coming Home.

Tell me a bit about the performance on the Intrepid on Memorial Day.

I had a blast. I felt like I was in my element. I’m a father of two and being in that role with two small kids is so much fun. When you’re doing something that you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like fun.  It felt great to be able to go out there and help these military families take their mind off what they’re going through. Read More

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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 VP of Outreach Receives Outstanding Civilian Service Award

By Graydon Gordian



Lynn Chwatsky (right) stands next to Gen. Raymond T. Odierno during the ceremony.

As an entire organization, Sesame Workshop is dedicated to improving the lives of servicemen and women and their families, but a few people at Sesame deserve special recognition for the work they do on behalf of military families. Lynn Chwatsky, Vice President of Outreach Initiatives and Partners for Sesame Workshop, is one of those people. That’s why we’re proud to announce that last week Lynn was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, an award given to civilians who make a “substantial contribution” to the military.

General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, presented the award to Lynn and an esteemed group of fellow recipients: New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, NBA referee Bob Delaney, and Linda Patterson, President and Founder of America Supporting Americans.

“I’m humbled,” Lynn said. “Every second of everyday our servicemen and women serve our country with dignity, honor and respect. For them to thank me – I was honored. It was very special. It was one of the top few days of my life.”

To learn more about the ways Lynn and the rest of the Sesame Workshop team support military families, click here.

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