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January 28, 2014

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year

By Sesame Workshop


China is celebrating the Lunar New Year at the end of January, and Sesame Workshop is excited to celebrate too! That’s why we teamed up with China’s CCTV Children’s Channel to help produce 10 short segments called “Let’s Celebrate New Year!” to encourage children learn more about special traditions and customs, and hear legendary stories.

Each segment stars the Muppets from Sesame Street’s Big Bird Looks at the World, the Chinese version of Sesame Street, and a host from one of the many popular CCTV children’s programs. Together with Elmo and Lily, the host explains things like why dumplings are eaten at New Year’s, why it’s customary to wear red, and why it’s significant that 2014 is the Year of the Horse.  The segments will air on CCTV throughout January and February.

Sesame Workshop and CCTV had a thirty-year history of working together. In 1983, we collaborated to produce Big Bird in China, which was the first time a Sesame Street Muppet traveled to China. Now, decades later, we’re getting together, again, as we continue to educate and inspire the children of China.

To learn more about all the ways Sesame Workshop helps children in China reach their full potential, click here.

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Five Years and Counting: Hikayat Simsim is celebrating its 5th year with long-time partner Bank of Jordan

By Ghada Dahabreh


Ghada Dahabreh is the Project Coordinator for Jordan Pioneers, which co-produces Hikayat Simsim with Sesame Workshop.

Jordan Pioneers, the producers behind the Jordanian educational multimedia initiative Hikayat Simsim (based on the award-winning children’s TV series Sesame Street), is thrilled to announce the 5th consecutive partnership year with our devoted collaborator Bank of Jordan (BOJ).  The past four years have enabled Hikayat Simsim to reach Jordanian children nationwide with positive messages about financial responsibility, teaching children about spending, sharing and saving habits.  Read More

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Making Everyday Challenges into Learning Moments

By Graydon Gordian


Children need to learn much more than numbers and letters to achieve their full potential. They need to develop healthy eating habits. They need to respect and understand children who are different than they are. And they need to be resilient enough to handle the challenges, emotional and otherwise, that life throws at them.

Many people think that resilience is an innate part of a child’s personality, but by helping children cope with the challenges that come their way, children can actually learn the skills they need to build resilience.  That’s why Sesame Workshop is expanding its Little Children, Big Challenges initiative to include tips and strategies for everyday challenges.  Read More

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December 09, 2013

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A Recipe for Cooking Up a Fun and Furry Children’s App

By Karen Halpenny


Karen Halpenny is a Senior Editor, Publishing & Senior Manager, Digital Publishing at Sesame Workshop.

David Kleeman, President of the American Center for Children and Media and PlayVangelist at PlayCollective, challenged content creators to make an “ingredients” list for their educational media. Challenge accepted!

App Name: Peekaboo Sesame Street

Goals:

  1. Design an app for the youngest segment of our audience to engage them with our characters in an age-appropriate interactive way.
  2. Introduce toddlers to the basics of how to use a tablet since we know they’re using these devices in increasing numbers.
  3. Integrate some fun into learning focused on science curriculum (prediction and cause & effect).

Approximate time required: 6 months

Yield: 1 app  Read More

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December 02, 2013

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How She Got to Sesame Street: A Live Performer Tells Her Story

By Jennifer Wysong


Jennifer Wysong performs as Jenny the music teacher and Rosita in the Sesame Street Live production “Elmo Makes Music.” Sesame Street Live is produced in collaboration with the VEE Corporation.

I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and began performing when I was nine years old. My third grade teacher gave me a brochure for an acting camp, thinking it would be a good outlet for my extra energy. I attended the camp and never looked back; I knew I wanted to perform. I trained hard and performed in as many shows as I could in those early years. I studied Theater Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and then made the inevitable move to New York City.

One of my college roommates and best friends joined the cast of Sesame Street Live, and he encouraged me to audition when the show visited New York in February. I auditioned a year earlier, but didn’t get the part. I was a little nervous about trying again, but I still wanted the part of Jenny, the live performer and music teacher in Sesame Street Live production “Elmo Makes Music.” My voice felt strong, but my dance skills were just a little rusty. I needed to hone my skills before the next audition, so I put on my headphones. As I heard the first notes of “Sunny Days,” I was immediately transported to my childhood and years of enjoying Sesame Street on television. I remembered the life lessons learned, the fun songs, and the many Muppet friends I came to know and love. Who could have known that years later I would become part of the Sesame Street family?  Read More

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November 26, 2013

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On Location: Promoting Healthy Habits in Papua, Indonesia

By Key Mangunsong


Key Mangunsong is the Production Head of Jalan Sesama Indonesia. She is also the director of Jalan Sesama studio and live action film segments segments.

Papua is the largest province in Indonesia located to the eastern side of the archipelago. Although this island is blessed with various mineral resources, it has the highest rate of poverty in Indonesia with the lowest income per capita for health and education.

With support dfrom Sesame Workshop and the Open Society Foundation, the Jalan Sesama team held an outreach program for promoting healthy living habits to local children and families located in the highlands of Papua. Promotional items created for supporting the program include DVDs and print media, such as posters and playing cards.  Read More

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mHealth in Action: Galli Galli Sim Sim via Mobile Phone

By Chelsea Hedquist


Chelsea Hedquist is a Senior Communications Officer with mHelath Alliance. Her article was originally published here.

Last month, my colleague and I had the unique opportunity to spend 10 days zigzagging across India from New Delhi to Hyderabad. We took planes, trains, automobiles and rickshaws – stopping in six cities in less than two weeks – on an unforgettable journey to visit the sites of several projects that the mHealth Alliance supports through our Innovation Working Group catalytic grant programRead More

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November 07, 2013

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Sesame Place Spends Day Focused on Children with Special Needs

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Place welcomes young children who are eager to laugh and learn with Elmo, Cookie Monster and the whole Sesame Street gang year round. We never want to exclude anyone on Sesame Street, but once a year you need an invitation to stop by Sesame Place. That’s because once a year Sesame partners with Variety – the Children’s Charity and is open exclusively to families with children who have a physical or developmental disability.

This past weekend, On Nov. 2nd, children with special needs and their families stopped by to enjoy The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, Sesame Place’s dry rides and a not-so-scary hayride.  Read More

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October 30, 2013

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Beloved Sesame Street Characters to Promote Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Consumption to Kids

By Sesame Workshop


Sesame Workshop and Produce Marketing Association joined the Partnership for a Healthier America to help make healthier choices easier for families

WASHINGTON, DC—First Lady Michelle Obama today announced that Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a two-year agreement to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids, making those healthy choices a little easier for parents and families to make.

The agreement allows PMA’s community of growers, suppliers and retailers to take advantage of the strength and influence of the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee, using characters like Big Bird, Elmo and Abby Cadabby to help deliver messages about fresh fruits and vegetables. Sesame Street characters may be on produce in stores as early as mid-2014.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said First Lady Michelle Obama today. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about – showing our kids that healthy food can be fun and that fruits and vegetables don’t just make us feel good, they taste good too.

In her remarks, the First Lady referenced a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted by researchers at Cornell University. Researchers gave kids a choice between eating an apple, a cookie, or both and the vast majority of the kids chose the cookies. But when the researchers put Elmo stickers on the apples and let the kids choose again, nearly double the number of kids went for the apple.

“It’s no secret that many parents have a hard time getting kids excited about eating their fruits and vegetables,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Today’s commitment helps all of us promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and gives parents and families a powerful, positive tool to help kids get excited about eating healthier foods.”

PHA works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to broker meaningful private sector commitments to ending the childhood obesity epidemic.

As part of its commitment to PHA, Sesame Workshop will:

  • Work with PMA to enable PMA and its community of growers, suppliers and retailers to utilize the strength and influence of the Sesame Street brand and characters to deliver a message of encouragement for young children and their families to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • Provide a license to PMA free of charge for two years following launch of the program to make approved uses of the Sesame Street Muppet characters and elements of Sesame Workshop’s Healthy Habits for Life initiative when used to promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption;
  • Enable PMA, through the license agreement, to provide access to, and oversee use of the Sesame Workshop assets by the PMA community; and,
  • Create a “produce promotion toolkit” and style guide to facilitate use of the Sesame Workshop assets in promotional activities. 

“Sesame Workshop has long been committed to the health and well-being of children through our longstanding Healthy Habits for Life initiative—since 2004, we have been integrating messages about healthy food choices and exercise into Sesame Street, the television program, in our community outreach and on our other off-air activities,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop.  “We are proud to work with the Produce Marketing Association and Partnership for a Healthier America to continue this important work.”

PMA will:

  • Review all requests by its growers, suppliers and retailers for Sesame Workshop assets for use in the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables and permit use only on eligible products and according to the terms of the license agreement between Sesame Workshop and PMA;
  • Provide assistance and widely promote the opportunity to participate in the Sesame Workshop licensing program; and
  • Share with PHA the results over a two-year period from the Performance Start Date, with metrics including number of products given Sesame Workshop assets through the program, number of companies participating and estimated sales impact.

“One of the key challenges we face is competing for share of mind and share of plate,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission and immediate past chairman of PMA’s board of directors. “Other food marketers – companies who have seemingly endless budgets enabling them to position and sell their products, especially to kids – are steep competition. As a parent whose kids grew up with the Sesame Street characters, I’m thrilled to be a part of a program that will give the produce industry additional marketing opportunities for our naturally healthful products. The power of the Sesame Street brand is undeniable, especially given the trust parents have in it.”

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.

Media contacts:

Elly Spinweber, PHA
202.864.6053, news@ahealthieramerica.org

Meg Miller, PMA
302.607.2131, mmiller@pma.com

Beatrice Chow, Sesame Workshop
212.875.6586

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October 30, 2013

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Remembering Jerry Nelson

By Sesame Workshop


An original work of art by Carroll Spinney. Carroll plays the iconic Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

Jerry Nelson, best known as the puppeteer of the iconic Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, the Amazing Mumford and many more was a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 40 years. In a testament to the lasting impact his humor and talent made on the Sesame Street cast and crew, cast members Emilio Delgado and Sonia Manzano and puppeteer Fran Brill graciously offered remembrances of Jerry’s life and work. In addition puppeteer Carroll Spinney, best known for his work as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, drew an original work of art commemorating some of Jerry’s most famous characters.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, Sesame Street will honor his memory by airing a special Count Von Count episode. We hope you will tune in and celebrate the life and work of a man who holds a special place in the hearts of the entire Sesame Street family.  Read More

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