Folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger has passed away this week at the age of 94. While he was regarded as a pioneer of folk music, having written classics like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “If I Had a Hammer,” he will also be remembered for his many appearances in the early years of Sesame Street.
His first appearance was in the first season, in which he sang several songs like “Skip to my Lou” and “John Henry.” Through the next six years, Seeger would periodically show up on the street with his banjo to perform more songs for the kids. In one case, his car broke down near Sesame Street, so rather than call AAA, he took it as an opportunity to make more music.
In 1974, Seeger was joined by Frederic Douglass Kirkpatrick for “Pete Seeger & Brother Kirk Visit Sesame Street,” an album featuring traditional and contemporary folk songs, accompanied by Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Pete Seeger returned to Sesame Street in the late 1980s for a very brief cameo in a very memorable video. He joined such legends as Paul Simon, Madeline Kahn, and John Candy in the classic “Put Down the Duckie.”
In 2009, Oscar the Grouch returned the favor by appearing at Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Carnegie Hall, singing Seeger’s song “Garbage”.
Pete Seeger had a strong connection to Sesame Street’s long history, and he was responsible for introducing many children to the joy of folk music. We are proud to count him among the celebrities who helped make Sesame Street the show that it is today.
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’sBig 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.
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
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
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
Design an app for the youngest segment of ouraudience to engage them with our characters in an age-appropriate interactive way.
Introduce toddlers to the basics of how to use a tablet since we know they’re using these devices in increasing numbers.
Integrate some fun into learning focused on science curriculum (prediction and cause & effect).
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
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
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 program. Read More