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October 23, 2013

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The Story of the Sesame Street Dictionary: Parts 2 & 3

By Betsy Loredo


Betsy Loredo is the executive editor of Sesame Workshop’s publishing group.

PART 2: The Artist

Once you get to know Joe Mathieu a little better, it’s easy to see why he was the perfect choice  to illustrate the Sesame Street Dictionary.

He’s the one on the right above.

“Jim Henson encouraged me to go to the Muppet workshop and sketch and photograph the characters in the ‘morgue,’” Joe explained when he shared this shot with us. To tackle more than 1300 words, Random House author Linda Hayward, Sesame editor Anna Jane Hays, and Joe together intended to feature many obscure, cult-favorite characters from the show. For a list of the ones to look for in the finished book, check out Muppet WikiRead More

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October 21, 2013

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The Story of the Sesame Street Dictionary: Part 1

By Betsy Loredo


Betsy Loredo is the executive editor of Sesame Workshop’s publishing group.

PART 1: The Quest

How do you define a concept as big as “I” or as difficult as “easy” to someone as little as a 4-year-old? Go ahead – try explaining the words “of” or even “off”…using words that someone who still employs a binkie can understand.

Yup. Not so easy.

It’s certainly a whole lot simpler to express an idea like “alligator” or “banana.” A toothy green reptile is a concept that you can really wrap your mind around without one word of text, if you’ve got a telling piece of art:  Read More

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October 11, 2013

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Sesame Street Teaches Literacy with New Digital Destination

By Graydon Gordian


By the age of four, a child from a high-income family has been exposed to 35 million more words than a child from a low-income family. Low-income children miss out on over 400 hours of literacy-related activities that high-income children experience. This gap in literacy and vocabulary must be closed. That’s why Sesame Workshop has partnered with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, known as the IICF, to launch Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day, a digital resource that will help children improve their reading and writing skills from an early age.

Every Day is  Reading and Writing Day includes videos, games, and activities for children and parents that will help young children develop the critical literacy abilities they need as they enter kindergarten. It also includes tips for parents, caregivers and volunteers who are looking for effective ways to encourage the children in their lives to read and write.

This wonderful multimedia educational tool wouldn’t be possible without the support of the IICF. Since 1994, the IICF has provided grants, volunteer service and leadership to communities throughout the country. By partnering with Sesame Workshop, the IICF’s commitment to improving literacy rates across America has found a furry and fun-filled expression online.

To learn more about the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and all the work it does to support communities and enrich lives across the United States, click here. To explore the videos, games and other digital tools Sesame is using to increase literacy across the country, click here.

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October 10, 2013

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The State of STEM Education: an Online Panel

By Graydon Gordian


For years the United States’ position as a global leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects – has been in jeopardy. Children in countries around the world are consistently outperforming U.S. students in the STEM subjects. According to the National Math and Science Initiative, 60 percent of the new jobs created in the coming years will require STEM-related skillsets that only 20 percent of the population possesses.

It is imperative that our children be better prepared to achieve academically and professionally in the fields of science and math. That is why, for years, teaching STEM has been a central element of Sesame Workshop’s curriculum. While we do not often associate the STEM subjects with early education, there are ways we can prepare our children for the type of critical thinking and curiosity that are essential if a person is going to achieve in science and math later on in life. That’s why Sesame Workshop created Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More, a digital, interactive destination will include games, engaging videos, and hands-on activities aimed at inspiring young children to laugh and smile while they incorporate STEM concepts into everyday moments.

As part of our effort to encourage STEM education at an early age, Rocio Galarza, Sesame Workshop’s senior director of family and community engagement, will be participating in an online panel hosted by Teach for America, titled “Opportunities in STEM Education.” We encourage you to join in on the conversation.

In order to view and participate in the webinar, which beings at 8 p.m. EST this evening, click here.

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October 02, 2013

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A Day in the Life of a Sesame Street Live Performer

By Carlos Ivan Irizarry


Carlos Ivan Irizarry is performs as Bert in the Sesame Street Live production “Make a New Friend.” We’d like to thank Carlos for giving us a glimpse into the daily life of a Sesame Street Live performer.

My life as a Sesame Street Live performer is awesome. It’s amazing to bring the Sesame Street characters to life on stage across the country. I play Bert in Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend.” I’m also a backup dancer, so I dress as a giant chocolate chip cookie for Cookie Monster’s “Me Want Cookie” solo, and wear a sparkling gold jacket to dance with Count Von Count in “Count Me In.” These roles allow me to see the crowd through my own eyes, as well as Bert’s. I find myself smiling no matter what costume I’m wearing, as the families in the crowd are so excited.  Read More

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September 27, 2013

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New Season of Sesame Square Launches in Nigeria

By Graydon Gordian


Kami, Zobi and the fun and furry Muppets of Sesame Square, the Nigerian version of the beloved Sesame Street, are back with a brand new season. The show, which first debuted in May, 2011, brings critical lessons about literacy, numeracy, girls’ empowerment, and health and hygiene to young children across the West African nation.

In a country where early childhood education is scarce and diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS are all too common, the educational lessons spread throughout Nigeria by Sesame Square are crucial. This new season features a brand new animated segment,  Adventures of Kami and Big Bird, while previous seasons of Sesame Square are currently being dubbed into Hausa, the predominant language in Northern Nigeria.   Read More

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September 25, 2013

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The Story Behind Sesame Street’s Family Play App

By J Milligan


J Milligan is the Creative Director of Sesame Workshop’s Innovation Lab.

A couple of years ago I heard a woman named Margaret Robertson give an amazing talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. She worked for a design studio called Hide & Seek with offices in London and New York that was chiefly interested in the concept play. They seemed really cool and I started following them, thinking that someday we might find a way to work with them on something.

This past spring, Hide & Seek launched a Kickstarter campaign for a project called Tiny Games. It was for: “An app that gets you playing the perfect game with your friends: wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing.” The games took place in the real world, the iPhone just told you how to play. Get some cutlery and play a form of rock/paper/scissors with the forks, spoons and knives. That sort of thing. I loved how they used the phone to generate games that you played with friends and things wherever you were, not on the screen. I thought we could do something like that for parents to play with their kids. And when Hide & Seek posted that they were considering a “Kids” section of the app, I knew I had to act quickly. Read More

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September 24, 2013

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Sesame Street Brings STEM Education to the Web with Little Discoverers

By Graydon Gordian


In every child there is a little scientist, eager to explore the world around him or her. Merely throwing a rock or a paper boat into a pond to see whether it sinks or floats is in many ways a tiny little science investigation, capable of sparking a child’s imagination and bringing a smile to his or her face.

Yet despite the many ways in which children are naturally curious about science and nature, in the United States there is still a pressing need to improve education for the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. While those may sound like advanced subjects, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it is critical to introduce certain STEM concepts to children while they are young.

That is why Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More. This digital, interactive destination will include games, engaging videos, and hands-on activities aimed at inspiring young children to laugh and smile while they incorporate STEM concepts into everyday moments. And of course, no exploration of what makes science and math fun would be complete without some help from the beloved Sesame Street Muppets.  Read More

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September 20, 2013

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Oops.

By Sesame Workshop


From September 13th to 15th, we intended to run a special three-day sale in the iTunes App Store. “Intended” is the operative word there, because we made a mistake somehow. Everything went wrong, Sesame Street Muppet chickens went crazy, Telly lost his triangle, Cookie Monster ran out of cookies, and most importantly, the three day sale only lasted two days. The Count is very upset with us — he really wanted to count to three! (ah ha ha).

So to make it up to him (and all of you who thought you were getting discounted stuff, but weren’t), tomorrow, Saturday September 21st, we’re running a one-day, line-wide, Sesame Street app sale! Click here to open the iTunes App Store and see all of our apps!

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September 17, 2013

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Sesame Street’s Food for Thought Initiative in Action

By Celia Ruiz


Celia Ruiz is a bilingual community outreach specialist for UnitedHealthcare Community and State in Overland Park, Kansas. Through her work she uses Sesame Street’s Food for Thought kit and was kind enough to write about it. To learn more about the ways Sesame Workshop promotes healthy eating in under-served communities, click here.

work for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of  Kansas.  We have partnered with Sesame Street’s Food for Thought program as a way to help our families live healthier lives.  I have been fortunate enough to present this program to children and their families in medical clinics, health departments, Head Start programs and community events. Read More

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