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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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September 16, 2013

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Season 44 of Sesame Street is Finally Here!

By Graydon Gordian


Season 44 of Sesame Street is finally here! The season, which launches today, is full of fun new additions to the neighborhood. Armando, played by Ismael Cruz Córdova, joins the cast and beloved Cookie Monster hosts a new segment: Crumby Pictures Presents.

The focus of Crumby Pictures Presents is our self-regulation curriculum. Self-regulation is a set of critical skills for preschoolers that affects children socially, behaviorally, and academically. Unfortunately, children often begin kindergarten without important skills such as being able to follow directions, stay on task with focused attention, and regulate their own emotions using concrete strategies. Kindergarten teachers report that over half of their students start school lacking good self-regulation abilities even though they are seen by many as being more essential for school readiness than academic skills such as counting or recognizing letters.

Fortunately, self-regulation skills can be taught during the preschool years and development of these skills happens rapidly. These skills and strategies are at the center of every laugh and lesson learned in Crumby Pictures Present, as well as many new online games produced by Sesame Workshop.

To learn more about Season 44 and all the laughs Cookie Monster, Armando, and the whole gang have in store, click here.

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August 29, 2013

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‘There is Hope': An inmate’s account of the Sesame incarceration Initiative

By Ander Pearce


Ander Pearce and his family

Sesame Street’s newest community engagement initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, was created to comfort and reassure children who have an incarcerated parent as well as provide language and guidance to their caregivers. Since its release, the initiative has been making a real impact on the lives of families and children affected by incarceration across the country. In order to get these materials into the hands of those families that need them most, Sesame Workshop partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections, the third largest corrections system in the United States, to distribute these resources. We recently participated in two events to help distribute incarceration kits to families in Florida: an event produced in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections at Polk Correctional Facility on July 13th, and an event produced in partnership with Bridges of America at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center on August 10th.

Life-sized versions of our beloved Sesame Street characters came to both events and helped make the day especially memorable for inmates and their families. In order to share just how special these events can be, we asked Ander Pearce, an inmate at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center, to write about the experience he and his family had at the August 10th event with Bridges of America. The Workshop would like to thank Mr. Pearce for taking the time to contribute to our blog.  Read More

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Success for All and Sesame Workshop Partner to Create Sesame Content-based Pilot Program

By Graydon Gordian


High-quality early learning experiences at home and in school provide the foundation for children’s future academic success. From birth to age five, children are making giant developmental strides, more than at any other time in life. During this critical window, education is the key to unlocking their potential.

That’s why Success for All, America’s largest whole-school reform model for elementary schools, and Sesame Workshop have partnered on a pilot program that provides curriculum-based Sesame Street content to preschool children and their families in Success for All schools. Targeting 4-year-olds and starting this September, a variety of short Sesame Street segments chosen from the program’s 44-year history will be used in Success for All early childhood classes and also sent home as part of a daily “Home Links” program that reinforces the learning with child/parent co-viewing, a practice that helps children better retain the lessons being taught during the show.  Read More

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