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Cookie Monster: The Ultimate Impatient Optimist

By Sesame Workshop


Today, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to toilets. Investing in sanitation leads to healthier people and stronger communities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program focuses on the development of tools and technologies that can lead to radical and sustainable improvements in sanitation in the developing world. An important component is reaching children and families with critical health messages. A new grant to Sesame Workshop will promote hygiene and sanitation among children and families in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria. Cookie Monster was so excited to work with the Gates Foundation that he sat down with the Impatient Optimist, the foundation’s blog, and answered a few questions. Sesame Workshop looks forward to working with the Gates Foundation in the coming years.

Impatient Optimist: Cookie Monster, we know you are very busy. Why have you taken the time to speak with us today?

Cookie Monster: Well, me heard that if me be very patient, there will be chocolate chip cookies available at the end of this interview. Me not see them yet, but me optimistic. Read More

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Jackie Robinson on Sesame Street

By Susan Tofte


Susan Tofte is Sesame Workshop’s Archivist.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson

Of the hundreds of celebrities who have appeared on Sesame Street, Jackie Robinson is one of the most notable. Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney met with Robinson in 1969 when she was working to build awareness and outreach prior to the show’s November premiere. Reaching out to Robinson and his connections made sense. Read More

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April 10, 2013

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The ABCs and 123s of Preschool Apps

By Michelle Newman


Michelle Newman is a Senior Curriculum Specialist at Sesame Workshop.

Touch screen devices have dramatically changed the way young children interact with technology. Preschoolers no longer have to struggle with a mouse or a laptop touch pad – they can now use their fingers to tap, drag, and trace items directly on the screen. When we started to develop one of our first robust iPad apps in 2010, we were extremely optimistic about all of the affordances of this new technology. What surprised us was the number of new challenges we needed to overcome to create a quality developmentally appropriate learning experience for young children. Read More

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April 08, 2013

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What Ever Happened to Don Music?

By Joe Hennes


Joe Hennes works at Sesame Workshop and is the co-proprietor of Tough Pigs.

Over the course of Sesame Street’s 43-year history, characters come and go.  Not everyone can be a Grover or Cookie Monster, lasting decades while still staying fresh and entertaining.  For every Big Bird, there’s a Roosevelt Franklin.  For every Bert and Ernie, there’s a Biff and Sully.  Despite the fact that these characters aren’t around anymore, we still hold a lot of love for them and the joy they gave us over the years.

One of our favorite examples is the great Don Music, the absent-minded composer who fought through his frustration to pen such classics as “Mary Had a Bicycle” and “Drive, Drive, Drive your Car”.  He showed us that creating art isn’t easy, and the final result isn’t always what you expected it to be. Read More

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April 03, 2013

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Jane Henson, 1934-2013

By Sesame Workshop



It is with great sadness that we relay the news of the passing of Jane Henson, wife of Jim Henson and a beloved member of the Sesame Street community. Born Jane Ann Nebel, she married Jim Henson in 1959 and gave birth to five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather. In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Mrs. Henson was an artistic collaborator of her late husband’s, performing Muppets alongside him on both Sesame Street and earlier projects. The entire Sesame Street community mourns her passing. She will be missed.

To learn more about Jane Henson’s life and achievements, visit The Jim Henson Legacy.

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Sesame Street Swings by the White House for the Annual Easter Egg Roll

By Graydon Gordian


The beloved Sesame Street Muppets have a long and storied history of visiting the White House. But that doesn’t mean we’re any less excited when we get invited back! This past weekend Gordon, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, and Elmo stopped by home of the first family to take part in the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll.

The theme this year was “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!” The day was focused on ways families could eat healthy and stay physically active, a cause to which both the first lady Michelle Obama and Sesame Workshop are dedicated.

To learn more about the White House’s Easter Egg Roll, click here. To learn more about Sesame Workshop’s commitment to encourage healthy living habits in our children, click here.

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A Behind the Scenes look at Sesame Street in Afghanistan

By Graydon Gordian


Since November 2011, Baghch-E-Simsim, the Afghan version of Sesame Street, has brought laughter and important lessons about literacy, numeracy and cultural awareness to the children of Afghanistan. We’re excited to share with you this behind-the-scenes look at how one of our newest international co-productions gets made. To learn more about how Baghch-E-Simsim gets made, click here. To learn more about our work in Afghanistan, click here.

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March 28, 2013

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Sesame Workshop Launches Road Safety Campaign in Australia

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop is best known for our commitment to the mental and emotional development of children around the world. But we’re also committed to the physical safety of children. That’s why, as part of the U.N.’s Decade of Action for Road Safety, we’ve launched a new major road safety campaign in Australia.

Between 2006 and 2008, there were 6 deaths and 430 seriously injured pedestrians aged 0-14 in the province of Victoria alone. Driveway run-overs in the province resulted in the death of 14 children under the age of six and 73 serious injuries between January 2000 and September 2012.

Our campaign, spearheaded by Sesame Street’s Elmo and Grover, hopes to educate children, parents and teacher on simple road safety practices so in the future children’s lives can be saved. The campaign, created in partnership with Australian child safety advocates Kidsafe, the TAC, RACV and Holden, includes a storybook entitled Elmo Stays Safe: How Furry Little Monsters – and Children – Play Safely. The stories, games and activities in the book help encourage important safety tips like holding a parents hand while crossing the street, treating driveways like roads instead of safe play spaces and using correct restraints when traveling in a car. Additionally, a Community Service Announcement featuring Elmo and Grover is being broadcast on television and social media platforms and urges children and families to play in safe places away from driveways and roads.

To learn more about our efforts to encourage road safety, click here.

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March 25, 2013

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Sesame Street Helps Children Cope with Divorce

By David Cohen


David Cohen is the director of domestic research for Sesame Workshop.

When my friend tried to explain her divorce to her 8-year-old niece, her niece reflected “It’s going to take me awhile to process this.” Her niece’s reaction might be considered precocious, but it also shows the deep emotions children grapple with when faced with such a life altering effect.

Young children need ongoing and sensitive help from trusted adults who approach this event in age appropriate ways. In fact, young children are at risk of having more adjustment problems than older children, since they are still in the early process of developing the coping skills necessary to deal with all the changes associated with divorce. They also often blame themselves for the divorce or feel that it is their responsibility to bring their parents back together. Read More

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March 19, 2013

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Sesame Workshop Partners with IICF to Support Literacy

By Graydon Gordian


Literacy. It’s been at the heart of Sesame Workshop’s mission since Sesame Street began airing in 1969. We’re continually spreading our message of laughter and learning to new countries and utilizing emerging technological platforms to educate American preschool children. All the while, literacy remains a central element of Sesame Worskhop’s curriculum, no matter where or how a child is seeing our educational material.

That’s why we’re excited to partner with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation whose National Early Childhood Education Initiative focuses on literacy for young children, particularly those in underserved communities around the U.S. The partnership will develop a program that provides children, parents, caregivers, and facilitators with tools to support young children’s development of essential literacy skills around rich conversations, reading, and writing. This program will provide rich and engaging opportunities for IICF Volunteers. Read More

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