Ed. Note: Susan Tofte is Sesame Workshop’s Archivist.
Beginning with the iconic opening lines to “The Sesame Street Theme” that opened the first episode, music has always played a critical role in setting the educational and creative standards of Sesame Street. Early songs such as “I Love Trash,” “People In Your Neighborhood,” “Green,” “One of These Things,” and “Rubber Duckie” (just to name a few) have a memorable and timeless quality to them. Many have become classics in their own right.
Take the song “Rubber Duckie,” Ernie’s classic ode to bath time toys. Written by Jeff Moss, the song debuted on February 25, 1970 during Sesame Street’s first season. In the skit, Ernie, performed by Jim Henson, soaks in a bath and sings the song to his very favorite little pal. When the Workshop began releasing musical content from the show on records in the summer of 1970, “Rubber Duckie” was included on the very first album. The song went on to sell more than 1 million copies as a single and reached number 11 on the Billboard chart in 1971. It was nominated for The Best Recording for Children Grammy in 1970, losing out to The Sesame Street Book and Record, which itself contained the song. Since then, the song has been included on 21 different albums released by the Workshop. Read More
It began with television. Sesame Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney looked at the television and realized we could be utilizing this powerful, evolving form of technology to educate children. 43 years later a willingness to use technology in groundbreaking ways remains a major reason why Sesame Workshop is an effective educational organization.
With that legacy of innovation in mind, we are proud to announce a new collaboration with Qualcomm centered on researching and developing new ways to educate children using mobile devices and applications. By bringing together Qualcomm’s cutting-edge mobile technologies and Sesame Workshop’s expertise in educating young children, Qualcomm and Sesame hope once again to revolutionize early childhood education. Read More
In January 1973 the children of Germany turned on their televisions and were introduced to the lovable Muppets of Sesamstrasse. 40 years later, we’re proud to celebrate the fact that Sesame Workshop’s longest continuously running co-production is still on the air. On Monday at a press conference in Hamburg, Germany, Sesame Workshop CEO Mel Ming and Lutz Marmor, CEO of German television and public radio broadcasters NDR and ARD, along with beloved Sesame Street and Sesamstrasse characters Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster, celebrated the tremendous achievement.
Congratulations to the entire Sesamstrasse team for making young children in Germany laugh and learn for the last 40 years.
CA Technologies Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Wittman and Super Grover 2.0
Students in the United States are falling behind their peers globally in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM. That is why Sesame Workshop and CA Technologies, a leading IT management solutions company, have partnered to encourage young children to focus on STEM learning even before they reach kindergarten. Read More
Image via blackrose916... on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.
I have taught in a K-4 elementary school for twenty-five years. The school is located at the south end of a beautiful old seaport on the south shore of Long Island, the last exit before Jones Beach. I lived here for over thirty of my adult years, and as a child, my family docked our boat behind an antique shop on one of the canals. I remember families of otters swimming in front of the boat and real church baptisms held on the opposite bank from our dock. A lot of things have changed here over the years, and a lot of the old Victorian homes have seen better times, but it is still a beautiful place.
The school was built fifty years ago, a blue two story building opposite a large park, and at the head of a canal that is home to many restaurants, fishing boats, and party boats. It is a popular Long Island destination especially in summer. From the classrooms, you can hear the horns blow as the fishing boats go out for half day charters in the early afternoon. Mergansers, gannets, and Canadian geese spend time in the park across from the school. Sometimes you can spot what looks like a football floating on the canal and upon second look realize that it is a seal. I have always felt lucky to be here. Read More
On Friday, December 14, the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor in Maryland opened its doors for the first time, and Sesame Workshop was happy to be a part of it. The 3-and-under section of the museum is Sesame Street-themed, and includes hands-on activities and interactions with Sesame Street’scharacters, such as Big Bird, who greets the incoming children. The museum is the first congressionally designated museum focused exclusively on children.
The Museum’s exhibits, programs and outreach activities focus on six core content areas: the arts; civic engagement; the environment; global citizenship; health and well-being; and play. The National Children’s Museum’s mission is to inspire children to care about and improve the world. In addition to the Sesame-themed 3-and-under section, the Our World section, which centers on the museum’s encouragement of global citizenship, includes an interactive table about all of Sesame Workshop’s international productions.
The tragic events from Friday morning left the nation shocked, horrified, and speechless. But while often, adults can’t find the words to express the anguish we’re feeling, the children in our lives still have questions and fears.
“Are we safe?”
As parents and caregivers, we want to help our children through this, and make sense of the words and imagery they are seeing on TV an other media. Over the course of decades, Sesame Street has been asked these very questions, and we’ve put together a packet of materials in hopes of helping families cope with these issues. Those materials, available here (as a pdf), are free for you to download. You may also view our Emergency PSA’s available on YouTube. While we can’t make the concerns go away, we hope these materials help you address the recent tragedy, and other emergency situations, with the children in your lives.
Touch screen technology is revolutionizing interactive digital experiences for children. No longer do our little ones need to wait to learn to navigate a mouse or press keyboard keys in order to access a host of interactive content designed for them. Instead, we see toddlers and preschoolers confidently navigating their parents’ iPhones, iPads, and other touch screen devices with astonishing agility and purpose. The explosion of apps for young children is not surprising; there is high demand and high appeal.
Sesame Workshop, whose mission is to help children reach their highest potential, is learning as much as we can about these media platforms so that we can use them to best meet children’s educational and developmental needs. We scour academic journals and policy-based reports; we consult experts in the field, and we also spend as much time as we can with children and parents observing and talking to them while they use touch screen devices. Read More
Sesame Street has never shied away from taking on tough topics. If it’s a challenge young children face in their lives, it’s a challenge Sesame Street would like to help them weather. Over the years we have tackled everything from the death of a loved one to helping children through challenging economic times. And now Sesame Workshop is providing tools and resources to help children and parents stay resilient during divorce and separation. Read More