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.
Elmo is the man… err, monster these days! Headlines all across the nation are giving him credit for making apples more appealing. A new study published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted by researchers at Cornell University found that children ages 8 to 11 were 65 percent more likely to add an apple to their lunch in their school cafeteria when Elmo stickers were placed on the apples compared to when the apples had no stickers. Sesame Workshop had no input or knowledge into this study until it came out in the press, but it reconfirms our own and others’ research on the power of beloved characters in influencing food choices and other behaviors.
Barbara Sawyer is the Director of Special Projects at the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) and has worked in the early care and education field for over thirty years. From the time Sesame’s Healthy Habits for Life initiative launched in the early 2000’s, the NAFCC has been a key partner with Sesame Workshop to deliver these crucial messages on nutrition and physical activity. With the NAFCC’s support and through their national network of providers, Healthy Habits for Life materials have reached thousands of children in family child care.
Last week in continuation of this partnership, Barbara joined with Sesame Workshop’s Outreach staffers at the NAFCC’s Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to host a roundtable discussion of experts, representing the nutrition, physical activity, and early education fields.
Before the event, we caught up with Barbara to talk about family child care and the NAFCC’s work in obesity prevention.
Sesame Workshop: What can you tell me about the National Association for Family Child Care and the particular ways it supports child care providers?
Barbara Sawyer: The National Association for Family Child Care is a non-profit organization that promotes quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. The goals of the association include strengthening state and local associations as the primary support system for individual family child care providers, promoting a professional accreditation program which recognizes and encourages quality care for children, and representing family child care providers by advocating for their needs and collaborating with other organizations. The NAFCC is one of the only membership organizations that is dedicated to family child care providers who work in their own home with primarily a small group of children. About 65% of these providers work independently and do not have an assistant; therefore they are the only adult with the children. One of the ways the NAFCC works to improve the quality of this care is by inviting the providers to belong to a peer support group.