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Five Years and Counting: Hikayat Simsim is celebrating its 5th year with long-time partner Bank of Jordan

By Ghada Dahabreh


Ghada Dahabreh is the Project Coordinator for Jordan Pioneers, which co-produces Hikayat Simsim with Sesame Workshop.

Jordan Pioneers, the producers behind the Jordanian educational multimedia initiative Hikayat Simsim (based on the award-winning children’s TV series Sesame Street), is thrilled to announce the 5th consecutive partnership year with our devoted collaborator Bank of Jordan (BOJ).  The past four years have enabled Hikayat Simsim to reach Jordanian children nationwide with positive messages about financial responsibility, teaching children about spending, sharing and saving habits.  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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Bangladeshi Filmmaking Program Teaches Kids to Teach us

By Kara Koch


Kara Koch is the Production Coordinator in Sesame Workshop’s International Creative department. She works on co-productions in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Israel, South Africa, and the Gulf.

Screening and dissecting videos. Writing treatments. Operating a camera, microphone, and light board. Taking written and oral exams.

You might think these are things only college students would be doing in an advanced film course, but if you are a 12-year-old kid in Bangladesh’s Rural Live Action Film Program, they are just the sort of skills you will learn to master in just a few months. Read More

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From the Street to the ‘Galli': A Story from Sesame Workshop India

By Sara Lederman


Sara Lederman works in the International Projects group on the Workshop’s initiatives in Israel and India. She began at Sesame 3 years ago as an intern while she was a student at Barnard College. Sara will spend next year conducting research in India on a Fulbright Scholarship.

The American Street overflows with giggling faces, neighbors congregating on city stoops, and friends playing jump rope. Sunny days and furry faces fill the Street, the symbolic artery through which so much history and learning flows.

The Indian Galli (alleyway) explodes with color and pulses with a rhythmic drumbeats. A caravan of diverse faces cheers as it zooms past smiling pink and blue storefronts and a technicolor lion kicking a soccer ball. The Galli is a familiar scene, a fantastical heaven tucked away in the dense city.

Both of these streets tell stories – stories of childhood, stories of community, and stories of culture. As an intern at Sesame Workshop and an anthropology student, I wanted to explore these stories in my senior thesis.

After working at Sesame Workshop in Global Education, Research & Outreach as an intern for a year and with the encouragement of a wise mentor, I decided to apply for funding to support a summer of original ethnographic research in India. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I traded in my ninth summer at camp in Wisconsin to explore the life of Muppets on the other side of the world.

When my rickshaw rolled up to the door of Sesame Workshop India in New Delhi, it hit me: I was experiencing, firsthand, what so many people back in the New York office described as “the longest street in the world.” Sesame Workshop India, the only wholly-owned subsidiary of Sesame Workshop in the world, is a lean machine comprised of a bold, fast, sharp team. Not only does this thirty-odd person office drive the production of Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Indian co-production of Sesame Street) radio and television shows that reach over 90% of television-owning families, but they also collaborate with national early childhood education experts to organize policy-oriented advocacy. They also just recently launched a franchise of after-schools and pre-schools called Sesame Schoolhouse, the first of their kind. And if that isn’t enough, this tiny team makes serious dents in school readiness and hygiene educational needs in India, a country where, if all the children broke off and made their own country, they would be the third largest in the world.

After a few days in the office and with the help of the supportive Sesame Workshop India team, I quickly identified a feasible research plan. In 2011 Sesame Workshop India was developing a Healthy Habits radio program intended to be distributed to a number of community radio stations. This particular series was designed in installments in a way that allowed flexibility for local adaptations. When I was in Delhi they were just beginning to roll out this initiative in a sizable migrant labor community on the periphery of Gurgaon, a major satellite city of Delhi. The community radio station, Gurgaon Ki Awaaz, took the material and tailored it to the needs of its audience, playing folk music from Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh –many of the migrant laborers’ home states – and addressing issues that were specific to the community’s needs. And, taking full advantage of radio as a flexible and communicative medium, the community radio station engaged callers in conversation surrounding education, water, employment, and safety.

As I conducted interviews with mothers, kids, teachers, and radio producers it became clear to me: everyone wants to consume high-quality media that speaks to them and, perhaps even more importantly, everyone wants to speak. The Sesame material served as an inspiration for the The Galli Galli Sim Sim community radio program, which provided a safe, educational and accessible space for some of the most marginalized families in the world.

That’s a Street of which I am proud to be a part.

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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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January 24, 2013

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Afghan Version of Sesame Street Sparks Children’s Imagination

By Graydon Gordian


Afghan children in Herat province listen to Baghch-e-Simsim with their mothers.

While Sesame Workshop is best known for the educational television programs we produce both in the United States and around the world, we believe many forms of technology, both old and new, can be an effective way of bringing learning and laughter to children. That’s why an accompanying radio production has been a big part of the success of Baghch-e-Simsim, the Afghan version of Sesame Street. In Afghanistan many households don’t have television; the radio broadcast allows us to ensure that lessons about literacy, numeracy and cultural understanding reach as many children in the country as possible. Read More

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Sesamstrasse Celebrates 40th Anniversary

By Graydon Gordian


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.

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Fostering a New Tradition of Indian Puppetry That Educates as it Entertains

By Graydon Gordian


This article originally appeared on the Sesame Workshop India site. VisitSesameWorkshopIndia.org to learn more about Galli Galli Sim Sim and all the wonderful work Sesame Workshop India does to improve the lives of and educate the children of India.

Sesame Workshop in India is committed to sustainable projects that enrich children’s lives long after our work is complete. We do this through partnerships, local development, and by investing in the furry heart of our programs—the puppeteers themselves.

Folk traditions of string puppets and shadow puppetry flourished in India long before our Galli Galli Sim Sim television show arrived in 2006. Yet the program’s Muppets represent something new: a sense of humor and emotional depth that connects powerfully with children and opens them to all types of learning. Read More

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Renowned Doctor Inspires Barrio Sésamo’s Newest Character

By Graydon Gordian


Our furry friends on Barrio Sésamo: Monstrous Supersanos are going to learn a lot about how to lead a healthier lifestyle now that there’s a new doctor in town. The Spanish version of Sesame Street is getting a brand new character, “Dr. Valentin Ruster.” Dr. Ruster is inspired by the Director of New York City’s Mount Sinai Heart Center, Dr. Valentin Fuster.

Dr. Fuster, who hails from Barcelona, Spain, is the former president of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Foundation. As the Chair of the Committee on Preventing the Global Epidemic of Cardiovascular Disease for the Institute of Medicine (IOM), he is a prominent advocate for cardiovascular health around the globe. Read More

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Jordanian Sesame Street Launches New Website for Parents and Children

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is committed to making an impact on the health, wellbeing and education of children across the globe. While we may be best known for our groundbreaking television programs, we’re committed to using a variety of media to educate and entertain children. That’s why Hikayat SimSim, the Jordanian version of Sesame Street, recently launched HikayatSimSim.com, a new online resource with activities and guides for parents, teachers and children.

The site, which launched on May 30, is targeted at the parents and teachers of children ages 4-8, as well as the children themselves. The site includes games that help teach concepts that are critical for school readiness, “tips” and parental guides for caregivers, and introductions to Tonton, Juljul and Elmo, the furry friends children see when they watch Hikayat SimSim. Over time additional games, videos and stories will be added to the site as well.

Since 2003, when Hikayat SimSim first aired, Sesame Workshop has been helping the children of Jordan acquire the educational foundation necessary to achieve their full potential. As an organization we have a firm belief that educational messages are better retained if experienced on multiple platforms. That is why we are so excited to add an online component to our educational efforts in Jordan.

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