The 2.7 million children in the United States with an incarcerated parent are in a uniquely difficult situation. They feel a number of complex emotions: sadness, shame, guilty, anger. Yet they often don’t feel they are allowed to talk about their experience, partly because the adults in their life oftentimes don’t know how to talk about the experience either. That’s why Sesame Workshop launched Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, a multimedia, bi-lingual (English/Spanish) outreach initiative with stories featuring Sesame Street’s beloved characters that help children feel reassured, loved and supported. Read More
‘They Need to Know They are Loved’: Centerforce’s Carol Burton on Sesame Workshop’s Incarceration Initiative
The number of children with an incarcerated parent has increased nearly 80% in the past 20 years. Nearly 2.7 million children have a parent in state or federal prison, yet few resources exist to support young children and families coping with this life-changing circumstance. Children need tools to express emotions, while their caregivers need help maintaining routines and establishing age-appropriate communication around incarceration. That’s why Sesame Workshop has created Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, a new outreach initiative.
This bilingual, multimedia initiative includes material that can help young children with an incarcerated parent find support, comfort and reduced levels of anxiety and sadness, as well as provides parents and care-givers with strategies, tips, and age-appropriate language they can use to help communicate with their children about incarceration.
The Little Children, Big Challenges initiative, which includes efforts to address the loss of a parent, divorce, incarceration and other difficult situations young children face, grew out of Sesame Workshop’s Military Families initiative.
To learn more about why children with incarcerated parents are in need of support, Sesame Workshop sat down with Carol F. Burton, executive director of Centerforce, a non-profit dedicated to supporting individuals and families impacted by incarceration. Ms. Burton also served as an advisor to Sesame Workshop during the development of the Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration initiative. Read More
Divorce is one of the most common transitions young children experience today, with ultimately 40 percent of all children experiencing the divorce of their parents. Join Sesame Workshop’s Lynn Chwatsky, VP of Educational Outreach Initiatives and Partners, and clinical psychologist, child specialist, and author Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll on May 20 at 9 a.m. as they discuss Sesame Street’s newest educational outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce. Learn how Sesame Street’s videos, storybook, caregiver guide, Sesame Street: Divorce app, and online resources can be used to help families with young children (ages 2–8) as they encounter the tough transitions that come with divorce and separation.
To watch a replay of the webinar, click here.
April is the month of the military child, and as it comes to a close we want to provide you with some information to help illuminate the experiences of children in military families. It’s important to remember both the unique challenges children from military families face and the resilience skills they possess that help them to thrive when facing those challenges. Sesame Workshop remains committed to providing military families with the resources they need to ensure their children achieve their highest potential.
When going through a divorce or separation, parents and children have a lot of questions. Young children are often confused and parents are often uncertain of how to explain such a challenging transition. On top of that, if parents and children have questions, it’s not always clear where they should look for answers.
Luckily Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby and her friend Rocio Galarza, Senior Director of Outreach and Content Design for Sesame Workshop, are here to help. On Wednesday, February 20, Abby and Rocio will be taking questions about divorce and separation from parents, children, friends and anyone who has questions about staying resilient while navigating a divorce or separation.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Abby and Rocio will record an answer to your question in a video segment that will be posted online next week. In addition to your question, please include your name, age (if you wish) and your hometown so we can give say hello if your question is picked. We will also write you back directly if Abby and Rocio have the opportunity to answer your question.
Let your friends, family and colleagues know too! Everyone is welcome to send in a question. We can’t wait to hear from you.
JoAnne Pedro-Carroll is a clinical and research psychologist and author of the award-winning book, “Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce.” She serves as a lead advisor to Sesame Street for Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce.
Today, there’s an important conversation taking place at Sesame Street – another important conversation in a thoughtful and penetrating series that has taken place behind the scenes here over the past several years. Those conversations culminated in Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce. Read More
Since its inception Sesame Street has been committed to tackling the challenges that young children face, no matter how difficult or unorthodox it may be to discuss those topics with children. With this commitment in mind, Sesame Workshop is taking on the subject of divorce, an emotional trial many children go through. Yet many parents are uncertain how to reassure or even explain what is going on to their children.
Storyboard, a storytelling project by Tumblr’s Department of Editorial, took a deeper look at the way Sesame Workshop is handling the subject of divorce. They wrote this piece about our divorce-focused outreach efforts and created the above video. We encourage you to check out both. Read More
Matt Rogers is the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home. On Memorial Day he performed Sesame Street’s new resiliency anthem with Elmo, Rosita, Gordon and the Marine Corps band. We recently sat down with Matt to talk about his Memorial Day performance, his admiration for our servicemen and women, and how he became the host of Coming Home.
Tell me a bit about the performance on the Intrepid on Memorial Day.
I had a blast. I felt like I was in my element. I’m a father of two and being in that role with two small kids is so much fun. When you’re doing something that you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like fun. It felt great to be able to go out there and help these military families take their mind off what they’re going through. Read More
Helping children persevere through changes and transitions is a critical part of Sesame Street’s mission. That’s why Sesame Workshop, the educational non-profit behind the iconic children’s show, is proud to announce Little Children, Big Challenges, a new outreach initiative dedicated to building skills for resilience in children ages 2–5 to help them persevere through day-to-day as well as more difficult challenges.
Learning from mistakes; making new friends; resolving conflicts: these are the kinds of early childhood struggles with which Little Children, Big Challenges will help young kids cope. The initiative will help children from every background, including those of military and veteran families, remain resilient while working through these and other challenges.
The bilingual (English/Spanish) initiative will feature online, interactive resources for parents and children, as well as the “What We Are” anthem, which you can watch above. The anthem will be performed live by the Quantico Marine Corps band, Sesame Street’s Gordon, Elmo and Rosita, and Matt Rogers, the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home, at a special event aboard the Intrepid this Saturday, May 26.
Major support for Little Children Big Challenges is provided by BAE Systems, Inc. Generous support is provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition.
To learn more about how Sesame Workshop is helping children build resilience, visit Sesame Street’s military families website or the Little Children, Big Challenges page at SesameStreet.org, which will launch Friday.