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January 17, 2012

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Modern Family’s Nolan Gould Helps Sesame Street Fight Child Hunger

By Nolan Gould

I was recently watching “Growing Hope Against Hunger,” a new TV special about childhood hunger in America, and I was really shocked to learn that lots of kids just like me don’t have enough food to eat. So Murray from Sesame Street and I teamed up to raise awareness about childhood hunger by hosting a screening of the TV special at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Giving back is very big for me. I’ve always said that, if I had the opportunity to use my celebrity to help change the world, I would do just that. Now that I’m on an Emmy-award winning show, ABC’s Modern Family, it’s great to have the opportunity to help make a difference in other kids lives. Check out this video Murray and I made to help explain what a Food Bank is and all the ways you can volunteer to make American kids healthier and happier!

I am honored and so proud to be a part of this amazing project. To learn more about all the great work Sesame Street and I are doing to fight childhood hunger and to watch the “Growing Hope Against Hunger” special, click here.

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January 12, 2012

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Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm Unveil Next Step in Children’s Education

By Beatrice Chow

Qualcomm Vuforia and Sesame Street

Qualcomm's Vuforia In Action with Sesame Street Characters

“Much of Sesame Workshop’s success can be attributed to our collaborative, research-intensive approach to the development of programs and activities. Qualcomm’s Vuforia platform offers a new dimension to mobile experiences. We think it can bring enhanced entertainment and educational benefits to children.”
– Terry Fitzpatrick, chief content and distribution officer, Sesame Workshop.

Sesame Workshop has been a longtime advocate of embracing cutting-edge technologies to enrich children’s early learning experiences. At the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop unveiled the result of their latest collaboration, a prototype playset that brings physical toys to life.

Using a tablet and a traditional playset, children engage with their toys to make playtime both fun and educational. The prototype playset includes elements such as common household objects, as well as figurines of classic Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie. Children interact with this playset using a tablet and an application that features Qualcomm’s newly branded Vuforia augmented reality platform. When the tablet is pointed at the playset, the pieces and the play environment come alive through the tablet’s camera, transforming the playset into an interactive experience.

“In the past, the only place toys came to life was on TV and in movies. Today, we are bringing that magic one step closer to reality,” said Jay Wright, senior director of business development at Qualcomm. “With the ability to recognize 3D objects, Qualcomm’s Vuforia platform will transform the play experience. Our collaboration with the Sesame Workshop is helping us demonstrate the power of augmented reality to enrich children’s lives.”

Qualcomm’s award-winning Vuforia platform transforms real-world objects into interactive experiences for use in gaming, interactive media and instructional applications.  Sesame Workshop seized the opportunity to combine their educational research with cutting-edge technology to address children’s developmental needs. Augmented reality is another major step in proving that technology can be a useful tool in children’s education.

For more information, read the full press release here.

News Coverage:
A Game-Changer for Television? Sesame Street Will Be First Interactive Show

CES: Qualcomm Teams with Sesame Street, Microsoft
The Street

Educational Applications of Augmented Reality
Raman Media Network

CES Moment of Zen: A Fuzzy Friend

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December 02, 2011

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Amar’e Stoudemire Drops by Sesame Street

By Philip Toscano

December is the time for snow, family and, of course, the holidays and Shalom Sesame has everything you need!

For those sports buffs wondering what the NBA players have been up to during the lockout, be sure to catch New York Knicks Superstar Amar’e Stoudemire discovering more about Jewish culture when he stopped by Sesame Street to teach Shalom Sesame fans the Hebrew word “Tov”, which means “good.” Check out Amar’e on the newly launched and redesigned Shalom Sesame website and on Shalom Sesame’s YouTube channel.

Shalomsesame.org  has a new look and feel, brand new videos, downloadable resources and a printables section for parents and kids to experience Jewish learning together.

But there’s more! Shalom Sesame’s 12-part DVD series, brought to you by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Israel’s Channel HOP!, is great for any occasion. Whether it be traveling to Israel, entering Hebrew school or celebrating the holidays, this series is a great way to learn about the diversity and vitality of Israeli life. Shalom Sesame DVD’s, including the full series gift box set, are available at sisu@sisuent.com

Be sure to check your local PBS listings for special broadcasts of Shalom Sesame’s “Chanukah: The Missing Menorah.”  It’s time to celebrate Chanukah in Israel and Grover is bringing the latkes! All is well until Anneliese gets caught in a game of tag with a chicken and loses her special menorah …right before sunset! Can her friends find the missing menorah in time? Tune in to find out!

For young readers this holiday season, Elmo finds out what a dreidel is as he celebrates the first night of Chanukah with a friend’s family in the board book, Elmo’s Little Dreidel, published by Random House Children’s Books.

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The Electric Company and Sesame Street Present: Military Families Near and Far

By Pam Hacker

On November 5th, Sesame Workshop launched a new collection of resources for military families at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Families who attended the celebration on Nov. 5 were greeted by Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander, Colonel Carl R. Coffman, Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Principal Director of Military Community and Family Policy, Charles Milam, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Director, Navy Captain Paul S. Hammer, and Sesame Workshop president and CEO, H. Melvin Ming. Families experienced interactive performances by Sesame Street and Electric Company characters, explored the Military Families Near and Far website and the free Feel Electric! mobile app; as well as participated in other family fun activities. In addition, families saw the debut of the new “Let It Out” music video, which further supports self-expression and feelings vocabulary.

The new initiative was created in cooperation with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The goal of these resources are to extend the reach and effectiveness of the already existing program. This includes a bilingual website with information designed to connect families to one another and provide information to how to deal with the unique problems facing military families. In addition, Sesame Workshop is especially excited about FeelElectirc! a mobile app that encourages children to explore and express their emotions.

To date, Sesame Street’s military families initiative has provided significant resources for military families with preschool children experiencing the effects of deployments, when a parent returns home changed because of a combat-related injury and coping with the death of a loved one. With the help of The Electric Company, this new phase expands efforts to reach elementary school kids, 6 to 9 years old, find the right words to express their emotions as they experience difficult military transitions.
Sesame Street and The Electric Company are thrilled to introduce Military Families Near and Far, which expands our Military Families Initiative to elementary school children and their parents,” said H. Melvin Ming, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “During this month of the military family, I can’t think of a better way to renew our commitment to military families and to let them know we care and are here to help.”

For more information, see the full press release here.

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