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Making Everyday Challenges into Learning Moments

By Graydon Gordian


Children need to learn much more than numbers and letters to achieve their full potential. They need to develop healthy eating habits. They need to respect and understand children who are different than they are. And they need to be resilient enough to handle the challenges, emotional and otherwise, that life throws at them.

Many people think that resilience is an innate part of a child’s personality, but by helping children cope with the challenges that come their way, children can actually learn the skills they need to build resilience.  That’s why Sesame Workshop is expanding its Little Children, Big Challenges initiative to include tips and strategies for everyday challenges.  Read More

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December 09, 2013

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A Recipe for Cooking Up a Fun and Furry Children’s App

By Karen Halpenny


Karen Halpenny is a Senior Editor, Publishing & Senior Manager, Digital Publishing at Sesame Workshop.

David Kleeman, President of the American Center for Children and Media and PlayVangelist at PlayCollective, challenged content creators to make an “ingredients” list for their educational media. Challenge accepted!

App Name: Peekaboo Sesame Street

Goals:

  1. Design an app for the youngest segment of our audience to engage them with our characters in an age-appropriate interactive way.
  2. Introduce toddlers to the basics of how to use a tablet since we know they’re using these devices in increasing numbers.
  3. Integrate some fun into learning focused on science curriculum (prediction and cause & effect).

Approximate time required: 6 months

Yield: 1 app  Read More

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mHealth in Action: Galli Galli Sim Sim via Mobile Phone

By Chelsea Hedquist


Chelsea Hedquist is a Senior Communications Officer with mHelath Alliance. Her article was originally published here.

Last month, my colleague and I had the unique opportunity to spend 10 days zigzagging across India from New Delhi to Hyderabad. We took planes, trains, automobiles and rickshaws – stopping in six cities in less than two weeks – on an unforgettable journey to visit the sites of several projects that the mHealth Alliance supports through our Innovation Working Group catalytic grant programRead More

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September 25, 2013

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The Story Behind Sesame Street’s Family Play App

By J Milligan


J Milligan is the Creative Director of Sesame Workshop’s Innovation Lab.

A couple of years ago I heard a woman named Margaret Robertson give an amazing talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. She worked for a design studio called Hide & Seek with offices in London and New York that was chiefly interested in the concept play. They seemed really cool and I started following them, thinking that someday we might find a way to work with them on something.

This past spring, Hide & Seek launched a Kickstarter campaign for a project called Tiny Games. It was for: “An app that gets you playing the perfect game with your friends: wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing.” The games took place in the real world, the iPhone just told you how to play. Get some cutlery and play a form of rock/paper/scissors with the forks, spoons and knives. That sort of thing. I loved how they used the phone to generate games that you played with friends and things wherever you were, not on the screen. I thought we could do something like that for parents to play with their kids. And when Hide & Seek posted that they were considering a “Kids” section of the app, I knew I had to act quickly. Read More

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September 24, 2013

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Sesame Street Brings STEM Education to the Web with Little Discoverers

By Graydon Gordian


In every child there is a little scientist, eager to explore the world around him or her. Merely throwing a rock or a paper boat into a pond to see whether it sinks or floats is in many ways a tiny little science investigation, capable of sparking a child’s imagination and bringing a smile to his or her face.

Yet despite the many ways in which children are naturally curious about science and nature, in the United States there is still a pressing need to improve education for the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. While those may sound like advanced subjects, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it is critical to introduce certain STEM concepts to children while they are young.

That is why Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More. This digital, interactive destination will include games, engaging videos, and hands-on activities aimed at inspiring young children to laugh and smile while they incorporate STEM concepts into everyday moments. And of course, no exploration of what makes science and math fun would be complete without some help from the beloved Sesame Street Muppets.  Read More

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August 29, 2013

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‘There is Hope’: An inmate’s account of the Sesame incarceration Initiative

By Ander Pearce


Ander Pearce and his family

Sesame Street’s newest community engagement initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, was created to comfort and reassure children who have an incarcerated parent as well as provide language and guidance to their caregivers. Since its release, the initiative has been making a real impact on the lives of families and children affected by incarceration across the country. In order to get these materials into the hands of those families that need them most, Sesame Workshop partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections, the third largest corrections system in the United States, to distribute these resources. We recently participated in two events to help distribute incarceration kits to families in Florida: an event produced in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections at Polk Correctional Facility on July 13th, and an event produced in partnership with Bridges of America at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center on August 10th.

Life-sized versions of our beloved Sesame Street characters came to both events and helped make the day especially memorable for inmates and their families. In order to share just how special these events can be, we asked Ander Pearce, an inmate at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center, to write about the experience he and his family had at the August 10th event with Bridges of America. The Workshop would like to thank Mr. Pearce for taking the time to contribute to our blog.  Read More

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Success for All and Sesame Workshop Partner to Create Sesame Content-based Pilot Program

By Graydon Gordian


High-quality early learning experiences at home and in school provide the foundation for children’s future academic success. From birth to age five, children are making giant developmental strides, more than at any other time in life. During this critical window, education is the key to unlocking their potential.

That’s why Success for All, America’s largest whole-school reform model for elementary schools, and Sesame Workshop have partnered on a pilot program that provides curriculum-based Sesame Street content to preschool children and their families in Success for All schools. Targeting 4-year-olds and starting this September, a variety of short Sesame Street segments chosen from the program’s 44-year history will be used in Success for All early childhood classes and also sent home as part of a daily “Home Links” program that reinforces the learning with child/parent co-viewing, a practice that helps children better retain the lessons being taught during the show.  Read More

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UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop Partner to Promote Healthy Eating Habits

By Graydon Gordian


It’s not enough to just make healthy food choices for our children. We have to get them excited about healthy food like fruits and vegetables so that they establish lifelong healthy habits. That’s why UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop have come together to produce a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) entitled “Eat a Rainbow.”

The segment, which features Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, Senior Medical Advisor to the United Health Foundation, and Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby, encourages children to eat food that comes in a variety of colors: oranges, bananas, blueberries, green beans and tomatoes. By including all the colors of the rainbow, children can have fun while learning how to have a balanced diet. The PSA is part of Healthy Habits for Life, a partnership between Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare that includes bilingual (English/Spanish) educational materials that encourage children to eat healthy and help parents make fruits and vegetables fun for their children.

To learn more about the work Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare do to make sure children grow up healthy and happy, click here.

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Season 44 of Sesame Street Features a New Neighbor and a New Segment

By Graydon Gordian


Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind numerous iconic educational children’s shows in the United States and around the world, is excited to announce the launch of Season 44 of Sesame Street. This season is full of fun new additions to the neighborhood. Armando, played by Ismael Cruz Córdova, joins the cast and beloved Cookie Monster hosts a new segment: Crumby Pictures Presents.

The focus of Crumby Pictures Presents is our self-regulation curriculum. Self-regulation is a set of critical skills for preschoolers that affects children socially, behaviorally, and academically.  Unfortunately, children often begin kindergarten without important skills such as being able to follow directions, stay on task with focused attention, and regulate their own emotions using concrete strategies. Kindergarten teachers report that over half of their students start school lacking good self-regulation abilities even though they are seen by many as being more essential for school readiness than academic skills such as counting or recognizing letters.

Fortunately, self-regulation skills can be taught during the preschool years and development of these skills happens rapidly. These skills and strategies are at the center of every laugh and lesson learned in Crumby Pictures Present.

To learn more about Season 44 and all the laughs Cookie Monster, Armando, and the whole gang have in store, click here.

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July 30, 2013

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Arigato Big Bird: Sesame Street in Japan

By Tomoko Nagano


Tomoko Nagano is Senior Editor, International Book Publishing at Sesame Workshop. She was also previously an editor with Sesame Street Magazine. 

Achieving “Big in Japan” status is an honor for select cultural icons. Sesame Street is one of them. Japanese audiences of all ages have embraced the characters for generations, so the brand is familiar to young and old, just as it is in the United States. It is also well-known because of longstanding English language learning materials, and the broadcast itself is an unintentional and unconventional way many in Japan learn English. Today, Sesame Street fans are fashionable young adults who grew up watching as children. Aiming at this audience, Japanese publisher Takarajima launched its second Sesame Street Mook (the name is a combination of “magazine” and “book”) title on July 19, 2013.  Read More

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