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Joan Ganz Cooney with Rosita, Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Elmo and Grover
Dear Friends,

It is truly magnificent to see Sesame Street begin its 40th season. I am thrilled and humbled by this remarkable celebration. Co-founder of the Workshop Lloyd Morrisett and I weren't sure the show would make it past the first season, so it is both surreal and wonderful for us to see Sesame Street reach such a landmark.

It's hard to believe that it was considered "radical" 40 years ago to use television to teach young children. Sesame Street was originally conceived so that less advantaged children would arrive in school with the same preparation as middle-class children. In addition to helping children learn letters and numbers, the show has grown to include teaching tolerance, empathy, and inclusion; life skills that continue, in no small way, to making the world a better place. Today, in over 140 countries, Sesame Street teaches more children - across more cultures - than any other children's show in history.

I am continually inspired by the capacity and inventiveness of the creative talent and educators that create each new season. They stay tirelessly true to our mission while ensuring that the show remains relevant to the needs of today's children. I am especially excited about our 40th season, which will debut on the exact date of the 40th anniversary of our first broadcast. The highlights include an appearance by our First Lady Michelle Obama, an all-new format which resembles a typical broadcasting block, our first CGI animation segment, "Abby's Flying Fairy School," which will help preschoolers develop critical thinking skills, and a new show open and close using chalk-art animation set to a new version of "Sunny Days."

Thank you for celebrating with us. I hope you enjoy our new season!

Joan Ganz Cooney
Co-Founder Sesame Workshop