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SESAME STREET ADDRESSES ANTI-BULLYING IN NEW EPISODES TO MARK NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH ON PBS KIDS

The Series Will Help Preschoolers Build Healthy Friendships, Foster Self-Esteem and Understand the Difference between Reporting and Tattling

Anti-Bullying Parenting Tips and an Expert Panel Discussion Also to be Released Online

Big Bird, Elmo, Abby and the rest of the Sesame Street gang address the important issue of bullying in a special episode, “The Good Birds Club,” airing on PBS KIDS October 17. Bullying has been identified as a major concern by schools across the U.S. with 56% of students having personally witnessed some type of bullying in school1. As the first preschool show tackling this subject, Sesame Street’s anti-bullying episode hopes to educate young viewers about bullying and encourage preventative actions to combat aggressive behavior. The episode is part of a larger Sesame Street anti-bullying campaign including:

  • Two new additional episodes addressing other bullying-related social-emotional issues.
  • A robust parenting topics page at www.sesamestreet.org/bullying providing caregivers with videos, anti-bullying tips and “view and do” activities for children designed to promote healthy friendships as well as respect and understanding of each other’s differences.
  • A special 5-part video series Happy To Be Me: An Anti-Bullying Discussion with experts in the fields of child psychology, advocacy, education and health, delivering important messages for parents and children.
  • The full street story of “The Good Birds Club” will be available online for parents to watch with their children.
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The new episodes will introduce young children to the ongoing issue of bullying and teach them the pro-social skills necessary to prevent and address this critical problem. In “The Good Birds Club,” when Big Bird gets bullied by another bird in the neighborhood, Elmo and Abby help children understand the difference between reporting (when someone is in trouble and needs help) and tattling (getting someone in trouble when no one is hurt). Additionally, the episode encourages children to seek the help of an adult they trust when faced with challenging situations and provides safe strategies for empowering young children to help their peers in need. In companion episodes “The Big Bad Wolf Huffs and Puffs Slimey” and “Baby Bear’s Baby Doll,” which will air on October 18 and October 21 respectively, a variety of issues associated with bullying are addressed. The additional episodes not only encourage young children to be proud about who they are, accepting of others and to build healthy relationships with kind words, but also help children build empathy by learning to understand the perspective of others, especially when another peer is being hurt or bullied.

As part of the campaign, Sesame Workshop created a five-part video series, Happy To Be Me: An Anti-Bullying Discussion, to address bullying and the steps parents, educators and children can take to prevent and stop the behavior in preschoolers. Available on Sesame Street’s website and hosted by Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Education & Research at Sesame Workshop, the panelists are:

Finally, special online resources for parents including the full “The Good Birds Club” street story, parenting tips and “view and do” activities can be found at www.sesamestreet.org/bullying.

  1. 2011 www.stopbullying.gov