SESAME STREET'S
TALK, LISTEN, CONNECT: DEPLOYMENTS, HOMECOMINGS, CHANGES
RECEIVES ASTOUNDING NUMBER OF REQUESTS FROM MILITARY FAMILIES

Elmo and Friends Continue to Help Military Families and Young Children Cope With Challenges of Multiple Deployments and Combat Related Injuries

New York, NY, June 3, 2008 - Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes, the second phase of the Workshop.s military outreach program, on April 29, 2008 and since then Sesame Workshop has received over 200,000 requests for these outreach materials. This new initiative provides support and offers significant resources for military families with young children experiencing the effects of deployments, multiple deployments or when a parent returns home changed due to a combat related injury. Military families can request their free kit at www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc.

With major support provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Military OneSource, the Wal-Mart Foundation and American Greetings Corporation and additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the USO (United Service Organizations), the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and Joseph Drown Foundation, Sesame Workshop has developed Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes to help military families with young children between the ages of two and five build a sense of stability and resiliency during times of separation and change.

Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes seeks to:

  • Reduce the level of anxiety children may experience during homecomings after multiple deployments
  • Help parents with ways to cope with multiple deployments
  • Help young children gain an age-appropriate understanding of a parent's injury by including them and the entire family in the rehabilitation process
  • Reassure children that they are loved and secure and that together with their families, they can learn new ways of being there for one another and having hope for the future

"Since the launch of the second phase of Talk, Listen, Connect a few weeks ago, we are already seeing an extraordinary number of requests for these materials and the difference they are making in military families' everyday lives," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop. "We are proud that with the help of Sesame Street we are encouraging these families to communicate their complex feelings about multiple deployments and when a parent returns home changed."

According to the Director of the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, U.S. Army Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, "Once again, Sesame Workshop has created an extraordinary learning tool for our military families, especially those with young children. Having gained so much from the first Talk, Listen, Connect kit, military families embrace this expression of support and are eagerly seeking to obtain the new edition. Combining its creative talent with distinguished advisors and generous donors, Sesame Workshop reflects what is possible when we work together for those who serve on behalf of us all. We are delighted to be part of such a terrific team!"

The resources consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach kit with DVDs for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street, print materials for children, parents and caregivers and facilitators and American Greeting postcards featuring the beloved Sesame Street characters for parents and children to stay connected. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 500,000 kits at no cost to individual families, schools, child care programs, family support programs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers and other organizations serving the needs of military families with the help of Military OneSource, the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the USO (United Service Organizations), the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and other partners. Special emphasis will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard. The kit materials are available online at www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc, where streaming video is being provided by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy Program Support Group, so families everywhere can view the videos and download the information.

About Sesame Workshop:
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children's health, military deployment and emergency preparedness. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop's educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.


Contacts:
Pam Hacker
Sesame Workshop
212.875.6225
pam.hacker@sesameworkshop.org
Stephanie Baumoel
FerenComm for Sesame Workshop
212.983.9898
stephanieb@ferencomm.com