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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to kick-off new Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families

Show Introduces New Sesame Street Character

Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2011)—First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden kick off fifth installment of The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families — a free traveling USO tour exclusively for military families based on Sesame Workshop’s award winning Talk, Listen, Connect (TLC) initiative — at a community event on April 14 in Columbus, Ohio. Unveiling a brand new Sesame Street character designed exclusively for the USO tour, the show will also boast a new theme, new look and new music with familiar faces to connect with military kids of all ages.

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families, which is produced in partnership with the VEE Corporation, made its debut in July 2008 to help families deal with the challenges of deployment and homecomings. Audiences will meet a new character named Katie – a military child relocating to a new home. With the help of Elmo and other Sesame pals, Katie opens up about her fears and excitement as she deals with change and making new friends.  The new show is headed to Alaska in late April on an around-the-world tour, and features a 25-minute high-energy character performance with special giveaways and vital outreach materials for those who attend.

“Sesame Workshop is proud to be able to bring such an invaluable resource to military families around the world,” said Gary E. Knell, Sesame Workshop CEO and President. “Our latest show kicks off with a new character, a child who is adjusting to a move to a new location, something many of us can relate to. We are thrilled that the First Lady and Dr. Biden have chosen to highlight and promote our efforts to military families as we begin the next phase in our program.”

“There is nothing that gives the USO more joy than making the lives of military families a little easier and lightening their load,” said Sloan Gibson, USO President. “Relocating to a new place can be difficult for everyone, but especially for military families with young children. That is why this tour is SO important and why we proudly stand beside Sesame Workshop to deliver a show that is entertaining and helpful to the children of those who serve.”

Since the tour’s inception four years ago, The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has logged more than 61,200 miles to 90 bases in 33 different states and nine countries. The tour has also performed 315 shows for more than 192,600 service members and their families. This phase of the tour will perform in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Korea, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Spain.

*Tour dates are subject to change. Please visit www.uso.org for the most up-to-date tour information.

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more atwww.sesameworkshop.org.

About USO

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners: American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.

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Contacts

Pam Hacker
Sesame Workshop
212.875.6225
pam.hacker@sesame.org  

Karen Hart
Media Consultant
202.492.6492
karenjo_hart@yahoo.com 

Oname Thompson
USO
703.908.6471
othompson@uso.org

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