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Plaza Sésamo kicks off 40th Anniversary with Stakeholders Meeting in Bogotá

Producers Behind Plaza Sésamo and UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America & the Caribbean Sign Agreement to Support and Promote Child Development

(Bogotá, Colombia, amd New York, NY, October 25, 2012) As Plaza Sésamo gears up for its 40th anniversary in Latin America this year, the producers behind the award-winning children’s television series have organized aPlaza Sésamo stakeholders meeting that is taking place for the very first time this morning in Bogotá, Colombia.  Regional experts hailing from Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico will discuss the evolving needs of children, what Plaza Sésamo content can be developed  to best address those needs, and what additional opportunities are available to promote early education.

“We are excited to be able to gather such a variety of distinguished experts from government, civil society, and the private sector from around the region to jointly reflect on the needs and priorities of early childhood and discuss how we can best  mobilize a variety of media platforms and partnerships to create a Plaza Sésamo for the 21stcentury,” said Jorge Baxter, Director of Global Education for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization which produces Plaza Sésamo.

Featured speakers will discuss the most important educational needs of children in the series’ target group of preschool-age children, drawing from their specific areas of expertise, experience, and research.  Speakers and topics include:

  • Francisca Morales – Head of Early Childhood Development UNICEF, Chile, presenting the current status of early childhood development in the region;
  • Manuel Manrique – Director of CINDE Medellín, Peru/Chile, presenting the future of early childhood in Latin America; and
  • Lina Srivastava – international consultant, USA, presenting transmedia strategies to create and demonstrate social impact.

Ricardo Corredor, Executive Director of the Gabriel García Márquez New Journalism Foundation, will serve as moderator.  Other participants include educators, social scientists, developmental psychologists, literacy specialists, television broadcasters and culture experts from public and private, governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and UNICEF.

Based on the conversation between Sesame Workshop and its partners, an action plan will be drafted for the key countries who share the goal to reach and impact the greatest number of children by using a variety of media. Findings will also inform future episodes of Plaza Sésamo and community outreach initiatives.

In conjunction with the meeting, Sesame Workshop and UNICEF have signed a memorandum of understanding: the partners will make special efforts to address the needs of children in marginalized or excluded communities and indigenous peoples, and will collaborate on production and distribution of content for children in Latin America.

Bernt Aasen, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean, said, “We are delighted to work with Sesame Workshop to reach the most excluded children with high-quality content.  They are uniquely positioned to develop materials which blend creativity and learning and are presented in a multicultural way.”

Baxter added, “We have collaborated with UNICEF in Latin America and around the world for many years.  Both organizations are committed to creating and supporting locally-produced, culturally relevant, educational content that promotes the rights and self-esteem of all children.  As we gear up to celebrate Plaza Sésamo’s 40thanniversary, we are thrilled to have UNICEF be a part of this milestone.”

Plaza Sésamo, the Latin American adaptation of the groundbreaking series Sesame Street, has captivated viewers since 1972.  Meshing live-action film, animation, and the beloved Muppets, the series has aired on public and private stations in 34 Latin American countries, reaching millions of children and families.

Contacts:

Martha Montemayor
Directora Local Plaza Sésamo México
mmontemayor@ccconsultores.com.mx

Beatrice Chow
Corporate Communications,
Sesame Workshop
beatrice.chow@sesame.org
(212) 875-6586

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