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Sesame Street Muppets to encourage healthy habits for kids in India, Mexico, and Brazil through grant from MetLife Foundation

(New York, NY, October 31, 2011)—From brushing your teeth to washing your hands, it’s never too early for kids to start practicing healthy habits; and who better to practice with than the beloved Muppets of Sesame StreetSesame Workshop, the nonprofit education organization behind Sesame Street, has been awarded a grant from MetLife Foundation to promote Healthy Habits for Life through its local co-productions in India, Mexico, and Brazil. This grant is a continuation of the support MetLife Foundation has given to Sesame Workshop for healthy habits activities in Mexico and India — now in its third year, and for the first time the partnership has been extended to Brazil.

In India, Galli Galli Sim Sim will broadcast Healthy Habits for Life episodes, and feature a special animated message from MetLife Foundation, on POGO and Cartoon Network.  Sesame Workshop will also be launching a new Mobile Phone Classroom Outreach Pilot.  Taking place in 150 Anganwadi centers, the project will provide each government-run preschool center worker with a mobile phone preloaded with engaging Galli Galli Sim Sim health content.  Supervisors will also be enabled with pico projectors to present the educational video content to a class full of children.  Two print outreach kits for participating centers will also be created.

In Mexico, MetLife Foundation’s animated message will run around episodes of Plaza Sésamo and Elmo’s World on Televisa.  In addition, 20,000 educational health media outreach kits, which include a book and three posters featuring the furry Muppets of Plaza Sésamo, will be distributed to targeted populations in Baja California Sur, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Estado de México, Tlaxcala, Aguascalientes, Guerrero, Campeche, Yucatan, and Chiapas.  Community health events with walkaround performances, health activities, and outreach distribution will also be organized.

In Brazil, MetLife Foundation’s animated message will run around episodes of Vila Sésamo on TV Cultura.  Twenty thousand sets of educational health media outreach materials, featuring a book, game and training poster, will be distributed in Sao Paulo.

“With millions of pre-school age children in India, Mexico and Brazil, it’s critical to foster good nutrition and healthy habits in the early years, which will lead to lifelong healthy behaviors,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation.  “We are proud to partner with Sesame Workshop to bring these important messages to families around the world.”

“For over 42 years, Sesame Workshop has been committed to effectively delivering critically needed health content and messaging to children and their families, but that is only made possible through the generous support of organizations like MetLife Foundation,” said Anita Stewart, Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Partnerships and Development, Sesame Workshop.  “Through its grant program, MetLife Foundation has helped deepen and extend our impact and reach in Mexico and India, and now launch a new complementary healthy habits multimedia project in Brazil, allowing us to make a meaningful difference in children’s lives across the globe.”

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 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company.  Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple educational media platforms on a wide range of issues including children’s 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 at www.sesameworkshop.org.

Metlife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to carry on MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement.  The Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide. Through programs focusing on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation increases access and opportunities for people of all ages.  Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has made more than $500 million in grants and $75 million in program related investments. For more information visit www.metlife.org.

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Contacts

Beatrice Chow
Sesame Workshop
(212) 875-6586
Beatrice.chow@sesame.org

Peggy Atherlay
Metlife
(212) 578-1525
matherlay@metlife.com

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