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The Electric Company teams up with Sesame Street to present Military Families Near and Far: expanded resources for military families

Nov. 5, 2011 (Arlington, Va.) Sesame Street and The Electric Company unveiled a new collection of resources for military families today at a launch celebration at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. These innovative materials, produced by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and The Electric Company, are designed to help elementary school-aged children and families stay connected and communicate during times of tremendous change and uncertainty.

Provided in cooperation with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, these new resources include:

Content will be distributed beginning in mid-November through multiple military channels, including Department of Defense Education Activity Educational Partnership Program, Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated Youth Centers and other programs that support military families.

Families who attended the celebration on Nov. 5 were greeted by Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander, Colonel Carl R. Coffman, Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Principal Director of Military Community and Family Policy, Charles Milam, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Director, Navy Captain Paul S. Hammer, and Sesame Workshop president and CEO, H. Melvin Ming. Families experienced interactive performances by Sesame Street and Electric Companycharacters, explored the Military Families Near and Far website and the free Feel Electric! mobile app; as well as participated in other family fun activities. In addition, families saw the debut of the new “Let It Out” music video, which further supports self-expression and feelings vocabulary.

To date, Sesame Street’s military families initiative has provided significant resources for military families with preschool children experiencing the effects of deployments, when a parent returns home changed because of a combat-related injury and coping with the death of a loved one. With the help of The Electric Company, this new phase expands efforts to reach elementary school kids, 6 to 9 years old, find the right words to express their emotions as they experience difficult military transitions.

Sesame Street and The Electric Company are thrilled to introduce Military Families Near and Far, which expands our Military Families Initiative to elementary school children and their parents,” said H. Melvin Ming, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “During this month of the military family, I can’t think of a better way to renew our commitment to military families and to let them know we care and are here to help.”

“The latest addition to the Sesame Street materials for military families, Military Families Near and Far, is a tremendous resource for our military families. These new tools will continue to help parents and kids connect, share, thrive and learn different ways to become more resilient as a military family,” said Navy Capt. Paul S. Hammer, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury director.

For more information about this initiative, visit FamiliesNearAndFar.org or contact Pam.Hacker@sesame.org

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 The Electric Company

The Electric Company recently received a 2011 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Children’s Television, a 2011 Webby Award nomination for Best Youth Site and won two 2010 Silver Telly Awards for Online Video in the categories of Children’s Audience and Education. The Electric Company and “Prankster Planet” are part of Ready To Learn, a joint initiative of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Ready To Learn is a national initiative focused on using public media content to improve math and literacy skills of children ages two to eight, especially those from low-income families.

Contacts

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

Karen Hart
Media Consultant
202.492.6492
karenjo_hart@yahoo.com

Cynthia Smith
OSD Public Affairs
703.697.5135
cynthia.smith@osd.mil

Eileen Lainez
OSD Public Affairs
703.695.3895
eileen.lainez@osd.mil

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