Little Children, Big Challenges

Welcome to Sesame Street’s press room for our newest resiliency initiative Little Children, Big Challenges. This bilingual, multimedia outreach initiative is for military, veteran, and general public families with young children, to help increase self-awareness, boost self-esteem, and help children persevere through changes. The project will debut with a new anthem, What We Are.

Major support for Little Children, Big Challenges provided by BAE Systems, Inc. Generous support provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition.

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press release

Sesame Street Muppets Help Kids Become Resilient!

‘What We Are’ Anthem debuts on the Intrepid in NYC in honor of Memorial Day Weekend

Elmo, Rosita and Gordon Perform Live with the Quantico Marine Corps Band and Matt Rogers, Host of Lifetime’s Coming Home

New York, New York, May 23, 2012. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, kicks off its newest outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges, for military, veteran, and general public families with young children. This initiative aims to provide the skills and strategies young children need to build resilience and persevere through day-to-day as well as more serious changes and transitions. Early childhood has been emphasized as a crucial time for promoting resilience, as it can lead to a significant impact on children’s well-being and future success in all areas of life.Little Children, Big Challenges  will kick off with a new anthem, What We Are, which will be performed live on the Intrepid (Saturday, May 26th) by the Quantico Marine Corps Band with Sesame Street’s Gordon, Elmo and Rosita, and the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home, Matt Rogers.

Here is an excerpt from the new anthem:

CHORUS
Muppets:
Oh, going to hold our heads up high
Kids: High!
Muppets: Keep on reaching high!
Kids: High!
Muppets: Never gonna quit
Just keep getting stronger!

And nothing’s gonna bring us down
Kids: No!
Muppets: Never givin’ up gotta go
Kids: Go!
Muppets: Because we know, we’ll keep getting stronger!

“Sesame Workshop has always been at the forefront of creating resources for families with young children to help address some of life’s most difficult issues.” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “Little Children, Big Challenges is Sesame Workshop’s contribution to all those who face the challenge of helping a child cope with life’s highs and lows and help our kids reach their highest potential.”

Little Children, Big Challenges is a multiyear, bilingual (English/Spanish) initiative that will provide tools to help encourage parents, caregivers, and educators to use positive routines to help foster young children’s resilience on a daily basis. This initiative will help all children cope with trying new things, learning from mistakes, making new friends, resolving conflicts, the bedtime blues, and understanding their own abilities.  In addition to helping children cope with these day-to-day challenges, Little Children Big Challenges will also tackle more serious changes and transitions such as bullying, and when parents are divorced or incarcerated. Sesame Workshop is committed to providing free multimedia resources to all families raising preschoolers and these kits will be distributed through partnerships with Military OneSource, the Military Child Education Coalition and the USO.  Additionally, Sesame Workshop will distribute to general public families through partnerships with parenting, child-care, health, and education programs, social work organizations, counselors and psychologists, and bullying prevention organizations.

The What We Are anthem will be available on Sesame Street’s website for military families, as well as Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel.  In addition, new online resources for Little Children, Big Challenges will feature the anthem along with new interactive tools for children and families.  Finally, in conjunction with this event, major updates to Sesame’s Feel Electric! mobile app, a free resilience tool for school-aged children, will be available on May 26, 2012 for Apple iPod, iPhone and Android devices.

Major support for Little Children, Big Challenges provided by BAE Systems, Inc. Generous support provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition.

In the June 1st episode of Lifetime’s Coming Home, Sesame Street’s very own Elmo and Rosita, along with host, Matt Rogers, travel all the way to Fort Bliss, Texas, to put together a once-in-a-lifetime surprise for the children of an Army sergeant who are having an especially hard time with their father’s deployment in Iraq.  Not a day goes by that Tristan and Alyssa Bomarito don’t miss their father Sgt. Mark Bomarito.  To Tristan, Mark is not just Dad, he’s his best friend. In one of the series’ most emotional and heartfelt moments Elmo and Rosita enlist the help of a General to bring the children of Fort Bliss together and create a surprise this family will never forget.

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 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows including The Electric Company, to help bridge the literacy gap. 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 at www.sesameworkshop.org.

Visit Sesame Street at:

www.sesamestreet.org
Sesame Street on Facebook
 
Sesame Street on Twitter

The Sesame Street YouTube Channel

Learn more about Sesame Street’s Military Family Initiative:

Sesame Street for Military Families on Facebook

Contacts:

Pam Hacker
Sesame Workshop
212.875.6225
pam.hacker@sesameworkshop.org
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/news/pressroom/resilience

Sara Levin
DKC for Sesame Workshop
212.981.5204
Sara_Levin@dkcnews.com

Masten, A. S. & Gewirtz, A. H. (2006). Resilience in development: The importance of early childhood. The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Retrieved June 28, 2011 from:
Blum, Lynne Michael. Resilience Building Through the Early Childhood Years. White paper. p. 5.

Download the Press Release

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project overview

Little Children Big Challenges is a multiyear, bilingual (English/Spanish) outreach initiative for military, veteran, and general-public families with children ages 2–5. It aims to provide the skills and strategies they need to build resilience and persevere through day-to-day as well as more serious changes and transitions.

The Need

Early childhood has been emphasized as a time for promoting resilience, as it can lead to a significant impact on children’s well-being and future success in all areas of life.1,2 Research has also shown that children and caregivers can successfully learn resilience factors such as friendship skills, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence.3 Additionally, an important factor is the presence of a caring adult who is positive and supportive and provides the foundation for young children to develop the resources they need to cope and adapt to adversity.4

The Project

Little Children Big Challenges is designed to:

  • Proactively help children build resilience factors that they can draw on during day-to-day transitions (such as beating the bedtime blues, trying new things, learning from mistakes, making new friends, accepting not being able to do what others can, resolving problems between friends) and challenging situations (such as sibling rivalry, bullying, relocation, divorce, and incarceration)
  • Encourage parents, caregivers, and educators to use positive routines to help foster young children’s resilience on a daily basis.

Project Components

The proposed resilience materials will include:

  • Bilingual, multimedia resource kits that will include new video and print materials for children and adults.
  • Online features with access to interactive components for children, educator materials, and video and print resources.
  • Social media campaigns leveraging project assets to promote and deliver key educational content through dissemination to various social media platforms.
  • Community outreach to allow this content to have a deep impact via:
    • Community events: providing opportunities for communities to engage with the materials in local group settings.
    • Training and Webinars: giving providers a thorough understanding of how to engage with their communities around these materials.

Distribution and Integration

These multimedia resource kits will be distributed to military and veteran families through partnerships with Military OneSource, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition. Additionally, advisors and project partners will help us identify other distribution networks in both the military community and the general public. Our partners will include parenting, child-care, health, and education programs, those that support the needs of military children and families, social work organizations, counselors and psychologists, and bullying prevention organizations. The initiative will guide partners and their networks as they integrate multimedia materials into their existing programs to have a deep impact within local communities.

Partners

Major support for Little Children Big Challenges provided by BAE Systems, Inc. Generous support provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition.

1 Masten, A. S. & Gewirtz, A. H. (2006). Resilience in development: The importance of early childhood. The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Retrieved June 28, 2011 from: http://www.enfantencyclopedie.com/pages/PDF/Masten-GewirtzANGxp.pdf
2 Blum, Lynne Michael. Resilience Building Through the Early Childhood Years. White paper. p. 5.
3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (2007). Promotion and Prevention in Mental Health: Strengthening Parenting and Enhancing Child Resilience, DHHS Publication No.CMHS-SVP-0175. Rockville, MD.
4 Pizzolongo, P. J. & Hunter, A. (March 2011). I am safe and secure: Promoting resilience in young children. Young Children, 67–69.

Download the Project Overview

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video
  • What We Are Anthem play video download
    New anthem, What We Are, as part of Sesame Street’s newest resiliency initiative Little Children, Big Challenges. This bilingual, multimedia outreach initiative is for military, veteran, and general public families with young children, to help increase self-awareness, boost self-esteem, and help children persevere through changes.
  • Little Children, Big Challenges play video download
    Sesame Street recently kicked off its newest outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges, for military, veteran, and general public families with young children. The initiative aims to provide the skills and strategies young children need to build resilience and persevere through day-to-day as well as more serious changes and transitions. Little Children, Big Challenges kicked off with a new anthem, What We Are, which was performed live on the Intrepid by the Quantico Marine Corps Band with Sesame Street’s Gordon, Elmo and Rosita, and the host of Lifetime’s Coming Home, Matt Rogers. Enjoy this highlight reel from the performance!
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funders

BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a global defense, aerospace and security company with approximately 93,500 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support and services. In 2011, BAE Systems reported sales of £19.2B (US $30.7B).

More About BAE Systems

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.

More About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Military Child Education Coalition

When the Military Child Education Coalition was first established in 1998, the founding members set out to help military-connected children meet the challenges that frequent transitions pose during their educational years. As the years have passed, the Military Child Education Coalition has grown in its mission to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition,

More About the Military Child Education Coalition

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 in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors.

More About the USO

Prudential

Each year, The Prudential Foundation invests approximately $25 million in grants in efforts that support the revitalization of communities and support Prudential employees' community engagement efforts.

More About Prudential
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