Sesame Workshop Selects Camden, NJ as New Community for Early Childhood Initiative

April 12, 2019

Sesame Street in Communities announces partnership with Center For Family Services and Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey to provide resources to families and children

(Camden, NJ) April 12, 2019 - Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has announced that Camden, NJ has been selected for Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC), a nationwide initiative to support parents, caregivers, and community providers in their efforts to give all children, especially the most vulnerable, a strong and healthy start. Sesame Street in Communities is partnering with Center For Family Services and Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey to support local families with young children under age 5, with free, easy-to-use resources on a range of topics including managing asthma, building resilience, and coping with traumatic experiences.

On April 12, Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby and Rosita will join Sesame Workshop representatives at the Hispanic Family Center’s Evolution Success Center to meet families and welcome Sesame Street in Communities to Camden. Sesame Workshop will also hold training sessions with Center For Family Services and Hispanic Family Center to integrate Sesame Street in Communities resources into their early childhood programs. The meet and greet will be closed to press.

On April 13 at 12:30pm, Center For Family Services (CFS) will host a community event at US Wiggins College Preparatory Lab Family School at 400 Mount Vernon Street in Camden, to welcome Sesame Street’s Alan, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita, who will join Cookie Monster walkaround character and representatives from Sesame Workshop, both partner organizations, and New Jersey-based SSIC funder, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for an open press kick-off event with children and families. This event is open to media, who may RSVP to tanya.jackson@centerff.org.

“We are so excited to bring Sesame Street in Communities to Camden, a community that cares deeply about fostering the healthy development of its youngest residents,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “Together with our wonderful partners at the Hispanic Family Center and the Center for Family Services, we will build a circle of care around all children—especially the most vulnerable.”

Both the Center for Family Services and the Hispanic Family Center will integrate Sesame Street in Communities curriculum, videos, storybooks, and activities into their programming, in-person events, and trainings in the coming months. Center For Family Services, which supports and empowers families and communities to achieve better lives, will use Sesame Street in Communities in their Head Start and social services programming. CFS will also conduct trainings for Head Start teachers and early learning partners and create toolkits for families.

"Thanks to our partnership with Sesame Workshop, Center For Family Services has been able to connect families with resources and activities designed to help children recover from trauma, promote self-care and resilience, and celebrate play-based learning, both at home and on the go," said Richard Stagliano, President and CEO of Center For Family Services in Camden, New Jersey. "We are proud to be counted among the Sesame Street in Communities agencies throughout the country."

The Hispanic Family Center, which provides a broad range of culturally relevant social services and advocacy programs for children and families, will embed Sesame Street in Communities into their Pediatric Asthma Prevention program, Domestic Violence Advocacy and Counseling program, and their Family Success Center.

“Hispanic Family Center is proud to partner with Sesame Street in Communities. Together we will work to educate children and families on the important topics of family bonding, coping with trauma, and preventing pediatric asthma,” said Elsa Candelario, Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey.

Sesame Street in Communities will also provide virtual courses, webinars, and videos that can be embedded into programming to help children and families navigate challenges large and small. Using the power of the beloved Muppets of Sesame Street, the resources are designed to build coping skills and foster nurturing connections between children and the caring adults in their lives. All resources are available for free in English and Spanish at www.SesameStreetinCommunities.org.

“We are thrilled to see Sesame Street in Communities become part of the fabric of leading family support organizations in our home state,” said Cathy Malone, Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “All families deserve the opportunity to give their children the best start from their very first days and Sesame Street is perfectly positioned to equip them with the tools they need to overcome difficult situations and ensure our youngest kids have the building blocks for lifelong health.”                                           

Sesame Street in Communities is made possible by generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children. In addition to Camden, NJ, Sesame Street in Communities has partnered with Kansas City, MO, Guilford County, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Memphis, TN, Transylvania County, NC, Leland and Indianola, MS, and Kansas City, KS. Over the next five years, Sesame Street in Communities aims to reach 35 local communities across the country.

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ABOUT SESAME WORKSHOP

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.

ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION

For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

ABOUT THE JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN

The Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children was established in 2018 to support content development, training for service providers, research, and implementation for Sesame Street in Communities. Made possible by a generous gift from Joan Ganz Cooney’s late husband Peter G. Peterson, the fund honors Ms. Cooney’s pioneering work as Sesame Street’s co-founder by furthering Sesame Workshop’s commitment to helping children overcome challenges big and small.

ABOUT THE HISPANIC FAMILY CENTER OF SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY, INC.

The Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey is a multiservice organization with locations in Camden and Gloucester Counties. Dedicated to providing the community with a broad range of culturally relevant social services and advocacy programs that promote and encourage empowerment and self-sufficiency. HFC offers more than 20 diverse programs including: workforce development services; ESL/Civics; health education and prevention services; family strengthening initiatives; mental health and substance use disorder treatment; and energy assistance. Each year Hispanic Family Center serves nearly 10,000 individuals and families.

ABOUT CENTER FOR FAMILY SERVICES

Center For Family Services is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve a better life through vision, hope and strength. It is their vision that all people lead capable, responsible, fulfilled lives in strong families and healthy communities.

Media Contacts

Hallie Ruvin, Sesame Workshop
Tanya Jackson, Center for Family Services
Giovanny Velasco, Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey