Sesame Workshop Aims To Help
Military Children, Keep Families Connected
(July 23, 2009)
|WASHINGTON (7/16/2009) -- "Sesame Street"
usually conjures visions of Muppets teaching young children
their letters and numbers, but they also teach life lessons
to help military children cope with deployments, injuries
and now, loss. |
The newest phase of Sesame Workshop's "Talk, Listen,
Connect" initiative is aimed at helping children cope with
the death of a loved one.
|Sesame Rooms provide a much needed child-friendly place for military children to play. Sesame Street officials are sending a "room-in-a-box" to 35 locations across the United States, including children spaces in military hospitals, libraries, child care centers and family support centers as part of the third phase of their Talk, Listen, Connect initiative. Photo courtesy of Sesame Workshop
"Sesame Workshop is committed to providing our military
families with the resources they deserve," said Gary E. Knell, president and CEO
of Sesame Workshop. "We hope that 'Talk, Listen, Connect,' which reaches out to
all families with young children, will continue to help families discover ways
they can be resilient despite experiencing difficult transitions in their
"Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families With Children Cope With the Death of a
Loved One" will consist of bilingual, English and Spanish, multimedia materials
for young children and adults starring the Sesame Street Muppets.
The Sesame Workshop staff will produce and distribute materials at no cost
through organizations that provide services to military families and the general
public, including grief centers, social services and other programs specifically
addressing the needs of children and families coping with the death of an
immediate family member. The kit materials also will be available online at
Workshop officials also unveiled the Sesame Street Family Connections Web site
and announced the creation of 35 "Sesame Rooms" during a news conference July 16
at the Military Child Education Coalition's National Conference in Philadelphia.
The Sesame Street Family Connections Web site is a child-centered, online space
that will keep military families connected across the globe.
With the help of their favorite Sesame Street friends, family members can
compose encouraging messages to each other, share artwork and videos, upload
photos and get answers to some questions they may have but didn't know how to
"This rewarding opportunity to collaborate in launching such a creative Web site
provides a vital tool in the recovery, resilience and reintegration toolbox that
our military families need and deserve," said Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K.
Sutton, the director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological
Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, who helped make today's announcement.
"Families and warriors will be able to stay connected and share in a safe and
nurturing place, joined by their special Sesame Street friends," he said.
Additionally, Sesame Workshop officials, with the support of New York designer
Jonathan Adler and several generous partners, will provide a rich and engaging
set of materials to brighten up spaces it's calling "Sesame Rooms."
These rooms provide a much-needed, child-friendly place for military children to
Sesame Street will send a "room-in-a-box" to 35 locations across the United
States, including military hospitals, libraries, child care centers and family
"The Military Child Education Coalition is delighted to partner once again with
Sesame Workshop on its initiatives that have been uniquely beneficial to
military children and their families," said Patty Shinseki, a member of the MCEC
board of directors, during the event.
"Elmo and his friends, Sesame's beloved characters with whom children connect so
well, serve as conduits for dealing with the difficult issues in nurturing and
sensitive ways," she said. "These valuable tools and resources for fostering
resilience help children to thrive during the good times and challenging ones."
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain
Injury and several other organizations, including Military OneSource and the
USO, have provided support for the "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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