Cookie Monster Wants YOU

Posted by Kelli McKinney

GU0 AdditionalResourcesForget generation X, Y, Z – I’m a proud part of generation Sesame Street. I grew up singing along with Big Bird, thought Super Grover was an underappreciated superhero, and was one of Mister Snuffalupagus’s most ardent believers.

Those moppy-headed critters were a huge part of my childhood. They taught me to read and count before I was out of preschool. When I couldn’t stomach the thought of sharing my after school snack with my little brother, it was Bert who showed me the error of my ways. Suffice it to say that I love the show with a passion, and couldn’t wait until my son was old enough and I could watch it again through his eyes.

My passion for Sesame Street and the educators behind the show grew tenfold when I learned that the amazing people at Sesame Street Workshop produced a series: Just. For. Military. Families.

As part of their mission to use educational media to help children reach their fullest potential, they’ve created an outreach program called Talk, Listen, Connect. TLC is designed to guide children through the murky emotional waters of deployments, combat-related injuries, distance, homecomings and even the death of a parent or loved one. As you would expect, their material does a brilliant job of speaking about tough topics in plain language, comforting and reassuring an often forgotten group.

They’ve produced two award-winning television specials, developed an educational kit (available on their website) and have held live performances on bases. The program helps kids manage difficult emotions by modeling how other parents, children, and familiar furry critters deal with similar circumstances. The program has so far distributed more than two and a half million kits to military families and Sesame reports nearly 3/4 of the families say they feel the program helped their child cope.

Check out this clip about the TLC program.

And if that weren’t enough, they also travel across the country with a FREE Sesame Street USO show.  *insert huge hug here.*  Our child is older now, but I’m hoping I can persuade him to go see the USO Sesame Street show for old times’ sake. They still have tour dates in Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama left this year.

Sesame is casting for their next project, which focuses on resilience, and they’re looking for military families to help. The episode they’re casting now is going to tackle the very challenging topic of divorce. Details are on their Facebook page, but it’s worth mentioning that their requirements are very specific.

If you’re a parent or family member of a preschooler or young elementary child, you know how important it is to have resources you trust and a community that supports you. For a lot of us, the Sesame Street characters became fixtures in our household and offered consistency and certainty through some very uncertain times. If there’s anyone who deserves the TLC (pun intended) that the Sesame Workshop is providing through their efforts, it’s the young children of our service members.

If you’re looking for more family life or parenting resources, visit the Military Authority Parenting & Family Life discussion page.

Have you or someone you love seen the Sesame Street show already? We’d love for you to share your thoughts about it with us here.


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