Thursday, November 10th, 2011
On November 5, Sesame Street hosted an event for military families at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, VA, to introduce new resources they have developed. I had an opportunity to cover this event for this blog (note: all of my expenses for this trip were out-of-pocket, so I was there strictly as part of the group of media invited to the base). The event combined entertainment by Abby Cadabby, Gordon, and members of the Electric Company with the delivery of a very important message: Sesame Street has expanded their focus on supporting military families by developing new tools for school-aged children available at their new military Families Near and Far website.
As most of you know, Sesame Street is pitched at preschool kids. However, they recognize that school-aged kids also can use support in handling the challenges of being part of a military family, including the stresses that accompany parental deployment. These older kids have lots of thoughts and feelings that need expression – so the new tools include ways to customize a profile, do all kinds of messaging, record moods, and create art and music. And this is why the Electric Company has joined the effort to give older kids ways to express themselves.
At the event, I had an opportunity to speak with H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of the Sesame Workshop. Mr. Ming explained that much thought and effort has gone into developing these new tools to support the resiliency displayed by elementary school-kids in military families. As Mr. Ming suggested, having resources that are tailored to different age groups – preschoolers as well as elementary school-aged kids – serves the very important function of allowing the whole family to now come together to stay connected and keep the lines of communication open.
The tools on the website are inviting and engaging. I spent an hour at the event watching elementary school-aged kids dive into the website and the links. Click here to check it out for yourself!
Photo Credit: Patty Shinseki, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Jessica and Shock from The Electric Company help a young boy express himself through music as part of the new military Families Near and Far site created by Sesame Workshop (familiesnearandfar.org). © 2011 Sesame Workshop. Photo by: Evy Mages.
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