Thursday, June 19, 2008

Elmo & Friends Help Military Families & Young Children Cope With the Challenges of Multiple Deployments and Combat-Related Injuries

Since the launch on April 29, Sesame Street’s Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes has had over 120,000 requests for its kit for families.
Military families can request their free kit at
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, launched Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes, the second phase of the Workshop’s military outreach program which launched initially in 2006. The initiative provides support and offers significant resources for military families with young children experiencing the effects of deployments, multiple deployments or when a parent returns home changed due to a combat related injury.
The Sesame Foundation developed Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes to help military families with young children between the ages of 2-5 build a sense of stability and resiliency during times of separation and change.
Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes seeks to:
* Reduce the level of anxiety children may experience during homecomings after multiple deployments
* Help parents with ways to cope with multiple deployments
* Help young children gain an age-appropriate understanding of a parent’s injury by including them and the entire family in the rehabilitation process
* Reassure children that they are loved and secure and that together with their families, they can learn new ways of being there for one another and having hope for the future
“The incredible response and impact Sesame Workshop saw from our initial work with military families and the impact it made, inspired this next phase of Talk, Listen, Connect,” said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop. “With an increasing number of military parents experiencing multiple deployments and a parent coming home injured, more than ever, these families need help navigating the ups-and-downs of these experiences with their children as well as ways to support one another and find resiliency in the face of change. We hope with the help of their friends from Sesame Street they will continue to discover ways they can continue to forge family bonds despite the situations they may encounter.”
According to the Director of the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury U.S., Army Colonel Loree K. Sutton, “This wonderful project by Sesame Workshop demonstrates its long-standing efforts to provide positive development in our children. The Talk, Listen, Connect series is a solid, practical and entertaining learning tool for our military families and will contribute greatly toward psychological health for our troops and their families. What a privilege to work in collaboration with these educational projects that serve those who are serving us.”

The resources consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach kit with DVDs for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street, print materials for children, parents and caregivers and facilitators and American Greeting postcards featuring the beloved Sesame Street characters for parents and children to stay connected. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 500,000 kits at no cost to individual families, schools, child care programs, family support programs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers and other organizations serving the needs of military families with the help of Military OneSource, the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the USO (United Service Organizations), the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and other partners. Special emphasis will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard. The kit materials are available online at, where streaming video is being provided by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy Program Support Group, so families everywhere can view the videos and download the information.

About Sesame Workshop: Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children’s health, military deployment and emergency preparedness. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at

No comments: