Sesame Street turns 40!

BY SIAN LOWER

art.sesame.street.sw
image courtesy of sesamestreet

The longest running program in the history of children’s television – Sesame Street – turns 40 tomorrow, and due to its prestigious array of accomplishments – including 122 Emmy Awards, and multimedia outlets in 140 countries world-wide – the city of New York has declared November 10th ” Sesame Street Day”.

Carolyn – Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of Sesame Street, stated,” I feel extremely priveleged to produce the gold standard of children’s TV, serving up our well- known favourite characters and parodies, while striving to create innovative stories ad formats using the latest technologies. This is what keeps the show fresh, exciting and relevant to the needs of today’s children.”

Viewers recognise Sesame Street by it’s popular muppet characters such as ‘ Big Bird‘, ‘Cookie Monster‘ and ‘Elmo‘, but a lot of things have been going on in the background of the hit show for years that many viewers are not aware of.

The Sesame Workshop is a non-profit educational organization which addresses critical developmental needs for young children all over the world, and it is the backbone of the show. It produces content for various medias on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military development. Initiatives of the organization are to help young children and families develop critical skills,acquire healthy habits and prepare children for life-long learning.

It has various outreach initiatives,including help for military families affected by deployment and advice for new parents.

Sesamecast
courtesy of sesamestreet

It was recently awarded a grant from MetLife Foundation to promote ‘ Healthy Habits for Life ‘  in India (‘Galli Galli Sim Sim‘) and Mexico (‘Plaza Sesamo Habitos Saludables para la vida‘).

Healthy Habits for Life‘ is an aspect of the Sesame Workshop that encourages children and their parents to get involved in healthy eating and exercise. It focuses on games, healthy foods, oral hygeine and other activities to get people involved. It also has a branch called “A for Asthma – and Active!” to help the families of those with asthma.

‘Rural Literacy’ is another item the workshop focuses on, which includes everything from reading and writing to ‘ Talking Cents’ ( a program to help children understand basic finance ).

The Sesame Street on television is just a tiny fraction of the good this organization does all over the world – here’s to the next 40 years.