For Immediate Release
October 6th on the SSIC Facebook page join Family League’s Demaune Millard for the launch of three new communities with the premiere of a new video special featuring your favorite Sesame Street friends
The 30 minute special will address the challenges young children and their families are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as challenges exacerbated by the pandemic- like parental addiction and traumatic experiences like neglect, homelessness, or food insecurity.
The special will provide families with tools they need to get through these difficult times while building optimism and hope.
The special will be available in English and in Spanish.
Sesame Workshop Expands Sesame Street in Communities Initiative to Baltimore to Help Children Become More ResilientThe initiative will launch on Oct. 6th with a Digital Family Special featuring Family League and Sesame Street Muppets to address the challenges families are facing during COVID-19
(NEW YORK, NY) September 28, 2020 – Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, announced today that it’s expanding its Sesame Street in Communities initiative to Baltimore, MD. The program, which aims to help young children build coping skills and foster nurturing connections between them and the caring adults in their lives, will support local families with young children by providing free, easy-to-use resources through a partnership with Family League of Baltimore. The Sesame Street in Communities program is also launching today in Maricopa County, AZ and Miami, FL, with the expansion in all three communities made possible by the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
To mark the launch of the three new Sesame Street in Communities locations, Sesame Workshop will air a Digital Family Special featuring the Sesame Street Muppets on Facebook Premiere on Tuesday, October 6 at 2 p.m. ET. The Special will feature children’s questions with answers from experts in the three new communities—along with some familiar grown-up and Muppet faces from Sesame Street. Families and community providers will learn about building resilience and coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as hear from experts about common stressors that have been intensified by the pandemic, such as parental substance use. A Spanish-language version will premiere later in the month.
Sesame Workshop is partnering with Family League of Baltimore—a data-driven nonprofit organization committed to bringing the right partners together to improve outcomes for the city’s children, youth and families. Family League, which served more than 25,000 young people and funded 90 partners in Fiscal Year 2020, will embed Sesame Street in Communities in its work with the Family Recovery Program and in its work to support new parents through home visiting. The Sesame Street in Communities resources and professional development materials will focus on helping children build resilience and overcome traumatic experiences, including parental addiction—a challenge magnified by the unprecedented realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the new expansion, Sesame Workshop is also conducting research to inform how Family League and other partners can most effectively use Sesame Street in Communities through early childhood development programs across Baltimore.
“Baltimore is a dynamic, creative city that, like many parts of the United States, also grapples with deep-rooted structural inequities. At Family League, we work closely with our neighbors and community leaders to support young people and dismantle these long-standing issues. We’re thrilled to be bringing Sesame Street in Communities’ unique and evidence-based programming to Baltimore and believe it will help us further our mission to ensure our children and families thrive,” Demaune A. Millard, president and CEO of Family League, said.
Family League will integrate Sesame Street in Communities curriculum, videos, storybooks, and activities on topics like traumatic experiences and parental substance use into its programs and trainings in the coming months. Through their work to help improve birth outcomes in vulnerable communities through its Home Visiting program and their support of the Family Recovery Program to help families struggling with substance use, Family League and Sesame Street in Communities will support young children and the caring adults in their lives, including parents, caregivers, and community providers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing many young children and families in Baltimore, and it’s more important than ever to establish a foundation for building resilience from a young age,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “We’re so excited to bring Sesame Street in Communities to Baltimore, a city that cares deeply about giving children the best start in life. With the tremendous uncertainty that children and families are facing, we’re proud to partner with and learn from Family League to equip families with the tools they need to overcome the adversities of today and thrive into the future.”
The Digital Family Special—which will feature Mr. Millard from Family League—will air on Facebook Premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. ET. It will also be accessible on Facebook after it airs.
The expansion of Sesame Street in Communities and the new Digital Family Special are made possible by the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Sesame Street in Communities—which is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children—is now in 12 communities across the country. The expansion to Baltimore, Maricopa County, and Miami builds on Sesame Street in Communities’ work with national partners and local providers in Camden, NJ; Kansas City, MO; Kansas City, KS; Los Angeles, CA; Guilford County, NC; Transylvania County, NC; Memphis, TN; Leland and Indianola, MS; and Central Iowa.
ABOUT SESAME WORKSHOP
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.
ABOUT FAMILY LEAGUE OF BALTIMORE
Family League of Baltimore (Family League) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the designated Local Management Board for the City of Baltimore. Since 1991, it has served as an architect of change in Baltimore by promoting data-driven, collaborative initiatives and aligning resources to create lasting outcomes for children, families and communities. Stewardship, performance, trust, respect, innovation and equity are the core values that guide its work. In Fiscal Year 2020, Family League invested nearly $15 million in 90 organizations. Learn more about Family League at www.familyleague.org. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
ABOUT THE JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN
The Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children was established in 2018 to support content development, training for service providers, research, and implementation for Sesame Street in Communities. Made possible by a generous gift from Joan Ganz Cooney’s late husband Peter G. Peterson, the fund honors Ms. Cooney’s pioneering work as Sesame Street’s co-founder by furthering Sesame Workshop’s commitment to helping children overcome challenges big and small.