The new song is the latest effort by the iconic show to educate children about the ongoing health crisis.
Sesame Workshop is paying tribute to the brave individuals risking their lives on the pandemic frontlines with an updated take on one of its classics. The iconic show recently unveiled a timely adaptation of the popular "People in Your Neighborhood" song, featuring Elmo, Abby, and Grover. Titled "Heroes in Your Neighborhood," the new song is part of Sesame Street’s ongoing "Caring for Each Other" initiative which aims to "help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder." It is the latest effort by the show to educate children about the ongoing health crisis.
According to Scary Mommy, "Heroes in Your Neighborhood" is dedicated to the nation's frontline workers—doctors, nurses, paramedics, first responders, pharmacists, grocery store workers, etc—and features many of these real-life heroes. The song aims to teach children that there are heroes all around them and that they're all working together to help guide the nation through this pandemic. "There are superheroes in movies, shows, and books, but a real-life hero is kind, helpful, and brave, and there are lots of everyday heroes working hard in every neighborhood right now. Watch and meet some of the heroes in your neighborhood with Elmo, Abby, and Grover," states the video description on YouTube.
The song provides parents the opportunity to talk to their children about what a real-life hero looks like and how they help our communities. It opens the conversation about recognizing the sacrifices of these brave individuals during this trying time and giving them the respect they deserve. Since many of these heroes—childcare workers, bus drivers, scientists, delivery people, postal service workers, garbage removers, and utility workers—have gone largely unnoticed for their efforts against the pandemic, the song helps educate children of the many forms these heroes come in.
Sesame Street has been doing an incredible job of keeping children informed about the current health crisis in recent weeks. Last month a few of the characters issued a kid-friendly PSA on the importance of staying home which premiered on KPCC newsroom’s public affairs show AirTalk with Larry Mantle on 89.3 KPCC. "It’s something we thought would serve parents who need something to help them explain the importance behind social distancing to their children," a representative of the radio station said at the time. "The call-in number that’s listed was developed through our Community Engagement team using GroundSource, which we use to text community members with resources. We received over 600 calls in the first 24 hours. We’re hoping to see even more calls come through!"
This was followed by a special town hall in association with CNN where Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, Grover, CNN Chief Medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and CNN anchor Erica Hill addressed the virus outbreak. The 90-minutes-long segment tackled issues including education, anxiety, screen time, and playdates in the time of the pandemic and was moderated by everyone's favorite yellow feathered character Big Bird. The special was also a part of Workshop's Caring for Each Other initiative which provides "valuable resources that bring children comfort, spark learning, and help families face challenges together."
In addition to the new song, Sesame Workshop suggests a few projects or small acts of kindness that parents can do with their kids to continue honoring the heroes among us. These include: "Think of other helpers (essential workers such as childcare workers, bus drivers, scientists, delivery people, garbage removers, utility workers, those serving in the military, and so on) and make up your own verses about them; Help children make thank-you signs to post near your mailbox or near outdoor garbage areas thanking mail carriers or trash removers; Use chalk to create thank-you art on sidewalks or driveways; If you live in an area where people are cheering at a certain hour for essential workers, invite children to join in with their own cheers, songs, and sounds (make “drums” from plastic containers and wooden spoons)."