The popular long-running American show brings something special for the families who have loved ones serving in the military and highlights their struggles.
"Sesame Street" has been loved by people across several countries and generations since its first episode aired in 1969. The show, which consists of a fun mix that includes puppetry, comedic skits and animation, has bridged many cultural and language barriers with its educational content. Featuring colorful characters like Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Grover and many more, "Sesame Street" has helped many families educate their children on sensitive and important matters.
This time, the long-running show is addressing the challenges faced by military families and how isolating it can be to be a part of one. Specifically, the kids growing up in households where one or both parents are military personnel. It takes a toll on them when their parents are deployed far from their home for prolonged periods of time and there is no certainty if they are going to return from certain deployments either.
So Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the hit show, has partnered with the U.S. Armed Forces to release a batch of new videos targeted towards their audience that come from military families. The cute, vibrant and bilingual videos leave no stone unturned while delivering a heartwarming and important message, reports PEOPLE. The videos address how kids growing up in military households often end up feeling isolated.
According to a survey conducted by the National Military Family Association on 2,000 teenagers whose parents are in the armed forces, 42% of teens showed signs of significant emotional distress. In one of their video segments titled "Solo Parenting," the bright red muppet named Elmo is featured with his mother, Mae. Elmo is shown to be excited about finishing a collage project for school and his mom has been invited by his teacher to join in on Elmo's art class for the day.
But Elmo's mother reveals that she is tired and needs a moment for herself because Elmo's father has been away for several weeks. The teacher is sympathetic toward Mae and doesn't pressure her to join again. Mae returns to find that Elmo has drawn his mom as a superhero for taking care of everything while his father is away. Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, the Senior Vice President of Sesame Workshop's U.S. Social Impact, revealed her thoughts behind these videos through a press release.
"Feeling isolated can happen to anyone, but this is especially true for our military families. Having a community where one can feel safe and connected to others who are going through the same experience is truly invaluable," she said. "Being a military family means being part of something bigger than yourself. We’re proud to support our military and their families with new resources in the times they need us most.”
According to the official website of Sesame Workshop, the two other video releases include other "Sesame Street" characters like Abby, her stepbrother Rudy and her mother Maggie as they do meaningful familial activities to leave a positive impact on the lives of military families who are facing difficult times. In the second video titled "Better Together," Abby, Rudy and Maggie play a game as they run a family errand and turn it into some special family time.
The third and final video is called "Making an Effort" which solidifies the fact that making a small effort can yield big rewards at times. It features Elmo and his parents who decide to attend a community event despite being tired for the day but after attending the event, they feel more energized and have created some wonderful memories together. The video resources are free to families and providers and are available in English and Spanish at sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org.