New resources addressing families’ socio-emotional needs and celebrating frontline workers.
NEW YORK — As families everywhere continue to cope with uncertainty stemming from the global pandemic, Sesame Workshop, in collaboration with AT&T and Walgreens, is announcing a major expansion of its Caring for Each Other initiative to help children and their caregivers stay healthy, build resilience, and adjust to a “for-now normal.” Wednesday’s release on SesameStreet.org/caring includes new resources to help families face current challenges like missing friends, while also giving children ways to celebrate the helpers in their neighborhoods, from pharmacists to mail carriers to grocery store employees.
In the coming weeks, bilingual resources for children of frontline workers and new professional development tools for community providers like health care providers, social workers, and educators will roll out on an ongoing basis. And, as people in communities everywhere begin to transition into the next phases of the crisis, Caring for Each Other will expand to address evolving challenges, as part of Sesame Workshop’s commitment to supporting families for the duration of this crisis and beyond.
“These are stressful days for everyone, and children and families are struggling in their own ways,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “Together with AT&T and Walgreens, we can help families through the different challenges and transitions they are experiencing during this pandemic—giving them the tools they need to build hope for sunnier days ahead.”
Today’s announcement kicks off a new campaign to celebrate the families of essential workers—pharmacists, doctors, nurses, grocers, childcare providers, custodial staff, mail carriers, and others—many of whom have young children. New content being released in coming weeks includes a special Sesame Street Muppet video thanking these “Super Families,” ideas for ways to show love while keeping a safe distance, strategies for parents to help little ones cope with the unique challenges their families face, and more.
“In communities across the country, our customers often look to their local Walgreens team members as a sign of comfort, whether that’s for filling a prescription or finding the perfect gift. Now, it is more important than ever in these unprecedented times, that we explain to children about essential workers and their roles while also celebrating their extraordinary care,” said Richard Ashworth, president of Walgreens. “We know we must continue to serve and support our customers and patients during this time and this presents a unique opportunity to provide resources to families of essential workers, like our team members. As we look to explain this unexplainable pandemic to children nationwide, there is no better partner than our friends that live on Sesame Street.”
AT&T’s support of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative is part of the company’s $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund, created to give parents, students, and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. Starting this week, new content to help children express and manage their emotions will launch on a rolling basis. In addition to today’s resources on missing friends and key public health messages like do’s and don’ts for face coverings, additional topics will include coping with the illness of a family member, financial insecurity, grief, and how to gradually transition to a new normal.
“As our country works to navigate these unprecedented times, parents and young children are facing a unique set of challenges,” said Charlene Lake, SVP, corporate social responsibility and chief sustainability officer, AT&T. “For years, Sesame Workshop has been a leader in creating content to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, and we’re thrilled to be able to support their Caring for Each Other initiative. Today, it’s more important than ever that families have access to meaningful resources that support their changing needs.”
The Caring for Each Other initiative was created in response to the uncertainty facing young children and families.SesameStreet.org/caring is regularly updated to meet the needs of families as the situation evolves, with resources designed to help parents provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home, and staying physically and mentally healthy. Families can also watch Sesame Street episodes on HBO, PBS stations, and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, with an expanded offering of free on-demand episodes of Sesame Street on PBS KIDS digital platforms. Sesame Street will be available on the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming platform HBO Max at launch on May 27.
Resources will also be distributed through a wide range of national and community providers as part of Sesame Street in Communities, Sesame Workshop’s program to support children and families, particularly those most vulnerable.