Monday, May 17, 2010

Sesame Street

Sesame Street is awesome.

It really is.

And it's the longest running children's television show of all time.

It was pioneering when it was new, has always had an unbelievably endearing quality, includes a great educational value, and has accumulated a celebrity guest list that rivals Saturday Night Live.

But one reason why I've become even fonder of the show is it's support of military families.

They created several bilingual short episodes entirely about a deploying military parent, entitled Talk, Listen, Connect. These are distributed free at deployment briefings and the base child care center for all military families. And the episodes are absolutely wonderful (if a bit cheesy with muppet singing).

Toddlers and preschoolers are a hard age for deployments, as they are old enough to understand some of what's happening but not old enough to understand all or to express their feelings about it very well.

And there are very limited resources to help (there are less than a dozen picture books about military families in general that I could find online, and some of those are out of print).

So what better way to approach it than the always favorite little monster Elmo and his dad deploying! The bilingual version switches characters (in addition to being in Spanish) to Rosita (the teal Mexican monster, for those of you not up on your Street), but follows the same story line.

They also interject real military families (to include all service branches and a wide range of family situations), with the parents and kids talking about the different components that affect the little ones.

They even have an episode about dealing with grief and the lose of a parent (which I have not been able to bring myself to watch, but am fully confident is well done based on the others).

Thank you Sesame Street, you really are just that awesome.

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