Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Sesame Street" Creates First Muppet With Incarcerated Parent

Along with catchy tunes and lovable muppet stars, the children's television show Sesame Street  is
famous for tackling sensitive topics like divorce, hunger and military deployment.

Once again, they're breaking barriers with the introduction of a new character on their web series "Little Children, Big Challenges."

Donning blue hair and a green nose, Alex becomes the first muppet to have an incarcerated parent.

Parents in prison--on Sesame Street?  It's not as narrow of an issue as you might think.  According to a recent report, one in every 28 U.S. children has a parent in federal prison.  Sure, it's not Sesame Street's job to fix that problem, but they do feel responsible for helping children handle the handcuffs.

The episode deals with Alex's 'big feelings" about his father's absence and incarceration.  Sophia, an adult character from the webispode, steers the conversation because she too had a parent in prison as a child.

In addition to the clip, there's a tool kit with activities and tips to provide comfort to young children dealing with these tough issues.  Sesame Street hopes to educate children on how tough it can be for someone with an incarcerated parent, while at the same time letting children know they're not the only ones.

Talk about your teachable moment.  No wonder Sesame Street has won 143 Emmy Awards during its 40+ years on television.
So, what do you think?  Are you surprised that Sesame Street is addressing this topic on its show??

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