As if we didn’t love them enough already, the muppets from “Sesame Street” are now working overtime to ensure today’s youth are prepared to deal with traumatic experiences.
The show’s non-profit organization, Sesame Street Workshop, launched bilingual video and digital-media content today that “teaches universal coping strategies” created by child development experts to help build more resilient children, the company said in a statement.
For parents and caregivers, educational content will be provided that teaches the impacts of trauma on children.
The launch comes five days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in which 64-year-old Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 individuals and wounded more than 400 at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
What the content teaches
Videos and workshops on the site cover topics like:
- Comfy Cozy Nest: Big Bird learns that his nest is a ‘safe space’ where he can go to make himself feel better.
- Count, Breathe, Relax: The Count teaches Cookie Monster a breathing strategy.
- Give Yourself a Hug: The muppets learn how self-hugs can calm us down.
- I Can Feel Safe: Elmo builds a blanket fort to feel secure.
- I Can Do It: Sophia helps Abby Cadabby build self-confidence.
Why it’s so important
According to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, nearly half of U.S. children have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience. For African-American children, the number raises to about 6 in 10.
About 20 percent of American children have experienced two, which puts them at higher risk for unhealthy behaviors, “chronic health conditions, and low life potential or early death.”
The trauma education initiative is an add-on to Sesame Street in Communities, a resource that aims to give the nation’s most vulnerable children a healthy head start.
“We know how damaging childhood trauma can be to a child’s health and wellbeing,” said Richard Besser, M.D., president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which in part funded the initiative. “Sesame Street in Communities can be life-changing.”