“Sesame Street” is an iconic children’s show that has always been a trailblazer when it comes to tackling serious issues in age-appropriate ways. Over the years, the show introduced Julia, a Muppet who has autism, and even talked about death when the beloved character Mr. Hooper died back in 1982. The “Sesame Street” community continues to rise to the challenge by not hiding from tough conversations.
As part of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative, producers of the popular TV show share free online videos dealing with sensitive topics facing children in the areas of health, school readiness and emotional well-being. The latest videos tackle a serious issue affecting millions of kids: parental addiction.
Most recently, the initiative introduced Karli, a Muppet who is a foster child. In one video of the Sesame Street in Communities series, Elmo and his dad talks about why Karli is staying with her foster family: because her mom has been “away” for a while getting healthier.
“What Karli does is she helps bring to life an issue that a lot of people think of as a grown-up issue, and don’t understand the impact on young children,” Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy of the Sesame Workshop, told TODAY.
In one video, Elmo’s dad explains to his son about addiction in a way that is simple, not scary, for little kids to understand.