As you may know, my blog theme for the year is #Connections and I’ve been posting about how we make connections and some examples of great connections people have created. (See the original post at https://lynnlovegreen.com/2019-theme-connections/.)
Sesame Street is 50 years old this year. What does that have to do with connections? That show has been providing connections for young people for fifty years. Let me explain:
The show started as a educational tool geared for four-year-olds. At the time, people weren’t sure that kids could learn from television. But Sesame Street proved that kids could get ready for school by learning letters and numbers from the show. But they soon learned other lessons, too—about tolerance, working together, and perseverance. That was possible because kids loved the characters and made connections with characters like Elmo and Grover. (See the great interview by Stephen Merrill with Rosemarie Truglio, the senior vice president of curriculum and content on the Edutopia website at https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-sesame-streets-muppets-became-revolutionaries.)
Sesame Street is now in more than 150 countries. And other shows and platforms have used that concept to create connections with characters. Kids and adults have enjoyed entertainment and learned valuable lessons from wacky creatures and realistic people alike. All thanks to the Children’s Television Network and Jim Henson’s lovable Muppets. You can reminisce and see more anniversary news at https://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/sesame-streets-50th-anniversary. Kudos to PBS and HBO for broadcasting the show for today’s kids, too. The legacy of connections continues.
We can learn from Sesame Street to make our own connections with people. We can be accessible and vulnerable, let others see our strengths and weaknesses, to let others know it’s okay to have theirs. We can show that we care and want to connect to others. We can set examples of perseverance, tolerance, and so on. In that way, every street can be part of the neighborhood.