Sesame Street Partners With Defense Department To Help Military Kids Overcome Hardship

Sesame Street character Elmo greets children in the crowd during a live musical performance at Naval Air Facility Atsugi.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Barry Riley

Military parents can now use a friendly Sesame Street website and mobile apps to make it easier for children to understand the hardships of military life.

Developed by Sesame Street’s nonprofit, Sesame Workshop, the Sesame Street for Military Families website uses the show’s familiar style and characters to help preschool-aged military children understand aspects of military life such as the deployment of a parent, moving to a new home, and the injury or even death of a parent.

Sesame Workshop partnered with the Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth & Technology to create the materials.

“Our hope is really that with all these tools for families and for parents, we help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder,” Rocio Galarza, assistant vice president of the Sesame Workshop, said in an interview with Task & Purpose.

It was an interesting collaboration with the Defense Department because they helped combine information that Sesame Workshop already had with simple solutions for portraying military life, Galarza added.

2011 Sesame Workshop

The free applications available for mobile devices in the iTunes Store, Google Play, and Amazon for Kindle Fire are called “Feel Electric!” and “The Big Moving Adventure.” They center on helping children identify and express emotions and deal with the idea of moving to a new home.

“As we were developing materials for military families, they also wanted us to provide them with tools that they can use with their children directly,” Galarza said.

The website also includes resources for parents and caregivers to talk with children about the issues related to deployment and other aspects of military life.

“Military families are important to us, and we will continue to try to develop materials,” Galarza said. “We’ve grown with military families, so we hope to be able to support them.”

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