Sesame Street and its characters have begun a free, live outreach program to children of military members in conjunction with the USO, Military One Source, and Wal-Mart. Elmo and the other Muppets will be traveling around the United States to give free shows to military children.
Just some of the locations that the live show for military children will be coming to are: Ft. Leonard Wood on August 27th, Ft. Campbell on August 30th, Eglin Air Force Base on September 11th, MacDill Air Force Base on September 13th, Ft. Bragg on October 1st and 2nd, Ft. Eustis October 7th, Ft. Stewart on October 10th and 11th, Andrews Air Force Base on October 16th and 17th, and Ft. Drum on October 28th and 29th. There are many other locations around the country that I did not list. Go to Sesame Street’s website for the full list of venues and dates. The show runs all the way until November 2nd.
In 2006, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, began an information and resource program to provide resources and emotional support to members of the military and their young children called “Talk, Listen, Connect”. The program is geared towards reaching out to the over 700,000 American children affected by a parent currently at war.
The program hopes to:
Reduce the level of anxiety children may experience during homecomings after multiple deployments.
Help families with ways to cope with multiple deployments.
Help young children gain an age-appropriate understanding of a parent’s injury by including them and the entire family in the rehabilitation process.
Reassure children that they are loved and secure, and together with their families, can learn new ways of being there for one another and have hope for the future.
I actually got the program’s free DVD and deployment kit and watched it with my son right before I deployed to Iraq. It was very good and gave us some great ideas about staying in touch and interacting with each other while I was away. I really recommend it for members of the military with young children.