Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, today launched Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes, the second phase of the Workshop's military outreach program launched initially in 2006. The initiative provides support and offers significant resources for military families with young children experiencing the effects of deployments, multiple deployments or when a parent returns home changed due to a combat related injury.
Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes seeks to:
- Reduce the level of anxiety children may experience during homecomings after multiple deployments
- Help parents 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 that together with their families, they can learn new ways of being there for one another and having hope for the future.
The resources consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach kit with DVDs for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street, print materials for children, parents and caregivers and facilitators and American Greeting postcards featuring the beloved Sesame Street characters for parents and children to stay connected. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 500,000 kits at no cost to individual families, schools, child care programs, family support programs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers and other organizations serving the needs of military families with the help of Military OneSource (http://www.militaryonesource.com/), the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the USO (United Service Organizations), the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and other partners. Special emphasis will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard. The kit materials will also be available online at www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc where streaming video is being provided by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy Program Support Group, so families everywhere can view the videos and download the information.
Sesame Workshop will assess the program's effectiveness with spouses of military personnel who have been injured or experienced multiple deployments, and have a young child. Sesame Workshop routinely conducts these assessments in order to focus future outreach programs more effectively.
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