5 Groundbreaking Influences of Sesame Street

For 50 years, kids of all ages and generations have made their way to Sesame Street. Originating in 1969, Sesame Street has been a beloved children’s educational show that has shared many life lessons and fun memories with millions of viewers in over 120 countries.

Sesame Street is set in a fictional New York neighborhood, filled with diverse and interesting characters. The show idea came from Joan Ganz Cooney, a documentary producer for public television. Her goal was to develop an educational and entertaining program for preschoolers and one that would help underprivileged three to five-year-olds prepare for kindergarten. In order to engage children, the format of Sesame Street includes short and funny segments with puppets, animation, and live actors. Since its premiere, children and adults have fallen in love with the residents of Sesame Street, including Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, and many others. Check how to create a solid play fortnite for money.

Whether it is teaching children to count and learn their ABC’s, Sesame Street is known for using its characters to teach life lessons, big or small, easy or difficult. In the past years, the show has handled tough life issues and shared them with children in a comforting way. Recently, Sesame Street has hosted specials and town halls on the coronavirus and racism. These are just two of the many topics the program has tackled over the years. Sesame Street has covered several issues with the help of their characters, including these ground-breaking lessons that made a lasting influence on viewers.

  • In 1991, Sesame Street brought on a new bilingual Muppet, Rosita La Monstrua de las Cuevas, or the Monster of the Caves. Rosita was introduced to help explain Mexican immigration to the United States. She was the first Latina Muppet to join the cast full-time and, ten years later, began teaching viewers the Spanish word of the day.
  • Tensions with the Middle East have been a part of America’s history for decades. Rechov Sumsum, the Israeli version of Sesame Streetwelcomed Mahboub to their street in 2006. Mahboub is an Arab-Israeli Muppet who was fluent in Arabic and Hebrew and held conversations between people on all sides of the issues. The Muppet’s purpose is to help bridge differences in language and culture among people.
  • Only a few years later, in 2010, head writer on the show, Joey Mazzarino, inspired by his African American daughter, Segi, decided to write a segment and song based on her. Segi was playing with her Barbie dolls and got frustrated because none of her Barbies looked like her, especially with respect to her hair. Mazzarino used this moment to let his daughter and others know that they are beautiful just the way they are and wrote the song “I Love My Hair,” and created the new Muppet, Segi. Now, the song and Muppet are regular parts of the show.
  • Autism awareness debuted on Sesame Street when the Muppet, Julia, first appeared in 2016 and was made a main character in 2017. During this time, the program was prompting an initiative for autism called “See Amazing in All Children.” Julia helped break many misconceptions about autism in children. First, she tackled the myth that autism mainly affects boys. Also, Julia’s traits brought an awareness that the autism spectrum contains many symptoms. For this, writers decided to focus on a few traits for Julia, such as little talking, little direct eye contact, sensitivity to loud noises, high intelligence, and a good memory. The writers have also noted that Julia isn’t the only representation of autism in children, and they hope to aid others in understanding those with autism.
  • It wasn’t long after the show’s premiere that they began to promote and encourage diversity. Linda the Librarian, a human character, moved to Sesame Street in 1972 and exposed viewers to sign language and deafness. Actually hearing-impaired in life, Linda taught children sign language and about the challenges of living with a hearing impairment.

To this day, Sesame Street continues to educate young children about needed life skills, difficult issues, and kindness towards others. The program strives to promote diversity in all of its characters and lessons. In addition, Sesame Street is still attracting more viewers from around the world each day, making the future for the famous street and its residents very bright and meaningful.



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