Sesame Street Incarceration App & Resources for Families

by - 7/01/2013 08:04:00 AM

Earlier this year I wrote about Sesame Workshop/Sesame Street Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, a resource for families created to help children going such a tough life transition.

Sesame Street Incarceration App and Resources for Families

Recently Sesame Workshop/Sesame Street released an addition to the resource series, Little Children, Big Challenges dealing with Incarceration for families with children (ages 3 – 8) who are coping with a parent’s being in jail.

As usual Sesame Workshop/Sesame Street takes a very hard topic and handles it in a caring and considerate way through a Muppet story with Alex, who dad is incarcerated, a live-action film showcasing real children and their families, and an animated short film.

Tackling such a big topic is key since "the number of children with an incarcerated parent has increased nearly 80% in the past 20 years. 1 Nearly 2.7 million children have a parent in state or federal prison, yet few resources exist to support young children and families coping with this life-changing circumstance."

Sesame Street Incarceration App and Resources for Families

I LOVE that mothers who are incarceration are included in this important resource and accompanying videos. Many times when we think of a parent incarcerated, we assume it's a dad. But sadly moms are doing time in jail and being away from their kids, leaving the dad as the single parent with kids. It's a heart breaking situation for everyone.

Sesame Workshop/Sesame Street also took the time to visit Rikers Island on June 15, 2013 as part of their outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration. As you can see from the video it's important for these mothers and their families to have this type of support.

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration is designed to:
  • Support, comfort, and reduce anxiety, sadness, and confusion that young children may experience during the incarceration of a parent
  • Provide at-home caregivers with strategies, tips, and age-appropriate language they can use to help communicate with their children about incarceration
  • Inform incarcerated parents themselves that they can parent from anywhere, and provide them with simple parenting tips highlighting the importance of communication

“Sesame Workshop has always been at the forefront of creating resources for families with young children to help address some of life’s most difficult issues,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for Outreach and Educational Practices at Sesame Workshop. “Little Children, Big Challenge: Incarceration tackles a very difficult topic, one for which there are scant resources to help young children, and best of all, it approaches these difficult transitions in the way that only Sesame Street and our trusted Muppets can.”

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration initiative components include:
  • Multimedia resource kits
  • Sesame Street DVD featuring a Muppet story, live-action films, and an animated short film.
  • Guide for parents and caregivers
  • Children’s storybook
  • Online toolkit with downloadable versions of all materials
  • Tip sheet for incarcerated parents.
  • Training webinars to educate service providers on how to use the resources with children and families.

 photo sesamestreetincarcerationapp.jpg

Another helpful resource is the Sesame Street: Incarceration app (FREE) for adults to use on tablets and phones, available on Google Play , the App Store, and the Amazon Appstore for Android on Kindle Fire

To learn more, visit

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