New videos of Elmo and gang help military families cope
Stars and Stripes May 3, 2008
WASHINGTON — Elmo’s dad is headed back downrange.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind Sesame Street, is releasing new videos for military families with young children, this time targeting the difficulties of multiple deployments and adjustments after homecomings.
Last year, the organization’s “Talk, Listen, Connect” project — highlighted by a special in which Elmo deals with his father heading off to war — earned praise and even an Emmy nomination for helping military families with young children talk about expectations and difficulties during deployment.
Spokeswoman Pam Hacker said the videos were the next logical step for the project.
In one video, Elmo’s family deals with changes since his father has been gone — Mom reads the bedtime stories now — and how to cope when his unit gets sent overseas again.
In another, Elmo’s friend Rosita adjusts to her father returning from duty in a wheelchair and the changes that creates in their lives.
Accompanying videos for parents outline the message and suggest other activities to help children cope.
Funding for the new videos came from the Department of Defense, Hacker said. Videos and other promotional material will be distributed through bases and through Military OneSource outlets.
Both the old and new videos are available online at sesameworkshop .org/tlc, where military parents can also request a free DVD as well as other handouts for children.