LOS ANGELES – “Sesame Street” wants to turn its attention to military families.
The Sesame Workshop has launched a new initiative, “Sesame Street for Military Families: Transitions,” aimed at providing resources to families leaving military services and transitioning to civilian life.
The program includes 10 new videos featuring the Muppets, an activity book for participating kids, a website and a series of e-newsletters.
Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior VP on community and family engagement, told FOX411 how the new initiative came about.
“It’s so important because what we have found with our research is that a lot of the focus is so much more on the service member or the veteran rather than holistically as a family,” she explained. “To be able to provide these resources that really give ways to ease that transition, explain it from a child’s perspective and do it over time and in a fun way in which we call it an ‘adventure,’ allows it to be much more effective for the whole family but especially for children.”
Through the program, adults are also provided with tips regarding communication with their kids and how and when to ask for help.
Meanwhile, Muppets Elmo and Rosita are featured in videos aimed at the children.
“So what is wonderful about the Muppets is that they are really representing many of the children of military families,” Betancourt said. “It’s almost like seeing yourself and that we hear often throughout this work is that children are seeing themselves and the kinds of questions or concerns or happy moments that they are experiencing in this kind of transition, so it’s absolutely key.”
Betancourt said the focus on military families is much-needed.
“Talk about big feelings; there are lots of changes and sometimes as a family that makes children a little more anxious, or they have lots of questions, so how to talk about those big feelings,” she said. “I think for the whole family, is that there is help; they are not alone and they are actually being welcomed back into civilian communities.”