Exclusive: Sesame Workshop Helps Military Families Cope


CPB, with help from Wal-Mart, is funding a Sesame Workshop special, When Parents Are Deployed, to help parents and caregivers deal with the effect of military deployment to Iraq on children.

The half-hour show, which will premiere Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. on PBS and is hosted by Cuba Gooding Jr., is targeted at adults rather than parents

In announcing the new series, Sesame Workshop said that there are more than 700,000 kids separated from their mother or father over the holidays. The special will work in the storyline of the deployment of Muppet Elmo's father to Iraq with interviews with and stories of military families.

The special is an offshoot of the Workshop's partnership with Wal-Mart on an educational-outreach kit, Talk, Listen Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment, which was targeted at helping kids cope with the issue. The kits are downloadable at the Sesame Workshop Website.

"Military families give so much to community and country," said CPB President Patricia Harrison in announcing the funding. "The demands of military life can be especially hard on children who are separated from their mom and dad during the holiday season."