Sesame Street

The lovable characters of Sesame Street will celebrate their fiftieth anniversary on November 10. The series was first developed by television producer, Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president, Lloyd Morrisett

“Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter S”

S was one of the first sponsors on the first airing of Sesame Street, along with E - W - 2 and 3, FIFTY years ago on November 10, 1969.

The creators of the program researched extensively to find out what would appeal to all kids and what kinds of formats to use. They conferred with educators, parents, psychologists and the kids themselves.

Named as an off-spring of “Ali-baba & the 40 Thieves’ secret code to get into the thieves den - ‘Open Sesame’, it started out as what they termed as a bold experiment. Their bold experiment blossomed into a delightful experience for kids.

The series was first developed by television producer, Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president, Lloyd Morrisett in an attempt to “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them.” The show was the first preschool educational program to base its contents on laboratory and formative research.

Immediately the kids loved each of the characters, be they the fuzzy or furry ones, or the real people ones, and looked forward to each program, day to day.  Mothers loved it, too, for the learning, fun and values they brought out.

The characters all worked together to help the kids learn letters, numbers, colors, healthy habits, self-esteem, friendship, how to work through problems, and that all kids are different in some ways, and alike in some ways. It is multi-generational, with three and four generations growing up with Sesame Street.

“Our mission is to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.” Steve Youngwood, President of Media & Education  and Chief Operating Officer, Sesame Workshop, said, “We are a community of 400 + people who are passionate about helping children grow to reach their full potential.”

Sesame Workshop is an independent non-profit organization on a mission to help kids everywhere. One thousand studies, done in over one hundred fifty countries and every demographic group, show that kids who watch Sesame Street do a lot better in school than those who don’t.

The program idea was to reach preschool children of low-income families who didn’t have the resources for learning supplies for their children, and ended up appealing to children of all cultural backgrounds, in over 150 countries and in 70 different languages.

As new ideas or concepts arise, they work to include them into the programs.