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Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Sesame Street

Written by: Laurie Borland
Article first published as

Sesame Street is in it's 42nd season and is again stepping up to the plate by bringing the heavy topic of bullying into their storyline.  Not only are they incorporating it on the show, but they have put together an outstanding 5 part series of short video's called Happy to Be Me on to help parents and children.  These videos cover topics on what bullying is and what to do if your child is bullied or is bullying.  Sesame Street continues to market their efforts on this topic in media like CNN and PBS.

Defining terms and expectations for children, and for that matter adults, is the way we come to a mutual understanding of how "to be" in our social society.  Sesame Street's website does a wonderful job of defining bullying and helping parents recognize the signs of both parties involved. 

Rosemarie Trugilia, PhD is the Vice President for Education Research for Sesame Street Workshop.  She is the host for the series on bullying.  They have pulled together an amazing panel of experts to discuss the topic. They answer questions and provide solutions to help put a stop to bullying on both sides of the bullying fence.  One question posed in the panel was, "isn't bullying a right of passage?" Changing this societal belief is where we need to begin. 

To quote Neil Armstrong, "That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind."  Sesame Street is bringing this crucial topic to the forefront of the preschool years.  Dr. Jamie Ostrov, Associate Professor of Psychology, says that bullying behaviors can occur as early as age 3.  We need to take a lesson from Sesame Street and continue to bring this topic of bullying to parents and preschoolers.  Just as The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccine schedules, bike helmets, and car seat laws, we need to bring bullying into the picture.

 A world with young children and parents educated on bullying forebodes a healthier, more peaceful world to come.  Tell your neighbors, your pre-school, your church, family and friends with small children to visit and find the Happy to Be Me series. Our world will be a better place because of it.

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