By Allison Watkinson
Sesame Workshop has partnered with 1+1 Media Group and its broadcaster PLUSPLUS to bring new Sesame Street content to Ukrainian children.
The new animated video segments are designed to teach math, science, social-emotional skills, and health and safety lessons to young children.
“As we mark one year since this crisis began in Ukraine, early learning and nurturing care for young children and caregivers continue to be an essential need,” said Sesame Workshop president, Sherrie Westin.
“We are proud to partner with PLUSPLUS to bring our beloved Muppets of Sesame Street to Ukrainian children and their families. Our new content was designed to meet this moment and build on Sesame’s long history of harnessing the power of media and Muppets to deliver playful learning, joy, and hope to young children.”
PLUSPLUS is a family-focused animation, entertainment and education TV channel in the Ukraine. In addition to being broadcast on PLUSPLUS, the new licensed Sesame Street content will be available on the Ukrainian streaming platform Kyivstar TV. The film and TV streaming platform is a partnership project between 1+1 Media Group and the Kyivstar Company.
Research has shown that prolonged stress and trauma during early childhood can inhibit brain development and have lasting effects on learning, health, and behavior.
Sesame Workshop’s new content is intended to aid Ukrainian children in developing the skills to cope with the ongoing crisis through relatable storylines and characters.
“One of the main tasks of PLUSPLUS is to implement projects of a social nature that will inspire children, teach good habits, and help in solving certain issues,” said PLUSPLUS producer, Ivanna Naida.
“In the context of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, when the level of stress and tension is at its maximum, it is important for us to maximize efforts and do everything possible to help children and parents find strength and live emotions correctly. We are proud of our cooperation with Sesame Workshop because it is unique for Ukraine,” continued Naida.
“We believe that the content that will be broadcasted as part of the project will help millions of families cope with difficulties.”
When the war in Ukraine began last February, Sesame Workshop tapped into its global network of partners and educational advisors to generate a response to the specific needs of children and families affected by the crisis.
Through the organization’s efforts, Ukrainian-language Welcome Sesame resources are now available across the Ukraine and surrounding regions. Additional Ukrainian-language content is available through the Sesame Workshop’s YouTube channel to help families with the trauma of forced displacement.
Sesame Workshop has also released a new series of live-action short films created alongside Ukrainian educational advisors and a local Ukrainian production team. The live-action series was created to promote positive self-identity of Ukrainian cultural expression and heritage through dance, music, arts and crafts, language, and food.
Sesame’s educational media is also integrated into social service programs provided by partners such as the Ukrainian e-learning platform NUMO, Save the Children, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the UNICEF Learning Passport.
Funding for Sesame Workshop’s Welcome Sesame initiative in Ukraine was provided by the USAID-funded Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative III and the LEGO Corporation.
Sesame Street Expands Efforts to Support Ukrainian Children Through New Broadcast
By Allison Watkinson