Sesame Street workshop brings new program to Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sesame Street is coming to Memphis. The organization behind the popular show is working with local charities to help young children.

The general idea is pretty simple.

The program uses 'loveable,' trustworthy Sesame Street characters to help at risk kids and their families deal with serious issues. For example, domestic violence or a family member who's in prison.

Through the program, Sesame Street characters talk about those kinds of things often in videos that kids can watch.

"It opens up kids and adults to a willingness to communicate and so forth. And when they do that, they learn something," Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said.

Sesame Street is sharing resources like that with the Ace Awareness Foundation and Porter-Leath's system of preschools.

"All of this is about innovation about really doing what we can to help our families," Porter-Leath President Sean Lee said.

The preschools serve more than 6,000 at risk kids, and the foundation provides centers where parents can ask questions free of judgement.

Adding Sesame Street just makes sense.

"All you have to do is say Sesame Street and people start to smile," Renee Wilson-Simmons with the Ace Awareness Foundation.

The official name of the program is Sesame Street In Communities. And it's been effective in other cities.

"It helps children not only do well in school but also handle tough situations as they continue to grow," Dr. Jeanette Betancourt with Sesame Workshop said.

Memphis is the sixth city selected for this program.

Here are the events parents can attend in the coming days:

Sesame Street at Universal Parenting Places in Memphis

  • December 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Christ Community at 3481 Austin Peay
  • December 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Perea Preschool at 1250 Valintine Avenue, 2nd floor
  • December 6 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, 5th floor
  • December 6 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Knowledge Quest at 990 College Park Drive, Suite 104

Porter Leath Toy Truck Drive Event

  • December 7 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Poplar Collection at 4615 Poplar Avenue