Care giving means sunny and stormy days in new Sesame Street military caregiver program

Julia LeDoux
September 10, 2019 - 3:15 pm
Rosa, Ricardo and Rosita

Sesame Street

Sunny days and stormy days.

Everyone has them, and Sesame Street for Military Families: Caregiving is using the well-known weather metaphors in a new multimedia initiative supporting military families as they care for an ill or injured parent or relative.

The initiative includes three videos starring Rosita; her mom, Rosa; and her dad, Ricardo. The family was introduced on Sesame Street in 2008 when it was revealed that Ricardo was injured while deployed and returned home in a wheelchair.

"Elmo, did you ever feel like you had big storm feelings inside," Rosita asks in one of the videos.

"Uh, uh, like a thunderstorm," responds Elmo.

"Si, like a big thunderstorm waiting to happen," answers Rosita.

“This is really the next chapter of our work,” explained Sabrina Huda, Sesame Street’s U.S. director for social impact. “In the U.S. alone, there are 3.4 million people with children who provide care for a chronically ill or injured veteran.”

An additional 4.5 million civilian families care for a disabled, aging or chronically ill relative, she added.

The initiative also includes articles for parents with tips on how to answer their children’s questions; games and an activity book titled "My Sunny and Stormy Days," which parents and kids can complete together.

The program is a joint effort between USAA and Sesame Workshop, which does nonprofit educational outreach for the show, and includes support from the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop said that coming home from deployment with visible or invisible wounds is a huge challenge for any service member, especially those with young children.

“Even beyond the military community, the reality is that most of us will serve as caregivers at some point in our lives,” she said. “With this initiative, we want every caregiving parent and child to know they are not alone and that asking for help is always a brave thing to do.”

sesame Streete
Sesame Street

Huda said the initiative is designed to help children understand why their parent may look or act differently than before their injury; how to safely express their feelings; how their parent’s illness or injury can change over time; and how to describe their family’s “new normal” to themselves and others.

The resources are free to families in both English and Spanish,

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Reach Julia LeDoux: Julia@connectingvets.com

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