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Monday, April 12, 2010

Katie Couric hosts 'When Families Grieve' a Sesame Street primetime special
















For a child, the death of a parent is perhaps one of life's most difficult passages to navigate, not only for themselves but for their entire family. On Wednesday evening, April 14, 2010, PBS and the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street presents an hour-long special, When Families Grieve, hosted by Katie Couric and Kevin Clash as "Elmo" at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Presented in high definition, When Families Grieve handles this daunting topic in an extremely sensitive and compassionate manner by including families’ personal stories about how they have coped with the loss of a parent and spouse. The program also utilizes the Sesame Street Muppets to aid in the communication between adults and children.

The show offers many insights and much hope by providing effective healing strategies that are child appropriate to help children as well as the surviving parent honor their grief and move ahead with their lives.

When Families Grieve is a continuation of Sesame Workshop’s award-winning Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, and because grieving is a family experience, over one million free outreach multimedia resource support kits will be available in English and Spanish after the program’s airing beginning April 15 at this link.

Military families and the general public can access either of the two customized versions of the When Families Grieve outreach kits - one designed to support the specific needs of military families and the other designed for the general public.

According to Sesame Workshop the free kits contain the following:

"A DVD featuring the Sesame Street Muppets and documentary footage of families who have experienced the death of a parent due to a variety of situations including illness, suicide, accidents, and other sudden or natural causes."

Print materials include:

"A guide for parents and caregivers providing tips, strategies, and activities to help comfort and reassure children through difficult times; a children’s storybook designed to comfort children as they cope with the death of a parent; and a facilitator’s guide with strategies for using the project’s components, as well as tips and activities to give to families with children coping with grief."

From statistics supplied by Sesame Workshop, it is “estimated 2.5% of children under age 18 have experienced the death of a parent (approximately 2.5 million children) and on March 10, 2010 TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) estimated that the 5,398 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan had left 3,779 children without a parent, while 2,669 spouses had been widowed.”

Couric (herself a widow), known to millions over the years from co-hosting duties on NBC Television’s Today Show and her present day anchor role for the CBS Evening News lost her own husband, Jay Monahan to cancer in 1998 when her two daughters were just six and two years old.

In a statement to the press Couric said, "Death and loss are a part of life, but they are very difficult for adults to discuss, much less children. I'm honored that Sesame Street, with its long history of tackling difficult issues with sensitivity, caring and warmth asked me to be a part of this important project. I hope that it will provide families with the tools to help them cope, begin the healing process, and ultimately adjust to their 'new normal' in the healthiest way possible."

The video below is a preview of this very important program, Sesame Street: When Families Grieve, please share it with those who are in need and those you hold dear. I thank you.

6 comments:

倫音 said...

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Paula Slade said...

倫音 - Thank you so much for stopping by - yes, I do hope to write another post soon.

arlee bird said...

I was fortunate as a child that I never had to deal with the death of anyone close to me. Death was a fantasy thing that we imagined but it was not a real part of our intimate lives. I'm sure it is helpful to have programs available to help children cope with these tragedies.

Lee
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Paula Slade said...

Indeed it is arlee. Sesame Workshop has so many fine initiatives that assist parents and children.

MichellSommerville0202 said...

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Paula Slade said...

Michell - You are very welcome! Thank you for your kind wishes!