Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Way Back Wednesday: Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

By Annmarie Dean

Sesame Street premiered on WNED-TV in November 1969.  While I am a child of the 90s, there are certain lessons I learned while watching Sesame Street that I carry with myself everyday.  For example, I remember an animated short in which a young boy steps up to the bathroom sink to brush his teeth.  The screen is split between our young boy and a fish in a pond, which is obviously where the water to brush the boy’s teeth with is coming from.  As Carl allows the faucet to just run and run, the water in the pond, where our anthropomorphized fishy friend lives, is depleting and fast! Frank the Fish grabs his phone, calls Carl asking him to please stop wasting water and to turn the faucet off.  To this day, I think back to this short when brushing my teeth and I am cognizant of water conservation. 


This revolutionary educational series is an hour-long program dedicated to preparing preschool children for their formal education.  The show touches on various subjects like the alphabet, numbers, shapes, problem solving and ethics.  The combination of Jim Henson’s Muppets, animated shorts, humor and celebrity appearances help to entertain while educating its viewers.

Within its first year of broadcast, the show won 20 awards including two Peabody awards and three Emmy awards.  A large contributor to the shows success was the collaboration between the producers, writers and researchers.  All helped to measure the effectiveness of the program and sustain the goals that it hoped to achieve.  Sesame Street can still be viewed on WNED-TV, Monday through Friday at 10 a.m.

Below is a clip of Bob and Linda (circa 1970s) using song to teach viewers three words in American Sign Language

Sesame Street: Hat, Coat, and Pants

Do you have any fond memories of Sesame Street or did it teach you something that you still carry into adulthood?  Feel free to comment below!

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