Sesame Street's "Coming Home: Military Families Cope With Change"
Sesame Street Screening Preview Image has a special preview of a new Sesame Street primetime special, Coming Home: Military Families Cope With Change.

The special was created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, in association with David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated, and Lookalike Productions. It premiered on PBS April 1 at 8pm ET/PT. The entire video is now available for viewing online at

Featuring Queen Latifah, John Mayer, and Elmo, this half-hour HD program tells stories of service members who return home with injuries, visible and invisible, and explores the heroic struggles their families face in discovering a new way of finding a "new normal." The special, which premieres in conjunction with April as the "Month of the Military Child," salutes the extraordinary courage and strength of these military families and offers the general public a powerful glimpse into what they often must endure.

"When we think of the sacrifices our service members make for our country, we should remember that their families — especially their children — make sacrifices as well," said Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn, III. "Sesame Workshop continues to find unique and creative ways to reach out to the very youngest in our military families. There are few characters more beloved than the Sesame Street friends, and through Elmo and Rosita, military kids can better grasp how to reconnect with their loved ones after deployment."

"This poignant television special will help the children of military families, who have welcomed injured parents home," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "It will also assist their neighbors to appreciate, maybe even understand, what military families may be going through, — so that they can reach out, lend a hand, or simply listen to and empathize with our heroes and their families."

"The men and women of our military have made indescribable sacrifices," said David Letterman. "The very least we can do is tell their stories, and to honor the bravery and strength of both the soldiers and their families."

Sesame Workshop has spent the past two years creating outreach materials to help military families with young children cope with deployments, homecomings, and changes. In 2007, the Workshop produced a PBS primetime special, When Parents are Deployed, with Cuba Gooding, Jr., which was honored with an Emmy nomination.

The Talk, Listen, Connect Initiative provides support and offers significant resources for military families with young children experiencing the effects of deployments, multiple deployments, or when a parent returns home changed due to a combat-related injury. The materials consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach kit with DVDs for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street, and print materials for children, parents and caregivers, and facilitators. Sesame Workshop has produced more than 1.3 million kits which are being distributed, at no cost, to individual families, schools, child care programs, family support programs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, and other organizations serving the needs of military families. The Talk, Listen, Connect materials are also available online at so that families everywhere can view the videos and download the information. Families can also find information about the program on

Posted on BrainLine March 25, 2009.