Sesame Workshop has announced a new project to address the growing number of children in the US without homes. Centering around Lily, a seven-year-old Muppet living with friends on Sesame Street after her family loses their home, the initiative will include videos, storybooks and interactive activities for families with children ages two to six.
Materials, which are free and provided in both English and Spanish, will also include resources for professionals such as teachers, social workers and healthcare providers as part of the Sesame Street in Communities program. Lily was first introduced to Sesame Street audiences in 2011, when her family was struggling with hunger. Her new platform will address the physical and emotional distress that can accompany homelessness, with a focus on encouraging optimism, promoting understanding and modeling coping strategies for kids.
The number of children who do not have a permanent place to live continues to rise. In fact, more than 2.5 million kids in the US are experiencing homelessness, and nearly half of them are under the age of six.
Last year, Sesame Workshop introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism, as part of its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. The nonprofit educational organization also recently partnered with Procter & Gamble on a public advocacy campaign to address the gender stereotypes preventing girls from accessing education.