Julia’s New Sesame Street Muppet Family Debuts as Part of Autism Initiative

Promo_Video_ILoveMyFamilySong-960x0-c-default

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Sesame Workshop launched new videos and materials featuring the family of Julia, a 4-year-old Sesame Street Muppet with autism, as part of its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Childreninitiative. New resources, freely available in English and Spanish on sesamestreet.org/autism, bring to life Julia’s parents, big brother, and companion dog, and focus on what all families share in common while providing tools to help overcome everyday challenges.

Additionally, on April 8, HBO and PBS KIDS will premier a Julia-focused Sesame Street episode in which Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Alan help Julia feel less scared about getting a hair cut – a piece created in response to a need families have expressed for materials tackling common experiences and challenges that families like Julia’s face.

Official Press Release:

Julia’s New Sesame Street Muppet Family Debuts as Part of Autism Initiative

Special Episode to Air on HBO and PBS KIDS—New Bilingual Resources Celebrating Families, Addressing Topics like Bullying Also Launched

New York, NY — (April 1, 2019) In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Sesame Workshop launched new videos and materials featuring the family of Julia, a 4-year-old Sesame Street Muppet with autism, as part of its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. New resources, freely available in English and Spanish on sesamestreet.org/autism,bring to life Julia’s parents, big brother, and companion dog, and focus on what all families share in common while providing tools to help overcome everyday challenges. Just as all children depend on their families for support, so, too, do children with autism—which affects 1 in 59 American children today. Additional resources focused on bullying, which disproportionately affects children with autism, feature Julia as an upstander in a bullying situation, promoting kindness and empathy.

Complementing the new resources, HBO and PBS KIDS will premiere a Julia-focused Sesame Street episode on April 8. In it, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Alan help Julia feel less scared about getting a haircut by playing ‘hair salon’ and pretending to be hair stylists. The segment was created in response to a need families have expressed for materials tackling common experiences like haircuts that can pose challenges for children with autism. Additionally, on April 6, Barnes & Noble will hold storytime events in over 630 locations nationwide, featuring the Family Forever hardcover storybook just released by Random House Children’s Books.

The resources released today include:

  • Original videos starring Julia and her family, including: The “I Love My Family” songin which Julia’s mother, Elena, father, Daniel, and big brother, Samuel, join Julia and their dog, Rose, to sing a song celebrating family; “Julia’s Family Gets Ready,” in which Julia’s family gets ready to attend open mic night at Hooper’s Store, and Julia steps in to save the day; and “Starfish Hug,” in which Julia and Samuel teach Abby Cadabby a new kind of hug to help her through a tough day. The new videos bring to life Julia’s family, who was introduced last year in the Family Forever storybook.

  • “Circle of Friends” Storybook: On the first day of summer camp, Julia stands up for another camper with autism who is being bullied, and the two become friends. Children with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than their neurotypical peers; Circle of Friendsaims to prevent bullying by fostering empathy and compassion. This free storybook, available on major ebook platforms including school and library distributors, was funded with the support of over 1,000 backers in aKickstarter campaign. Paperback copies will be distributed to autism partner organizations and community providers.

  • “Playground Pals” digital interactive:Julia and her brother Samuel head to the playground for an afternoon of fun together. By helping children they encounter along the way, they learn about kindness and empathy.

  • Articles and activities for families and service providers: New articles include tips on creating family traditions and their importance in helping children cope with challenges, strategies to help children cope with bullying, and information on how animals like Julia’s dog can enrich a child’s life and help reduce stress.

“We’re thrilled to expand Julia’s world with her parents, big brother, and her adorable dog, Rose, in our new resources” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop. “Children with autism often face unique challenges, as do their parents and siblings. But every family faces challenges of some sort, which is why we are focusing on what all families have in common. In a family, everyone has different roles, challenges, and strengths, and everyone can learn from one another.”

Created in 2015, the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative aims to increase public awareness of autism, foster greater empathy and understanding, and support families with free resources to help them navigate everyday moments and challenges. The initiative was developed in consultation with over 250 organizations and experts within the autism community. Since its launch, the Emmy award-winning initiative has generated more than 3.1 million page views across nearly 800,000 users, and hundreds of thousands of storybooks have been used by educators, service providers, and families.

In addition to the new resources, Sesame Workshop is continuing efforts across the United States and worldwide to expand the initiative. Building onSesame Place and Beaches Resorts achieving distinction as Certified Autism Centers (CAC) last year, SeaWorld Orlando was recently designated as a CAC, completing staff-wide autism awareness training and adding quiet spaces for children and families. In addition, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will now feature meet and greets with a Julia walkaround character, adding to the growing list of themed entertainment partners featuring Julia. In Japan, where Julia is the face of a diversity and inclusion curriculum taught in Japanese public schools, Sesame Workshop will participate in the World Autism Awareness Day Symposium and join the Tokyo Tower lighting ceremony.

The Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative is made possible by generous philanthropic support from American Greetings and Kristen Rohr, and is part of Sesame Workshop’s mission to help all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.

Advertisements

Hopster celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

Hopster celebrates World Autism Awareness Day with special themed area encouraging diversity!

 

For World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, the preschool learning and entertainment app Hopster is launching a special themed area that will encourage children to understand that we are all different and to celebrate diversity. Hopster is bringing together a compilation of shows, games and books all selected to nurture kids’ tolerance, respect and understanding.

London, UK, March 29, 2018- Hopster, the preschool learning and entertainment app, is bringing together a compilation of shows, games and books all selected to nurture kids’ tolerance, respect and understanding.

Launching on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd, the special themed area will encourage children to understand that we are all different and to celebrate diversity. The content featured in the area will be aimed at all kids and will include newly added Sesame Street books featuring Julia, the first Sesame Street Muppet with autism. These digital storybooks will help kids discover similarities while respecting each other’s differences.

Also in the “Diversity” area, preschoolers can meet the eponymous title character from Punky, a little girl with Down syndrome. Hopster fans will be further entertained by Bino & Fino, a Nigerian show about African culture, and the Adventures of Zee, a fun show that introduces kids to Arab culture and language while exploring universal themes such as teamwork and tolerance.

As well as watching the videos, kids will be encouraged to try Hopster’s digital sensory playroom,Sense, a set of mini-games designed to soothe and comfort those with autism and sensory processing disorders.

“At Hopster, inclusivity is at the forefront of everything we do, whether it’s hiring new team members for the office or selecting shows for our tiny audience” says Miki Chojnacka, Chief Creative and Content Officer at Hopster. “We are a diverse team with mixed backgrounds and over 15 languages spoken, which help us fill in skills gaps and learn something new from each other every day.”

“We’re embracing all people irrespective of race, gender, disability, medical or other need and similarly, when it comes to our programming we’d like to encourage children to understand that each individual is unique, and that diversity is great.”

The “Diversity” area will be launching on April 2nd and will be found on Hopster’s home screen over April. The Hopster app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play and is also available on selected smart TVs. Selected episodes will be available for all users free of charge and for a monthly fee of $6.99 subscribers

will get access to Hopster’s entire library of shows, songs, books and games.

About Hopster​ – www.hopster.tv

Hopster is a beautifully designed app for the under-sixes, aiming to strike the perfect balance between learning and fun. For one low monthly subscription with no tie-ins, Hopster subscribers get access to one of the largest selections of kid’s TV shows in the UK with stimulating games, nursery rhymes, music and books.

 

Over a million parents worldwide have now used the award- winning, safe, and ad-free app to keep their kids entertained and stimulated. Since launching in 2013, Hopster has topped the App Store charts in over 36 countries and was named Best Streaming Video Platform for preschoolers by Kidscreen in 2018.

 

Hopster can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play and can be found on selected smart TVs such as Apple TV, EE TV, Freesat and Roku.