AMES, Iowa — The 2006 winter holidays will find more than 700,000 children of military families under age five separated from their mother or father. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, offers a program and DVD to address the challenges military families face with deployment.
A half-hour television special, “When Parents are Deployed,” will be hosted by Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., and premiere Wed., Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. CT on PBS (check local listings).
The program shows interviews with military families affected by deployment. Family members describe how they cope with the constant stress and fear associated with having a parent depart for military duty and how families deal with their return.
In addition, Chris Gleason, Iowa State University Extension 4-H coordinator for Operation: Military Kids, suggested that military families take advantage of a free Sesame Street DVD, “Talk, Listen, Connect.”
The DVD offers support to military families with deployed service members and features Sesame Street characters, Elmo and his father, in a bilingual (English/Spanish) educational video. Kits including the DVD are available free at http://www.militaryonesource.com/skins/MOS/home.aspx. The video may be downloaded free from http://www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc/.
“When Parents Are Deployed” was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and portions of the special were contributed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The DVD was produced in partnership with Wal-Mart.