Sesame Street never shies away from tackling issues affecting our society, especially when it comes to children. In an effort to teach children about incarceration, Sesame Street decided to design and release an educational kit titled “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.” The kit is designed to act as “an educational outreach initiative for families with children (ages 3 – 8) who are coping with a parent’s incarceration.”
The kit includes several multimedia options, including pamphlets:
Here are some of the kit’s tips for parents and/or caretakers who are not in prison:
- Let your child know what to expect during everyday activities. Tell her who will take her to school and who will pick her up.
- Provide your child with a comfort item to keep during the day, such as a paper heart or family photo.
- Ask your child questions to help her open up. You might notice a negative behavior and say, “Did something happen today that made you feel sad?”
- Phone calls are a great way to keep in touch. Help your child think of things to tell her parent. Give her a picture of the parent to hold during the call.
- Use pen and paper to write letters. If your child can’t yet write, ask her to tell you what to write; she can draw pictures to go with the words.
- Televisiting can be helpful for some children. Sharing an everyday routine such as storytime during your televisit is a great way to be together.
The kit also includes a video episode about a young muppet named Alex whose dad is in jail. Check out the entire kit here.
What do you think about the kit?