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International Sesame Workshop Around the World Sesame Workshop Who We Are A non-profit educational organization making a meaningful difference in the lives of children worldwide by addressing their critical developmental needs. What We Do

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sesame workshop
Sesame Workshop

Who We Are

A non-profit educational organization making a meaningful difference in the lives of children worldwide by addressing their critical developmental needs.

What We Do

We create innovative, engaging contentthat maximizes the educational powerof media to help all children reachtheir highest potential.

Why We Do It

We are committed to the principle that allchildren deserve a chance to learn and grow. To be prepared for school. To better understand the world and each other. To think, dream, and discover.


the importance of early childhood development
The Importance of Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Development is recognized by the world development community as a critical area of social investment.

A recent World Bank report states that:

International evidence has demonstrated that adequate provision of early childhood education enhances performance at the basic education level and has high benefit-to-cost ratios.



UNDP’s Millennium Development Goals, UNESCO’s Education for All, the World Bank, and other development agencies, underscore the following among critical global development targets:
  • Ensure that children everywhere complete a full course of primary schooling.
  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.
  • Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communications technologies.

Sesame Workshop is helping to achieve these goals with its whole child curriculum focused on basic education, literacy, girls’ education, health practices, HIV/AIDS awareness and respect and understanding.


sesame workshop6
Sesame Workshop
  • 35 years ago, Sesame Street pioneered the use of TV to help children prepare for school by delivering literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional lessons
  • Today, the Workshop is much more than Sesame Street
    • Multiple Content Platforms
      • Book Publishing
      • Magazines
      • Interactive Gaming Platforms (PS-2, Xbox, Gameboy Advance)
      • Online
      • Radio
      • Home Video
      • Theme Parks
      • Live Shows
      • Motion Pictures
      • Basic Educational Research


the sesame workshop model




The Sesame Workshop Model

Sesame Workshop products are designed to be both educational and entertaining

  • An innovative method of applying and integrating expertise in production, in educational content, and in research with children
  • Effective for more than 30 years with evident benefits for childrenaround the world


helping children around the world prepare for school
Helping Children around the World Prepare for School
  • Sesame Street’s educational impact and popularity inspired international broadcasters to extend the learning around the world.
    • Mexico: 1972
    • Canada: 1973
    • Germany: 1973
    • The Netherlands: 1976
    • France: 1976


addressing needs of children worldwide
Addressing Needs of Children Worldwide
  • Today Sesame Street is broadcast in 120 countries through dubbed versions or local productions.
  • 20 local co-productions have reached Asia, Africa, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
  • Several have been funded by USAID. The Dutch, and Canadian Government and the European Union support the Israeli/Jordanian/Palestinian project.
  • Children in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea learn English while watching Sesame English.
  • Public/private partnerships contribute to project sustainability.
  • Content for older children on math, science, conflict resolution, and literacy.

1 Source: Nielsen Media Research, PBS PP, K2-5 AA%. Sesame Street versus all M-F PBS KIDS preschool programs which aired full season September 2000 - August 2001 and September 2001- August 2002.


sesame street international the co production model
Sesame Street International The Co-Production Model
  • Collaborate with local experts in child development
  • Unique model which results in culturally and socially-relevant content, developed with local research and production teams
    • Local sets
    • Local Muppets
    • Country-specific education
    • Local language(s)
    • Multiple media as available: TV, radio, outreach, online, etc.


sesame street co productions tailored curricular themes
Sesame Street Co-ProductionsTailored Curricular Themes
  • Takalani Sesame - South AfricaSouth African culture and diversity; HIV-AIDS awareness and destigmatization
  • Alam Simsim - EgyptGirls’ education, health and hygiene
  • Sesamstraat - The NetherlandsSocio-emotional development
  • Plaza Sesamo - MexicoLiteracy, diversity, gender equity
  • Zhima Jie - ChinaAesthetics and the arts; environmental awareness


bringing the world to american children
Bringing the World to American Children
  • “Global Grover” - introduces American children to world cultures with segments from locations like Mongolia, Trinidad, Russia. Eventually “Global Grover” will reach children in every country where Sesame Street is seen.
  • Seen on PBS stations and in nearly 6 million households1
  • Sesame Neighborhood celebrates international cultures that have a home in the U.S.
    • New television series focused on local communities
    • Launches in Detroit's Arab-American community
    • New projects will reach Polish- and Chinese-Americans

1 Source: Nielsen Media Research, PBS PP, HH cume(000), Sept. 01 - Aug. 02


international content for school age children
International Content for School-Age Children
  • Out There: co-production with Noggin, Children’s BBC and ABC TV in Australia for 9-14-year-olds
    • Addresses obstacles of adolescence through adventures of American and British teens in Australia
    • Promotes respect for feelings, perspectives, and differences of others
  • Conflict resolution: series for “tweens”
    • Nashe Maalo -- Macedonia: presents messages of respect and understanding to ethnic Albanian, Macedonian, Roma (Gypsy), Turkish pre-teen youths
    • Gimme 6 -- Cyprus: for children in Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, aired 2002


international content for school age children14
International Content for School-Age Children
  • Math and Science
    • Square One (math) & 3-2-1 Contact (science) each broadcast in over 30 countries
    • Square One co-production in the UK
    • Risky Numbers: math game show co-produced in Poland, Israel, India, and China
    • I Love Science -- science co-production in China
  • Online
    • Passport Kids - web site for kids 10-12 with translation software facilitates cross-cultural understanding


  • East Asia:
    • Japan: Sesame Street on air over 30 years
    • China: Zhima Jie debuted in 1998
    • Sesame English: production with Berlitz teaches English, seen in China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea
  • Central Asia -- Afghanistan:
    • Koche Konyid -- TV and outreach with locally-appropriate Sesame Street content in Dari language
    • Focus on basic skills including literacy and numeracy, gender equity, and world cultural awareness


  • Western Europe:
    • Long-running co-productions in The Netherlands (27 years), Germany (30 years), and Spain (7 years)
    • Previous co-productions in France, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, and Turkey
    • Elmo’s World anchors Channel 5 preschool in the UK
    • Two new shows in Italy: Sesame English and Elmo’s World
  • Eastern Europe:
    • Ulitsa Sezam-- Russia: 3rd season emphasis on human diversity, the child, the surrounding world, and society
    • Ulica Sezamkowa -- Poland: 1996; 2 seasons


latin america
Latin America
  • Mexico: Plaza Sésamo - introduced in 1972
    • Reaches 19.8 million homes in Mexico; region through terrestrial broadcasters and Discovery Kids; U.S. on Univision
  • Ecuador: Earthquake safety and preparedness, 1992
    • USAID-funded campaign for grades 3-6 and families
    • National radio and TV, outreach materials and workshops
  • Brazil: Vila Sesamo launched in 1972; 2 seasons
    • New co-production begins in 2004 with UNICEF support


middle east
Middle East
  • Alam Simsim -- Egypt - 4th season airing in 2004
    • Focuses on basic skills, girls’ education, social relations, health and hygiene, and nutrition
    • Includes internet, books, and outreach components
    • Seen daily on MBC – Arabic satellite broadcast
  • Sesame Stories -- Israel, Palestine, Jordan
    • Highlights children’s literature from the region
    • Presents stories with themes of self esteem, acceptance, and appreciating similarities and differences
    • Supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Government, the European Union and private foundations


middle east continued
Middle East (continued)
  • Iftah Ya Simsim--Kuwait: 1979, produced 3 seasons
    • Introduced preschool children to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)
    • Broadcast in Kuwait and 16 countries in the Arab world
  • Al Manaahil -- Jordan: 1986
    • MSA language arts & reading for grades 1-4 and adults
    • By 1988 on air in eleven Arab countries
  • Rechov Sumsum/Shara’a Simsim - Israel/Palestine
    • Sesame Street co-production premiered in April 1998
    • Curriculum focuses on respect & understanding; humanizing children from the other culture


sub saharan africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Takalani Sesame -- South Africa
    • Kami, a Muppet who is HIV-positive, introduced in 2002 to address stigmatization of people affected by HIV/AIDS
    • Series also addresses culture, diversity, life skills through TV, radio and outreach
  • Rua Sésamo -- African broadcast
    • Live-action segments filmed in Portuguese-speaking African countries
    • Aired in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde, and Sao Tomé


some sesame alliances


American Library Association

Anti Defamation League



Some Sesame Alliances

European Union


Johns Hopkins University

Prudential Foundation


going forward worldwide
Going Forward Worldwide
  • South Asia:
    • India: major new Sesame Street co-production in advanced stage of development
    • Bangladesh:
      • Full-scale co-production funded by USAID
      • Focus on basic skills


going forward worldwide23
Going Forward Worldwide
  • China:
    • Planetarium project in China: show and outreach
      • Collaboration with the Beijing Planetarium and Adler Planetarium in Chicago
      • Focuses on astronomy and cultural exchange
    • Looking to relaunch Zhima Jie on new CCTV Children’s Channel reaching 100 million preschoolers


going forward worldwide24
Going Forward Worldwide
  • Kosovo:
    • “Greenlighted” partnership with UNICEF/UNDP to produce local version of Sesame Street for Albanian and Serb populations
    • Series would include locally-produced live-action segments that foster respect and understanding
    • If successful, project may serve as a model for other country-level or regional-level Balkan co-productions


  • Japan:
    • Production and broadcast in October 2004 of first ever Japanese version of Sesame Street focusing on diversity and environment
  • Korea
    • Building broadband platform for Sesame using high tech interactive platforms


  • Northern Ireland:
    • Building Sesame model for respect and understanding curriculum crossing sectarian divide