Sesame Street Educates After Hurricane Sandy

Almost a week and a half ago Hurricane Sandy headed up the east coast and took a sharp left into New Jersey and New York. The super-storm took lives, destroyed homes, tossed aside boardwalks, swallowed up piers, and left millions without power. And to make matters worse, most of the region received snow last night.

My family has been lucky – our house made it through the storm unscathed and we were only in the dark for 32 hours, which means I’ve spent countless hours watching the news taking in the full scope of chaos left in Sandy’s wake. And even though I don’t live on the barrier island, I only have to walk around my neighborhood to see trees down, cars crushed, and houses flooded.Sesame Street Hurricane

It’s equally overwhelming and unbelievable, so I can only imagine how kids are coping. The barrage of images, lasting power outages, and real-life in-front-of-your-face destruction is a constant reminder of how much has changed. So when I came across an article about an upcoming Sesame Street Hurricane episode I couldn’t help but feel a little bit better to know that someone was going to take the time to present this information to kids too.

The iconic children’s series has tackled a number of tough issues before including death, ethics, and relationships. In fact, this natural disaster-themed episode was originally a 5-part series that aired in 2001. It was repeated following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and now it will air, in an edited form, tomorrow Friday Nov. 9th. The condensed version will focus less on storm-preparedness and more on the after effects of the storm including recovery and loss.

In the episode, Big Bird’s nest is destroyed along with much of Sesame Street. While they try to repair the nest, its ultimately deemed uninhabitable by a city inspector. The scenario is surely something many can sympathize with as officials continue to condemn houses and many still struggle to get over to the barrier island and beach front to see what, if anything, still remains.

I like to think of this episode as a gesture of support from the fine folks over at PBS and Sesame Street – for kids of all ages. I’d also like to use it as a reminder that not all of TV is bad. At times it can teach, provide understanding, and offer comfort. After all, the most sound advice usually comes from trusted friends.

As long-time Sesame Street resident Gordon explains, ‘You’re right, Big Bird, it’s not all right … but it will be all right.’

Wise words for us all.


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