Elmo thinks there are some things going on he can help with. Elmo is good at helping, especially when it comes to his favorite place, Sesame Street, and the station it has called home, PBS. After some thought, there are more than a few things Elmo would like to say to Donald Trump, especially since Elmo just learned President Donald Trump wants to end all federal funding for public broadcasting, which could be the demise for newscasts, educational programs for children, important historical documentaries, and emergency alerts. This makes Elmo sad. So, with the hope that President Trump, and Congress, might re-think the possible ruin of universal access to a necessary and diverse public media system, Elmo has some words he'd like to share.
But first, Elmo wants to remind everybody why Sesame Street is important in the development of children. Elmo loves children. For almost 50 years, Sesame Street (however imperfect on its road to the present) has been Elmo's home, and the home to so many wonderful friends. It has helped bridge educational gaps with lessons kids enjoy, despite the devastating affects of the recession and the fierce competition brought by the likes of competing channels like Nickelodeon and Disney. Elmo knows Mr. President or Congress might not be concerned with studies that show Sesame Street increases test scores or aids in school readiness — especially in economically challenged areas — or that it's an affordable, culturally diverse, and inclusive application that can benefit literally everyone.
Whew. Elmo is tired and he doesn't think the next four years will be any different or any less exhausting, unfortunately. Luckily, there are other possibilities to save money, like maybe offering Mrs. Trump a room in the White House or maybe the president deciding to take fewer trips to Mar-a-Lago. Then our government won't have to cut important programs when there are so many people who need and rely on them from both consumer and local employee standpoints.
So, Mr. President Trump, while Elmo knows there are a lot of people who want to see you succeed at governing our country, here are some things Elmo wants you to work on if you're going to unify our great nation (and don't get Elmo started on de-funding the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities because Elmo loves Hamilton and many National Book Award recipients).
'Sesame Street' Has Long-Term Educational Benefits For Young Children
Elmo realizes being president must be really hard. It's probably the hardest job in the entire world. Another hard job is held by all the amazing educators in our country. To aid in their efforts, Elmo thinks this study by a Wellesley College economist proves the long-term effects of watching Sesame Street. The kids who watched seemingly had better educational outcomes than those who didn't. While not to discount the use of Head Start programs (because they're just as impactful), Sesame Street's influence — particularly those is disadvantaged neighborhoods — is a big one for long-term success.
Kids Learn As Much From 'Sesame Street' As They Do From Preschool
Kids who watch and engage with Sesame Street have been found to benefit profoundly, maintaining grade level readiness. The combination of aggressive research on what works and intense focus-groups have found entertainment and "human narrative" are the formula preschoolers respond to. Elmo thinks it's all in the way they tell a story and in a way kids understand and get excited about.
'Sesame Street' Models Inclusivity And Diversity
One of Elmo's favorite parts of Sesame Street is the cultural diversity. Some of Elmo's friends include a Spanish-speaking puppet and Julia — a muppet with autism — among a wide range of inclusive, ethnically diverse characters and people. Elmo wishes we could all live together the way we do on Sesame Street, because it's a place where everyone belongs.
'Sesame Street' Increases School Readiness...
Elmo knows some boys and girls who aren't ready for school. After all, it's a big thing to prepare for when you've never been! This is why Sesame Street is so important. Learning is a lifelong adventure and, with Sesame Street, studies show the boys and girls who watch remember what they've seen and they're able to implement those lessons to keep up with their grades. As a result, they're less likely to fall behind. Hooray!
...And A Study Shows 'Sesame Street' Helps Kids Do Better In School
For the boys and girls who are already in school, Sesame Street has been shown to keep them on the right path as opposed to their peers who don't watch. Elmo knows there are skeptics out there (because we've been taught too much TV isn't a good thing), but the show isn't a replacement. Instead, it's a supplement to what the children are already doing, or to prepare for what's to come. Elmo says, let them watch more TV when it's educational.
Kids Educational Programs Benefit The Free Market
Money and finances are confusing to some boys and girls, so Elmo will make it simple: Sesame Street and its wide-range appeal could get more (and new) people to want to watch, therefore more money is coming in which then aids in the expansion of the franchise programming. It's all one financially beneficial cycle, really. If there's public demand for something (like more Elmo!) the market will react. Now that Sesame Street will appear on HBO through their streaming service, the market has apparently spoken.
Poor Children And Their Families Benefit From 'Sesame Street'
Elmo has lots of friends. All kinds of friends, actually. Some of them aren't as privileged as others and Sesame Street plays a big role in their lives and education. In order for these boys and girls to succeed in school alongside their friends, academic programs like Sesame Street are important in achieving long-term benefits.
PBS Provides A Wide Variety Of Educational Programing For Kids
Hey, Mr. President! Did you know there are some really great programs on PBS that aren't Sesame Street? Shows like The Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Sid the Science Kid, SUPER WHY, Wild Kratts, Thomas & Friends, and Arthur are also great ways for kids to learn about pretty much everything. Even though Elmo is partial to Sesame Street, he's just as big of a fan to all of these too.
'Sesame Street' Improves And Promotes Early Literacy In Children
One last thing, Mr. President. Did you know there's a huge gap in literacy rates between high income and low income families? According to my friends at Sesame Street, a child who comes from a high-income family is exposed to 35 million more words than a boy or girl of the same age from a low-income family. That's a big difference. Sadly, the same opportunities don't exist for all income levels. This makes Elmo sad. This is why Sesame Street aims to bridge the gap for the under-privileged so they're given the same educational opportunities, especially when it comes to reading. Don't you want to give them the same chances to succeed, Mr. President?
Come to think of it, you might benefit from watching and learning how we do things back at Elmo's home, Sesame Street, where we teach all boys and girls how to spell ('unpresidented' was not a word until now), count (the inaugural crowd wasn't record-setting), and colors (and how race relations impacted the election as the majority of people of color strongly voted against Donald Trump). See? Sesame Street can benefit everyone. Even you, Mr. President!
This post was brought to you by the letter C and the number 45.