Big Bird, Elmo, Abby and the rest of the Sesame Street gang will address the issue of bullying in a special episode, "The Good Birds Club," airing locally on at 10 a.m. Oct. 17 on WVPBS and WQED PBS stations.
Bullying has been identified as a major concern by schools across the country with 56 percent of students having personally witnessed some type of bullying in school, according to statistics provided on www.stopbullying.gov.
Sesame Street's anti-bullying episode hopes to educate young viewers about bullying and encourage preventative actions to combat aggressive behavior.
This image is from the new episode of 'Sesame Street' titled 'Good Birds Club.'
The episode is part of a larger Sesame Street anti-bullying campaign including:
- Two new additional episodes addressing other bullying-related social-emotional issues.
- A parenting topics page at www.sesamestreet.org/bullying providing caregivers with videos, anti-bullying tips and "view and do" activities for children designed to promote healthy friendships as well as respect and understanding of each other's differences.
- A special five-part video series, "Happy To Be Me: An Anti-Bullying Discussion," with experts in the fields of child psychology, advocacy, education and health, delivering important messages for parents and children.
- The full street story of "The Good Birds Club" will be available online for parents to watch with their children.
In "The Good Birds Club," when Big Bird gets bullied by another bird in the neighborhood, Elmo and Abby help children understand the difference between reporting (when someone is in trouble and needs help) and tattling (getting someone in trouble when no one is hurt). Additionally, the episode encourages children to seek the help of an adult they trust when faced with challenging situations and provides safe strategies for empowering young children to help their peers in need.
In companion episodes "The Big Bad Wolf Huffs and Puffs Slimey" and "Baby Bear's Baby Doll," which will air at 10 a.m. on Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 respectively, a variety of issues associated with bullying are addressed. The additional episodes not only encourage young children to be proud about who they are, accepting of others and to build healthy relationships with kind words, but also help children build empathy by learning to understand the perspective of others, especially when another peer is being hurt or bullied.
"It is important to start early with bullying prevention and Sesame Workshop is taking a proactive approach," said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, vice president of education and research for Sesame Workshop. "As the first preschool show addressing this issue, Sesame Street hopes to foster mutual respect and self-esteem in young children and encourage the development of key pro-social skills in order to reduce aggressive behavior and prevent bullying."
As part of the campaign, Sesame Workshop created a five-part video series, "Happy To Be Me: An Anti-Bullying Discussion," to address bullying and the steps parents, educators and children can take to prevent and stop the behavior in preschoolers. Available on Sesame Street's website and hosted by Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop, the panelists are:
- Dr. Catherine P. Bradshaw, PhD, deputy director, Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence
- Trudy Ludwig, children's advocate and author of "My Secret Bully" and "Confessions of a Former Bully"
- Dr. Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH, senior vice president, Child Health Advocacy Institute, Children's National Medical Center
- Mia Doces, curriculum developer, Committee for Children
- Dr. Jamie Ostrov, PhD, associate professor of psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York