Nearly 2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent, yet few resources exist to help the youngest of these children. To meet this need, Sesame Street is launching its "Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration" Initiative, which will include multimedia, bilingual (English/Spanish) materials targeting young children (ages 3-8) of incarcerated parents, their families and caregivers, and the range of other professionals who come into contact with these children.
Sesame Workshop is working closely with advisors and partners in the pilot states to distribute and integrate "Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration" resources into correctional facilities and organizations that specialize in early childhood education, mental health and counseling, parenting programs, foster care, and organizations that have missions specific to helping families cope with the incarceration of a loved one. Florida is one of 10 states selected to participate in this initiative.
During the 2013 Florida Sheriffs Association's Summer Conference, the sheriffs agreed to assist Sesame Street with their efforts. The partnership between the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) and Sesame Street Workshop is a collaboration that will allow these resource kits to be distributed throughout the state of Florida for incarcerated family members, children, caregivers and loved ones. The resource kit includes videos, books and features a new character whose parent is incarcerated. By supporting this initiative sheriffs will reach out to children of incarcerated parents when they visit the local jail.
How jails can join the Sesame Street Initiative:
For more information on "Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Initiative," you may visit www.flsheriffs.org/FSA_SesameStreet.