nancyThere are big changes on the Street . . . Sesame Street that is, and the changes are all good. I am definitely a big fan of this educational program and believe that Sesame Street was one of the reasons my little ones began reading and writing at an early age and enjoy reading today.

It all started when my first child needed some entertainment so I could get some work done around the house. In addition to Sesame Street, Danny watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Electric Company and Villa Alegre several times a day. These shows had no toy or junky cereal commercials which eliminated the “Mommy, I want that” syndrome when we went grocery shopping. On the up side, he was, exposed to an early education of numbers, letters, Spanish, little life lessons and many other things that I considered important for that age group. FYI- Danny started watching Sesame Street at a year old.

Tami, my second baby, started watching Sesame Street at a month old.  I saw the advantages of children watching educational TV and wouldn’t let them watch cartoons or other programs with no value. We had our small remote-less (that means no remote control) TV on a shelf that was not reachable by the kids, so the station was set to PBS.

We definitely were Sesame fans. We had Sesame green fuzzy Oscar the Grouch sleepers, Big Bird placemats (still have these, would you believe?), and Big Bird plush toys. I found out that Sesame Street was filmed in Harlem, New York City, and so, of course, I got tickets to attend a live rehearsal with Danny. Tami was only 2 at the time and a too little young to sit still and not talk. What great memories I have of that experience.

Of course, a parent cannot rely on TV to educate a preschooler. As parents, we have the power to boost our children’s learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education.

Due to budgets, Sesame Street will now have their new, ½ hour long shows on HBO for 9 months and will continue to air the old shows on PBS. I give Sesame Street a big thumbs up for educating the last 4+ generations and hope future parents see the need to start educating their babies at an early age.

Here’s a little Sesame Street Trivia:  Sesame Street’s founder was Joan Ganz, a native of Phoenix, Az.  She attend North High School and graduated from the University of Arizona.