June 18, 2013 9:50am PT by THR Staff
'Sesame Street' Tackles Topic of Imprisoned Parents (Video)
Sesame Street is tackling an issue not typically addressed in children's programming: how a parent's incarceration can affect a child, and how to help that child cope with a sad situation that often comes with stigma attached.
On Saturday, The Sesame Workshop visited the New York City correctional facility Rikers Island, where popular Sesame characters performed for inmates and their kids as part of an outreach initiative called Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration. A half-hour documentary blends scenes showing a new character, Alex, who's father is in prison, with footage of real families affected by incarceration.
According to Sesame Workshop, some 2.7 million children in the U.S. have a parent in jail. Although the Little Children, Big Challenges doc won't air on Sesame, it will be distributed this week to prisons, schools and therapists' offices, CBS News reports.
Here's a clip of the Workshop's trip to Rikers:
And here's more from new Muppet, Alex: