You hear a lot of people say that television is bad for children. This might be true as far as shows like The Family Guy, but I would have to argue that it isn’t true in a lot of situations. The main show that I will always recommend to new parents I know, is Sesame Street. This is an amazing children’s program. It fosters the imagination while at the same time teaching children the fundamentals which they will need throughout their school years and the rest of their lives.
Sesame Street premiered in 1969. It is and has always been a show diverse in population. There are people from various ethnic groups and ages. The show also has a variety of Muppets which range from people to monsters to animals. Sesame Street teaches children letters and sounds, it teaches them how to count and it teaches life skills such as sharing or coping. Sesame Street fosters children’s imaginations in a variety of ways. The most apparent is that there are friendly monsters and talking animals on the show. In my opinion this shows children that it is okay for them to pretend. Sesame Street has succeeded in making learning fun. How could counting be more fun than by doing it with a vampire, and finishing it off with an “Ahhh, ahhh, ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!” I don’t think it could. To teach kids about different cultures and areas of the world, what did they do? They created a superhero, who would go all over the world and come back to share his travels with the kids.
Over the course of the years, this show has covered a large variety of topics relevant to children in almost any situation. Some of the topics were covered in the show and others were covered in Sesame Street movies. They have dealt with death, adoption, theft, childhood health issues and natural disasters. They have had actors who were Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic, as well as red, blue, and even green. Sesame Street is one of the few shows left on television that has a moral to share with children. If someone does something wrong in the storyline of the show, there will be a scene in which it is explained what was wrong about what was done. This program even shows that grouches can be nice too, Oscar regularly reads stories to Slimey, his worm. In addition to all of this, Sesame Street regularly has guest appearances by celebrities. It seems like everyone has been on Sesame Street at one point or another.
Everyone from Maya Angelou to the Back Street Boys, from C-3PO to Denzel Washington has visited this elusive street. I think that it is important for children to see the people that they look up to in society in situations which endorse learning. If kids start seeing movie stars, athletes, and musicians making learning fun and reading stories to children, instead of getting into fights at nightclubs, getting arrested for drugs or meeting with untimely ends, they will be more apt to buy into it and enjoy it themselves.