Sesame Street will be asking all the little kiddies to put away their crayons as it suspends today’s lesson on the alphabet and counting to talk about a grownup thing — what happens when Mommy and Daddy end up in the hoosegow.
The “tool kits” program called, “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration,” is being circulated to schools and community centers in 10 states for youngsters kids ages 3 to 8, and is primarily directed toward caregivers. It’s even being distributed to jails, according to the New York Post.
According to one “tip,” “Before you visit your incarcerated loved one, let your child know some of the things she can expect to happen. For instance, ‘We won’t be able to sit in the same room with Mommy, but we can see her through a window and read a story together.’ ’’
“Phone calls are a great way to reach out,’’ notes another. “Help your child to think of something she’d like to tell her incarcerated parent, and give her a photo of her parent to hold during the call.”
“When explaining where an incarcerated parent is, you can say, ‘Daddy is in a place called prison (or jail) for a while,” yet another “tip” offers. “Grownups sometimes go to prison when they break a rule called a law.’ ’’
The Post’s Kate Sheehy reported:
A video in the kit shows two Muppets — Abby the fairy and lovable monster Rosita — dealing with a little Muppet boy who shamefully admits to them that his father isn’t around to help him build a toy car because he’s in jail.A woman with the kids then tells the boy she knows what he’s going through — because her own dad was in jail when she was his age.
According to “Sesame Street’s’’ Web site, the initiative received “major support’’ from aerospace giant BAE Systems Inc. The Prudential Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, USO, and Military Child Education Coalition also provided money, it said.
One woman called the program “pretty awesome,’’ when responding to a Web article describing it, as the Post noted.
“My brother is in federal prison (conspiracy and gun charges . . .) and it isn’t exactly an easy situation to explain to his two sons who are 5 and almost 4,’’ the woman said.
Were any federal funds used in preparing this program? The Post asked, and Sesame Street, so far, isn’t talking. No stoolies they.
“F” is for “file.” It’s what Mommy baked inside Daddy’s cake so he can get out sooner than what the judge said.
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