Ahead of the holiday season, Sesame Workshop and Viatris are launching new resources to support the social and emotional needs of families across generations and around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials on SesameStreet.org/caring in English, Spanish, Hindi and Portuguese are designed to help young children talk through and name big feelings like stress and fear, encourage positive caregiving strategies and routines and help families find ways to celebrate together when far apart. Made possible by the support of Viatris, the new global resources will reach families on six continents.
“We know children and families everywhere are struggling as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” says Sherrie Westin, president, social impact and philanthropy, Sesame Workshop. “Together with Viatris, we are offering families strategies to cope with today’s challenges and foster emotional wellbeing long into the future. As we head into the holidays with so many routines upended, we want to help children and their caregivers manage big feelings and spend quality time with each other, even when apart.”
Starting this week, new animations and activities will launch on a rolling basis in the U.S., India, South Africa and Latin America, with select content available in Europe and Australia. In one video, Grover and his mom decide to make his grandmother’s special family soup over video chat when they can’t be together for their holiday celebration. In additional videos, Elmo and his mom talk about big feelings and Elmo’s dad helps him name and cope with the feeling of fear of getting sick. Additional topics released on a rolling basis will include keeping routines, spending special time together and learning about persistence.
“Our work with Sesame Workshop stems from our mission to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life,” says Lara Ramsburg, head, corporate affairs, Viatris. “From young children to parents, grandparents and other caregivers, we hope these new resources will be of value to anyone who has experienced the emotional impact of the pandemic on their families. As we begin our journey as Viatris, we’re committed to supporting social impact initiatives and partnerships that have the potential to have a lasting, positive impact on patients, families and communities worldwide. We’re pleased to collaborate with Sesame Workshop, who has a long history of making a difference in the lives of children around the world.”
Viatris, a new kind of global healthcare company, is committed to doing its part in support of public health needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the generous support to make these new resources possible, Viatris will share the resources with its global workforce of approximately 45,000.
The resources have launched as part of Sesame Workshop’s “Caring for Each Other” initiative, which was created in response to the uncertainty facing families during the COVID-19 pandemic and has reached families in more than 100 countries and 41 languages. SesameStreet.org/caring is regularly updated to meet the needs of families as the situation evolves, with resources designed to help parents provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home and staying physically and mentally healthy.
Resources will also be distributed through a wide range of national and community providers as part of “Sesame Street in Communities,” Sesame Workshop’s program to support children and families.