Sesame Street’s lovable Grover is the first furry blue monster to take part in this blog’s “What Should We Tell The Public?” video series.
Grover is a spokes-Muppet for Sesame Workshop’s impressive preparedness program for young kids and their families, “Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together For Emergencies” done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.Gov campaign and the Ad Council.
In this special National Preparedness Month video segment, shot at Sesame Workshop’s Manhattan headquarters, Grover tells kids that that they should prepare for emergencies with their parents. That means making sure you know your first and last name (he says his is “Grover Monster”) as well as your parents’ full names. You should also know where you live (ie. “on Sesame Street”). And, finally Grover instructs children — along with their parents — to put together an emergency kit with supplies and a familiar toy or stuffed animal for comfort.
GROVER, SESAME STREET
Anyone interested in more information about the campaign can go to the Sesame Workshop web site at www.sesameworkshop.org/initiatives/emotion/read. With written materials and videos (in English and Spanish), the site offers helpful tips on how families can talk to their children about emergency preparedness in age-appropriate ways such as:
*Everyone, even young children, can play a role in planning for the unexpected.
*Creating an emergency plan that the entire family practices and shares with the significant people in their lives is important.
*Helping children learn personal information such as a phone number, their full names, and the names of special people in their home, is helpful in case of any emergency.
*As with all Sesame Workshop outreach projects, the themes and content of the initiative is based on research as well as advice and review from experts in the field of emergency and trauma preparedness, pediatrics, psychiatry, child development and early care and education.
The Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together For Emergencies campaign builds upon the work that Sesame Workshop — and Grover — have done in the past addressing difficult issues for young kids, including disasters like hurricanes.
The “Let’s Get Ready” materials are based on research and recommendations from experts in emergency and trauma preparedness, pediatrics, mental health, and child development. In addition, the Workshop collaborated with Weill Cornell Medical College’s pediatrics department to ensure that the materials are age appropriate and effective.
Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s vice president for outreach and educational practices, says that adults can introduce children to the preparedness topic by recognizing the ways families already prepare for unexpected events in their daily routines. ”The best way we know to look at emergency preparedness is really from the scope of making it non-threatening, taking advantage of everyday moments to incorporate it, and doing it in a way that includes young children. The best way to do that is to pick up on daily routines.”