Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, which reaches over 150 million children across more than 150 countries, announced new resources addressing health and well-being inequities among young children, particularly in low-income, rural, and marginalized communities. These new resources from Sesame Workshop are made possible through a grant from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services.
The pandemic has had wide-ranging and lingering effects on children’s health, causing many to miss routine and preventive healthcare check-ups. Preventive health care for children is critical to address physical, mental, and emotional conditions and is essential for providing routine vaccinations, tracking developmental milestones, treating identified health concerns, and providing support to families.
These new bilingual resources, available in English and Spanish, are designed to connect and support parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers as partners in children’s healthcare by promoting whole child well-being, focusing on forming a healthy team, and building on families’ strengths. Each family has their own unique strengths, and many of those strengths are related to their culture. The resources include:
“I’m Listening,” a new video featuring Rosita and her abuela (grandmother) visiting their pediatrician for Rosita’s 5-year-old well visit. This fun and engaging video reminds us that well-child visits are a great time to communicate. Good communication among family, healthcare providers, and children leads to trusting relationships and inspires healthy habits. Rosita also talks about dancing with her extended family at parties and falling asleep to her Abuela’s lullabies; a helpful reminder that families culture and traditions play an important role in wellness too.
Elmo and Abby’s Check-up Play Date, an interactive role-playing game where Elmo and Abby pretend they’re doctors! Make-believe play builds a variety of helpful skills. Children can “act out” familiar scenes and work through their emotions. When they’re playing the doctor, children feel more in control and less nervous about the unknown.
“Hooray for Healthy Teams!” is a digital storybook for parents and caregivers to read together with children about their “healthy team”—parents, extended family, caregivers, teachers, doctors, nurses, and themselves. In this storybook, Wes and his dad Elijah talk about Wes’s healthy team—the important people who help keep his body and brain healthy, strong, and safe.
A printable activity book for caregivers and children to prepare for doctor visits, with tips for before, during, and after a visit and activities and games to help children feel comfortable and calm. Also available are printable guides to help prepare for, and make the most of, children’s well-visits and printable posters for healthcare providers.
“We’re proud to work with Quest in creating resources that empower our ‘healthy teams’ with a common language that highlights the unique strengths of families and communities,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact. “Completing that circle of care, especially for those most marginalized communities, is essential to ensure our young ones are on track to grow and thrive.”
Quest has teamed up with Sesame Workshop as part of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), a multi-year initiative formed with its Quest Diagnostics Foundation, which is focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, educational programs and funding to support initiatives working to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“Teaming up with Sesame Workshop to support these resources will ensure children everywhere have access to health resources that they can understand,” said Michael Floyd, Senior Director and leader of Quest for Health Equity. “Supporting underserved communities is integral to our mission at Q4HE, and Sesame Workshop’s work to address the health and wellness needs of children in these communities is something we are both inspired by and humbled to be part of.”
The new resources will be available in English at sesame.org/healthyteam and in Spanish at sesame.org/equipodesalud and are being implemented with national partners—the Council on Black Health, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Association of Community Health Centers, and The Center for Indigenous Health.
Additionally, they are being distributed through the Sesame Street in Communities program, an initiative for community providers who serve families and help children face challenges big and small. Teachers, healthcare professionals, social workers—any providers working with families and children—are invited to use and share Sesame Workshop’s large and growing library of bilingual resources and professional development tools, created to support them in their vital work.