North Texas Daily

‘Sesame Street’ properly sheds light on the opioid crisis in a unique way

‘Sesame Street’ properly sheds light on the opioid crisis in a unique way

‘Sesame Street’ properly sheds light on the opioid crisis in a unique way
November 15
15:40 2019

“Sesame Street” first aired on Nov. 10, 1969 and has been around for over 50 years now. As we all may know, “Sesame Street” is an educational show that teaches young children about themselves and the world around them. The show is still very impactful and influential to this day.

“Sesame Street” has always done a great job of being positively inclusive to all. They’ve been shedding light on many topics that can sometimes be hard to swallow or process for younger audiences. But, they continue do it in a way where it sends a positive message to kids and others that are dealing with similar issues.

For a kid’s show, it has come a long way and has increasingly become very progressive throughout the years. The sad reality is that what “Sesame Street” accomplished in bringing awareness and inclusivity, this almost was not enough because the show nearly went out of business.

This year, it was forced to move to HBO for a multimillion-dollar boost, while they left behind their original home at PBS in 2015 after an $11 million loss.

But luckily, the show is still airing and pushing boundaries with their content.

For instance, a recent Sesame Street episode that aired last month, talked about the opioid crisis that is still currently plaguing the U.S. According to a video posted by sesamestreetincommunities.org, one in eight children under the age of 11 in the U.S. has a parent that struggles with addiction.

In the recent episode, a new character Karli is introduced where it is revealed that the character is currently living in foster care because her mother is on the road to recovering from addiction. In one of their segments called “Lending a Hand,” Karli talks to Elmo about how her mom attends meetings to stay healthy, and she goes to the meetings with other children to share her experience.

I found the video to be very eye-opening and helpful to kids whose parents may be suffering from addiction. “Sesame Street” has always been the show that helps kids cope with the situation that they may currently be in. I think that it’s important that topics like these are being discussed on a show predominantly made for children.

In the video, Karli relays a message about how her mom is also going through a recovery program as well. She also emphasizes how there are other children that go through similar situations as her and encourages them to talk about their experience and their feelings.

It also helps break the stigma of parental addiction and portrays a positive message for its viewers. Many children that go through similar experiences like these typically don’t have an outlet or a source to seek comfort in, so having this show will provide exactly that.

“Sesame Street” has been a great show that provides a fun way for children to learn a thing or two on how to overcome difficult things like this. Honestly, it has taken me by surprise as how much “Sesame Street” has accomplished with showcasing relatable experiences, while also still showcasing experiences that are not as relatable. It is exceptionally informational and not just for children, but adults as well.

The show generally has studied its audience and understands which topics should be introduced during their segments and I am immensely appreciative of that kind of content being introduced in today’s society, especially for kids.

I feel that “Sesame Street” has been somewhat under-appreciated for some reason, and it is definitely a show that children should watch as they grow up. With the puppets that they use in the show, it makes the content of the show much easier to digest and creates a fun and unique way for children to learn.

“Sesame Street” has definitely done its part in educating the community and providing helpful tools that could be utilized in the future. Watching “Sesame Street” from such a young age has helped me see things from a different perspective and it’s done a remarkable job of getting others to take care of themselves.

The show introduces a lot of compassion and empathy, which are two important feelings that all humans should possess.

Taking away from this, I hope that “Sesame Street” continues to encourage and motivate many of their young viewers, and whether or not you’re a fan of the show, “Sesame Street” will always remain a very positive and wholesome show with valuable life advice that kids should continue to take notice of.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Davie Nguyen

Davie Nguyen

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