Today was the New York City launch event of Sesame Workshop’s latest phase of the Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, “When Families Grieve,” which the Department of Defense's DCoE helped develop.
The DCoE Blog Team (DBT) sat down with Dr. Jeanette Betancourt (JB), vice president for outreach and educational practices at Sesame Workshop, for a question and answer session on “When Families Grieve,” which has been created to support families who have lost a loved one. Her answers have been summarized below.
The “When Families Grieve” initiative includes a primetime special hosted by Katie Couric airing on PBS April 14, and bilingual outreach materials and online resources that will be available beginning April 15. Immediately following the primetime special, Sesame Workshop will begin the roll out of nearly one million free multimedia kits tailored separately for military families and the general public, to family and grief service providers nationwide.
DBT: Why did Sesame Workshop create “When Families Grieve?”
JB: In the first few series of the Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, we had addressed some of the hard things military children have to go through, such as deployments and reunions. We were frequently asked, ‘when will you tackle when children are grieving?’
One in twenty children under the age of 15 in the general population experiences the death of a parent, from everything from illness to suicide. It is pretty remarkable that so many children are impacted.