For many children and their parents Sesame Street is synonymous with childhood as characters like Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Bert deliver education and entertainment to the pre-school set.
So the launch of an early literacy education initiative for underserved children via a partnership between the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, is a notable development.
The IICF has pledged $750,000 to Sesame Workshop over the next three years, to create a literacy skills program that helps parents and caregivers support young childrenâ€™s development of conversation, reading and writing.
The program will launch in the fall of 2013 and will include video segments, downloadable materials and a dedicated section on the Sesamestreet.org website and mobile site.
This is the IICFâ€™s largest single grant pledge to-date since the organization was established in 1994.
The initiative will target low income communities within IICF’s four regional divisions; Midwest, Northeast, Texas/Southeast, and the Western United States and will also engage volunteers in all of these regions.
William Ross, chief executive officer of the IICF, says:
Itâ€™s an honor and privilege to be working with the Sesame Workshop, an organization that is passionate about making an educational impact for children in the communities in which we work and serve. Through this program, we are hoping to create a meaningful difference by creating an impactful literacy foundation for the underserved children in this country.â€