On November 10, 1969 Sesame Street premiered on American television. Its curriculum had been piloted right here in Phoenix at Arizona’s oldest child care center, Phoenix Day. It was an innovative idea that children could learn watching a television show. By the 1970’s 1/3 of America’s preschool children were watching the show and learning. They learned how to count. They learned the alphabet. They learned about friendship and tolerance. 2016 launched its 46th season.
In many ways, Sesame Street is the reason programs like Pop Goes the Classroom can and do exist. Three generations have been raised learning through popular culture. Intentional high quality program that ensures that there is something to learn. It is a model that started with public television and transferred to children’s television channels like Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network during the hey day of cable television. Today we see the same approach being used across all media platforms.
Thank you to Joan Ganz Cooney. Thank you to Children’s Television Workshop. Thank you to Sesame Street and Phoenix Day. You’ve laid the foundation for the work. We are proud to take the torch and carry it forward.