Aug. 27, 2013
Media Contact: James Campbell
Office: (410) 516-5588
Today, Success for All, America’s largest whole-school reform model for elementary schools, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, have partnered to provide curriculum-based Sesame Street content to preschool children and their families in Success for All schools. In a pilot program targeting 4-year olds and starting this September, a variety of short Sesame Street segments chosen from the program’s 44-year history will be used in Success for All early childhood classes and also sent home as part of a daily “Home Links” program that reinforces the learning with child/parent co-viewing.
The Home Links and preschool elements of the formative research and content testing effort will be piloted in schools and homes across the U.S. during the 2013-14 school year. The pilots will take place in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, MD; New Orleans; Steubenville, OH; Bessemer, AL; and Corbin and Barbourville, KY. They will then be formally evaluated in 2014-16.
“The partnership with Sesame Workshop will help the Success for All Foundation add to the effectiveness and appeal of its early childhood approaches,” said Robert Slavin, chairman of the Success for All Foundation (SFA) and professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
High-quality early learning experiences at home and in school provide the foundation for children’s future academic success. From birth to age five, children are making giant developmental strides, more than at any other time in life. During this critical window, education is the key to unlocking their potential.
“Sesame Workshop and SFA have always had the same core mission – to help disadvantaged children get off to a good start in school and in life,” said Nancy Madden, SFA’s CEO. “We’re delighted to be pursuing this mission together.”
Success for All works in about 1,000 mostly disadvantaged elementary and middle schools, and has been extensively evaluated and found to be effective. The purpose of this pilot is to improve learning outcomes in classrooms with focused use of Sesame Street content and to transform the home and classroom experiences into a motivating and engaging learning experience.
Home Links will connect school to home through daily doses of interactive content that parents and children use together to reinforce the themes and skills taught in the school day. Provided to families on DVDs, Home Links start with short theme-based video clips, for example, showing a trip to a grocery store that reinforces a lesson on markets. It follows with content supporting key vocabulary and math skills, such as counting, comparing or shapes. Children and parents then watch a narrated book, or parents can read the book on the screen. Finally, there is music and dance, where children and parents are encouraged to get up and move with the music. Throughout, parents and children will be actively engaged with the ideas presented in school.
“Our goal is to surround kids with learning opportunities wherever they are. We are thrilled to be partnering with Success For All, an organization that shares our philosophy about the critical importance of early childhood education and also our commitment to providing children and their families with research-based, high-quality content,” said Lewis Bernstein, Executive Vice President Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. “We will be using the power and appeal of Sesame Street content to connect homes and classrooms, and we’ll continue to do what we’ve done so effectively for over four decades – marry education and engagement to teach kids.”
“In addition to extending children’s time on essential content,” notes Slavin, “Home Links will make parents aware of what their children are doing in school every day, so they can support their success. Sesame Street’s unique appeal to parents and children will make learning a positive part of every family’s day. Parents and kids will watch together, read together, and dance together.”
SFA’s pilot project was made possible by a grant from Investing in Innovation (i3), a U. S. Department of Education initiative designed to help innovators develop, evaluate, and scale up programs capable of improving educational outcomes for children.
For a 7-minute example of a Home Links show, click here.
Visit Sesame Street at:
About Success For All
The Success for All Foundation is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University School of Education whose mission is to develop and disseminate research-proven educational programs to ensure that all students, from all backgrounds, achieve at the highest academic levels. It is best known for its Success for All whole-school reform approach, used in about 1000 elementary and middle schools in 46 states. Success for All has been successfully evaluated in many rigorous studies, and based on this research was awarded a major scale-up grant by the federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. See more at www.successforall.org.
In addition to its direct services to schools, SFAF promotes broader policies favoring school reform through adoption and effective implementation of proven programs.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.
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Success For All
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