Elmo is teaming up with Muppets around the world to bring COVID-19 news to children. A new special titled “Elmo’s World News” features the furry red puppet broadcasting from his bedroom to help kids at home cope with the feelings and realities that come with the virus.
Fellow “Sesame Street” stars Grover and Cookie Monster will also appear in the 25-minute show as a weather reporter and special correspondent, respectively. Grover will teach children about learning to play inside and Cookie Monster will show off his box of “things that make me happy.” Basma and Jad, the stars of “Ahlan Simsim,” the Arabic version of the show, will teach viewers how to express themselves through dance. US viewers can see the show on YouTube after its world premiere.
Sesame Workshop partnered with the LEGO Foundation on the special, airing in 13 languages across 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. The special has already premiered in eight countries, including Botswana, Swaziland, and Ghana. It will continue rolling out throughout this week. Dedicated to the importance of play in times of hardship, “Elmo’s World News” comes on the heels of other initiatives addressing COVID-19 and racism on “Sesame Street.”
On June 13, “Sesame Street” got kids singing the “ABC’s of COVID-19” in a town hall put on in partnership with CNN. In April, “Sesame Street” welcomed Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other celebrity guests on the show for its first program dedicated to the pandemic’s impact on children. The program aired in the US, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Another town hall with CNN on June 6 addressed racism in ways suited for young audiences. In “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” Elmo’s father, Louie, explained systemic racism and protests to his son. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also joined the special and answered questions regarding talking about race with young kids, and Muppet Abby Cadabby explained white privilege.
Grace Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @GraceMGriffin