On this day in 1969, Sesame Street made its national television debut on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Through the vision of Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett , the brilliance of Jim Henson’s Muppets was showcased on a first of its kind television show for kids. A show that focused on education through entertainment.
Sesame Street had already been on television for over 10 years before I first tuned in. As a child growing up in the 1980’s Sesame Street played an important and influential role in my life. Times were simpler then, as they always are when we look back. We didn’t have cable television with 100’s of channels. There were no computers, no internet. There were no handheld game devices, no cell phones. I spent a lot of my time outside playing and indoors reading. I did however have my own TV, and I was the only kid on the block who did. It was the smallest black and white TV set that I had ever seen. Through that tiny colorless screen I was allowed access to one of the most stimulating shows for children on television. It’s funny to look back now and realize that a show as vibrant and colorful as Sesame Street could captivate a young child watching on a small black and white screen, but it did. The reason being is that Sesame Street was quality programming that tapped into the cognitive and developmental needs of children while being fun at the same time.
Sesame Street was the main attraction for me on PBS . I would watch and listen as I played in my room. I was an only child at that time, but I never felt alone when Sesame Street was on. I felt a connection and a camaraderie with the Muppets and the people who inhabited the Street. They were my teachers, my friends, my family. Sesame Street taught me the basics like numbers, letters, colors, and shapes, but also broadened my horizons and my understanding of the world around me by introducing me to different types of music and interesting cultures. Through make-believe characters and real life-like stories Sesame Street taught me many important lessons. The most important lesson I took away from Sesame Street during those young years and continue to put into practice today in my adult life is how to be a good person and treat people with respect. Who knew that monsters would be so good at teaching children how to be human! All the while Sesame Street presented information and taught concepts with a creativity, humor, charm and compassion that continues to inspire me today. So in honor of all the wonderful things that Sesame Street has shared with me, here are a couple of my favorite clips with Grover (my favorite character) I’d like to share with you.
Did you know Sesame Street has a Youtube channel. You can watch classic and current clips of the show or search for clips with your favorite characters here. If you want to know more about the characters of Sesame Street take a look at the Wiki page.
If you would like to see what Sesame Street materials the library has to offer, click here. You might be interested in learning more about the history of Sesame Street, if so be sure to check out Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street.