Sesame World

September 14, 2018
Zoe is a Muppet from Sesame Street. She visited a classroom of refugee kids in Jordan.
TARA TODRAS-WHITEHILL—SESAME WORKSHOP

When Hanadi was 4, a bomb hit her school. Soon after, her family fled their home, in Syria. They went to nearby Lebanon to live as refugees. A refugee is a person who has fled his or her country because of war. Today, many refugees are from Syria.

In Lebanon, Hanadi signed up for school. But she was scared to go. Her story is not unusual. Around the world, there are more than 25 million refugees.

Elmo visits with Syrian kids at a refugee camp in Jordan.

RYAN HEFFERNAN— SESAME WORKSHOP

Sesame Street wants to help refugee kids. It teamed up with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Together, they are creating a new version of Sesame Street. It will be especially for refugee kids.

“We don’t just want to help children learn letters and numbers,” Sherrie Westin says. She works at Sesame Workshop. That is the group that makes Sesame Street. “We want to help them feel less alone.”

Refugee children from Syria draw with chalk. They are joined by Grover.

PARISA AZADI—SESAME WORKSHOP

Watch and Learn

Many refugees are not able to go to school. And even if they do go, many have fallen behind in their studies. “These refugee kids had to leave their home and everything comforting in their lives: their schools, their playgrounds, the places they love to go,” the IRC’s Sarah Smith says.

In the new version of Sesame Street, the Muppets will teach kids math and spelling. They will speak the refugees’ language. They will wear local clothes. Some may have been forced to leave their home.

Kids will watch on a TV, computer, or mobile phone. The show will launch in 2019. It will reach 9 million kids. Hanadi may be one of them.