GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK – Travel with the fun-loving Muppets Elmo and Murray from “Sesame Street” to two of America’s most popular national parks in a new online series, “Sesame Street Explores National Parks.” Six short videos and accompanying hands-on activities that introduce pre-schoolers to the wonders of America’s outdoors were recently unveiled by Sesame Street, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.
“These videos and activities will inspire children to hop, skip or jump to their nearest national park or green space,” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “We hope they have fun and get excited about spending time outside. At this age, every bug, mud puddle or fallen log is fascinating. We want to tap into that sense of wonder and curiosity and plant the seed for lifelong exploration.”
The videos offer a multimedia park experience for children ages three to five, their families and educators, using the power of digital media to promote science learning through experiences in national parks as well as in local parks and backyards.
“The goal of this project is to leverage the unique power of the Sesame Street Muppets to model scientific inquiry skills within the context of the national parks to enhance young children’s attitudes and knowledge about science and nature,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop. “The materials, designed for parents, educators and caregivers, provide activities for them to engage in with their young children as they explore nature together.”
Park rangers from Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Gateway National Recreation Area in New York encourage Elmo, Murray and children across the country to utilize all of their senses to investigate and observe the outdoors. The videos teach young people about habitats, seasons, plants and animals. They learn how to conduct an animal survey, look for nests, identify migration patterns and simply listen to the sounds of nature.
“Engaging America’s youth in national parks across the country is of the utmost importance,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Parks provide a perfect combination of natural classroom and playground, and it is never too early to encourage enjoyment and stewardship of these special places.”
“Sesame Street Explores National Parks” will be available on the websites and social media outlets of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and Sesame Street.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 NPS employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
About the National Park Foundation
You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems and historic sites, all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. The foundation works hand-in-hand with the NPS to connect Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark “Sesame Street.” The workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows including “The Electric Company” to help bridge the literacy gap. Beyond television, the workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues, including literacy, health and resilience. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning.
Submitted by: Grand Canyon National Park