Sesame Street is the first children’s television series to use educational goals backed with a studied curriculum formulated by writers, educators and researchers to direct and shape its content.
It was first introduced to the public in 1969, created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, after its conception in 1966. And it was received positively and quickly won twenty awards the following year, including three Emmys.
The format and presentation of Sesame Street were so unique at the time for its use of visualizations to educate children. With it, the show added fast-moving action, humor, music and animation within short films shot in the neighborhood.
The core idea of the show was to find a way to capture the attention of children, for “if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them.”
In just a few years Sesame Street was already regarded as an “American institution.”
It is well loved not only for its educational purposes and fun approach but for the values it represents.
But on Friday, the Washington Post reports that 3 long-time cast members have been let go from the show.
Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman (teacher Gordon) and Emilio Delgado (Luis) had been let go to make way for a major turnaround, so the show could evolve and meet the educational needs of the children.
To the millions of fans of Sesame Street from different generations, they have become family, an integral part of the show, and for such a long time. Bob McGrath, 84, has been within the neighborhood since it started. Delgado, 76, played Luis since 1971, and Orman, 72, has been part of it since 1974.
ET Online reports a representative for Sesame Street issued a statement:
“Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children.”
“As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions. As we’ve stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.”
It is an educational show that has been with us for such a long time that it could only mean it is a part of our lives. Like a family, as we’ve come to accept it, it ought to project the values it teaches. Yet the reality of it being a business hurts.
It just reminds us that there are certain things no education, but only life can teach.
Photo courtesy: Sesame Street Workshop/Wikimedia commons