Sesame Street for Military Families (SS4MF) and the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) have joined forces to provide a webinar series showcasing resources and strategies related to community violence, military relocation, military caregiving, and young children with special needs.
The MFLN’s Family Transitions and Family Development concentration areas collaborated with SS4MF to provide the first webinar in the five part “Kids Serve Too!,” series, highlighting Sesame Street military resources.
Antonio Freitas, Senior Content Manager at Sesame Workshop, facilitated part one of the series and provided an overview of this fantastic organization and the resources that they provide. Here are some insights from part one of this series:
- The mission of the Sesame Street for Military Families Initiative is to support military families through all the milestones of their lives.
- SS4MF has a 12+ year history and they address several topics that impact military families such as: deployments, homecomings, relocation, injuries, grief, and civilian life.
- A section of their website is designed specifically for service providers and it includes resources that providers can utilize for the military families that they serve.
- The Watch, Ask, Share section includes videos and tools on how to engage with military family clients, as well as handouts to share that offer simple strategies that families can use immediately.
- SS4MF has a partnership with Caribu, a mobile app for phones and tablets that is an online library where parents can read to their kids remotely. This has great benefits for parents who are deployed and can facilitate quality, face to face time for deployed parents and their kids.
- Other SS4MF resources focus on moving or relocation, teaching kids about self-expression, and birthday traditions.
- Some of the key strategies that SS4MF implements in providing for military kids and families are: looking at milestones through a child’s perspective, helping children maintain positive attitudes around change, kids’ self-expression, and keeping routines.
- And above all, SS4MF promotes the goal of reassuring children that they are loved and safe and that they can learn ways of being there for one another within their families and support systems.
There are also tons of great resources and activities that Sesame Workshop provides for families and service professionals to incorporate into their existing efforts. Here are some of our favorites:
- The Talk, Listen, Connect Toolkits provide great opportunities for learning with topics like: getting ready for school, emergency preparation, finances, resilience, grief, military families, and family transitions.
- SS4MF also has some great mobile apps such as The Big Moving Adventure, which helps kids cope through the moving process. Another app is called Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame, which teaches kids how to stay calm and solve everyday challenges.
- There are also games and activities specifically for military families with young children such as: Mood Monster and Feeling Faces.
Did you happen to miss the live webinar? Then be sure to check out the archived version here: “Sesame Street Overview on Military Resources.” This is Part 1 in our Kids Serve Too! Series, with Parts 2-5 still to come throughout 2019! And, if you are a Licensed Social Worker, Family Therapist, or Professional Counselor, you can obtain 1.0 CEUs for part 1 until December 6, 2019. Find out more at the link for part 1 above!