Arkansas PBS > Engage > Pressroom > Sesame Workshop expands Sesame Street in Communities initiative to rural communities with CPB support

Sesame Workshop expands Sesame Street in Communities initiative to rural communities with CPB support

Posted 13 Apr 2021

Arkansas PBS selected for program to expand early childhood efforts;

virtual early learning summit scheduled for April 20

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” is partnering with Arkansas PBS as part of a new initiative to enhance the early childhood education programs of local PBS stations serving rural communities through the Sesame Street in Communities program. Made possible with generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the station engagement initiative includes training for local providers who serve preschool children and virtual events for families, all using the Sesame Street in Communities resources.

“Because of this grant we have been able to make Sesame Street in Communities resources available statewide to early childhood educators, caregivers, parents and families,” Arkansas PBS Director of Education Sajni Kumpuris said. “In addition to our dedication to literacy, we have addressed traumatic experiences and health emergencies – topics that might not otherwise be addressed for young children.”

Through the initiative, Arkansas PBS is working with AR Kids Read, Community Action Program for Central Arkansas (CAPCA), Childcare Aware Northcentral Arkansas and Arkansas Head Start to train caregivers and parents in literacy, traumatic experiences and health emergencies. Recordings of the trainings are available for free to educators, caregivers and families at

Additionally, an early learning virtual community summit on literacy for educators, parents and families will be held Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. The summit will explain Sesame Street in Communities tools to address the toughest literacy issues children face. Presenters will include:

·        Dr. Charlotte Green, executive director for Arkansas Imagination Library and founder of Arkansas Preschool Plus.

·        Sandy Aguirre, early childhood director for CAPCA.

·        Jasmin Williams, senior project manager of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop.

Registration for the free summit is required at Upon completion of the workshop, caregivers will receive one hour of PDR credit.

The initiative, which is in its second year, deepens Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS’ longstanding commitment to using the power of public television to bring critical early learning to children across the country in communities big and small. Sesame Workshop will continue to collaborate with The WNET Group in station selection and implementation. Each station is partnering with local early childhood programs serving rural families, including those with significant Native American and migrant populations, to support the early learning basics of language, literacy, and math. The selected stations are:

·        Austin PBS

·        APT Alabama

·        Arizona PBS

·        Arkansas PBS

·        GPB Atlanta

·        KLRN San Antonio

·        KTOO Juneau

·        Louisiana Public Broadcasting Baton Rouge

·        Mississippi Public Broadcasting

·        Montana PBS

·        NET Nebraska

·        New Mexico PBS

·        Rhode Island PBS

·        South Dakota Public Broadcasting

·        WCTE Cookeville TN

·        WFSU Tallahassee

·        WGCU Fort Myers

·        WOSU Columbus

·        WQLN Erie

·        WXXI Rochester

“Sesame Workshop is so proud to partner again with CPB to support stations serving rural communities across the country, especially as families continue to face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop, said. “In partnership with PBS stations, which have long been trusted ambassadors of ‘Sesame Street,’ we are thrilled that Sesame Street in Communities resources can support stations’ efforts to help children with the early learning basics and school readiness skills that they need to get through the challenges of today and thrive into the future.”

“The Sesame Street in Communities initiative is key to providing some of our nation’s most vulnerable young learners with a strong foundation,” Debra Sanchez, CPB Senior Vice President, Education and Children's Content, said. “We are proud to extend our partnership with Sesame Workshop at this critical time to reach communities across the country, when the pandemic has impacted so many.”

Each participating station is recruiting and training local community providers on how to use the Sesame Street in Communities resources in their work with young children and families. While offering support in many issue areas, stations will focus on Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other resources to help families cope with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 20 stations, 10 will host virtual summits with local childhood development experts for parents and providers in their community.

Sesame Street in Communities provides easy-to-use tools for community providers and caregivers on the toughest issues children face, particularly on topics where there are few resources for young children. Since launching in 2015, Sesame Street and Communities has supported families on topics ranging from parental addiction to family homelessness – giving children the tools they need to build resilience and grow smarter, stronger and kinder. The resources, which include videos, storybooks, digital interactives, games and professional development resources, are available for free – in English and Spanish – at


Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).


Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.


WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN , WLIW21 , WLIW-FM and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multiplatform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including “Nature,” “Great Performances,” “American Masters,” “PBS NewsHour Weekend,” and the nightly interview program “Amanpour and Company.” In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.