Sesame Street is no stranger in taking on complex subjects like death, forgiveness, incarceration and bullying since its start in 1969.  

With so many challenges facing children today, the children’s show continues its legacy.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street is adding more puppets to help children navigate through many concerns’ kids face today.

Julia was first introduced as a Sesame Street ambassador for children with autism in 2017. The following year Muppet Lily was introduced to help children and families who are homeless.  Another initiative was launched to assist foster children, foster parents and providers.

The story follows Karli in foster care with her “for now” parents Dalia and Clemwith. The first episode depicts Lily becoming upset when her placemat was misplaced on the table during a playdate with Elmo. Lily never had a stable home and the story explicates how it affected her. The placemat triggered fears of abandonment. Her foster parents rushed to console her and to affirm, she would always have a place in their home. 

There are 422,000 in U.S. foster care. Over 40 percent of all children in foster care in 2016 were under age six. 

“We want to foster parents and providers to hear that what they do matters—they have the enormous job of building and rebuilding family structures and children’s sense of safety,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop said.

Having a character to compare to won’t ease the pain 100 percent, but it allows children to feel that they’re not alone. 

Psalm 10:14 said “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

What a wonderful verse reminding those who are without parents that they are fathered by their Creator. They were known before they were born. They are loved.

Television can’t fix the problems foster children face.  Sesame Street’s representative, Karli, explicates that families come in many forms biological or not. We need to teach our children to show empathy to those who come from various backgrounds and to welcome them. Above all else, there’s a Father in Heaven who cherishes them. We can become an extension of Jesus on earth towards our children and for those in our communities. As one body, we and children are never alone!

Here’s a short clip from Sesame Street that features Karli:


About the Author

Corine Gatti-Santillo has spent two decades as an editor, investigative reporter and web content strategist; her work has appeared in The Christian Post, LifeZette and CBN, among other outlets. She is host of the program “Mom on the Right” on The Liberty Beacon TV. She and her husband, Rocky, live in Virginia with their infant daughter and yellow lab Maggie.


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