Sesame Street introduces first character with a Dad in Prison

Sesame Street introduces first character with a Dad in Prison



Did you know that in the US 1 in every 28 children have a parent in jail? We have the highest incarceration percentage in the world. That is a scary fact. Sesame Street is addressing that head on with the introduction of Alex, the newest member of the puppet gang, who also happens to have a Dad in prison.

Alex will not be a part of the regular cast, but his role is still very important. Alex will be playing a lead role in the Sesame Workshop ‘Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration’ initiative, which is an online toolkit focused on  helping kids with a parent in prison find support and comfort, and provide families with strategies and tips to talk to their children about incarceration.

Sesame Street is getting a lot of backlash for introducing Alex as well as praise. Our local news station had a recent status update on Facebook asking people their thoughts, and I found that the comments left were at both ends of the spectrum. Some people thought it was a great way to bring light to a very real subject, while others thought it was another way American is trying to make “society delinquents” normal. But the fact is, for 1 out of every 28 kids in the US it IS normal. I think a simple thing like this could really help a child feel like they aren’t alone, and there are other kids out there that are in the same boat as them, and that is important.


So my question is, what are your thoughts? Do you think it was a good idea to introduce Alex? Or do you think Sesasme Street is taking it to far? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Ashley Hawley says

    I love it! Lets face it…The world isnt perfect! This is a great way to teach kids about things and for kids who doesnt have a parent in prison…well it makes them see how life could be if it happened to them…or if they were in prison as a adult. Kids could learn alot from it in my opinion.

  2. L Gendreau says

    I can honestly say that I don’t love it….nor do I hate it….it just is what it is. It is a grim reality in this country and in my mind…it has every right to be addressed and talked about. Those who identify as being outraged by this character are probably the same people who sweep their own crap under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist or probably live under a rock…..because this population is in all neighborhoods and demographics. White collar crimes count too!

  3. says

    I agree with L. It is what it is. I think parents may be intimidated by their kids asking what prison is etc. Those hard questions every parents has to deal with.

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