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!