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Sesame Street - Literature

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Sesame Street, a non-profit organisation established since 1969, has been affirmed as effective by parents, academics and professionals alike.

Themes and lessons are carefully crafted and designed to give children great exposure to and experience with particular concepts.

Sesame Street has been on our screens for more than 40 years and characters such as Big Bird, Cookie Monster, the Count, Ernie and Bert are familiar to and dearly loved by generations of people.

Parents can take heart in knowing that Sesame Street can impart skills such as:

  • Letter and sound recognition
  • A love of reading
  • Gains in understanding
  • Development of vocabulary
  • Interpersonal relationships and dynamics
  • Empathy and emotional literacy
  • Awareness and understanding of cultures and ethnicities
  • Fairness, sharing and cooperation
  • …and many more.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street, and e-content delivery provider Impelsys have launched a new online Sesame Street eBookstore.

Readers can subscribe with Impelsys to get unlimited access to a library of more than 170 Sesame Street eBooks

Key Features

  • Simultaneous, unlimited access 24/7 at school, at library or at home.
  • More than 170 classic and brand-new books
  • New books added regularly at no extra cost
  • All books based on Sesame Street's early childhood curriculum

For more than four decades, American children and caregivers have counted on Sesame Street for their ABCs, 123s, and other academic skills, such as vocabulary, math,and science. Sesame Street eBooks cater to the Pre K kids ( Age group of 2-5 year olds).

These eBooks are designed to be easy to use, children can read at their own pace; audio e-books with narration, sound effects, and music; animated e-books with full-color animation; and interactive e-books with which children can “play along.”

Over and over again, research shows that Sesame Street can and does make a difference in preparing children for academic success. One such study found that children who frequently view Sesame Street at age 2 score higher on school-readiness tests in kindergarten than those who don’t.1 And the advantages last well into high school and beyond. Frequent Sesame Street viewing in preschool is associated with grade point averages in high school that are almost 16% higher than those of children who didn’t grow up watching the show. Not only are average grades better, but grades are also better in each of the core areas of English, math, and science. What’s more, Sesame Street “graduates” read more books for pleasure, place higher value on academic achievement, and express less aggressive attitudes than those who watch rarely or not at all.2

In the area of vocabulary, our recent efforts to bridge the so-called “word-gap” are  yielding strong results. A 3-year-old from a professional family has typically heard 30 million more words than a child from a family who is on welfare.13 To challenge this gigantic gap head-on, our eBooks has included Word on the Street vocabulary lessons. Building on the popularity of these lessons, we created outreach materials that bring the power of words into childcare settings with powerful results: Using the Word on the Street materials increases the number of words children know by 78%.3 The materials were also shown to significantly increase word-related activities in the classroom, such as asking children to use new words to describe a personal experience. Childcare providers agree enthusiastically with the program’s efficacy: Two out of three providers (68%) who use the materials say they help children learn and expand vocabulary.4

Supporting the power of Sesame Street to boost vocabulary skills early on is a recent experiment conducted at the University of Michigan. A supplemental literacy curricula that includes Sesame Street video content increases word knowledge among Head Start children up to 22%, an important step towards closing the vocabulary gap with more affluent children.5

Another area showing strong impact numbers, is, well… numbers. Almost all parents (97%) say it increases the time their child spends on math-related activities, and over 90% of parents report a positive change in their children’s interest in counting, sorting, and matching. Children aren’t the only ones making a change.6

And the impact keeps growing. By instilling fundamental academic skills now, Sesame is giving children from Chicago to Cairo a love of learning that will serve them for life.




1 Fisch, S., & Truglio, R. (Eds.). (2001). The Early Window Project: Sesame Street Prepares Children for School. In “G” is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Sesame Street (pp. 97-114). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
2 Results controlled for several demographic factors. Huston, A.C., et al. (2001). Sesame Viewers as Adolescents: The Recontact Study. In S. Fisch & R. Truglio (Eds.), “G” is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Sesame Street (pp. 131-143). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
3 Increase based on words measured. Schiffman, J., Cohen, D., Kotler, J., & Truglio, R. (2008). The Word on Sesame Street is Vocabulary! Paper presented at the annual conference for the International Communication Association, Montreal, QC, Canada.
4 Brooks, M.K., & Cohen, D.I. (2009). Word on the Street Outreach Kit Use Study. New York: Sesame Workshop.
5 Neuman, S.B., Newman, E.H., & Dwyer, J. (2010). Educational effects of an embedded multimedia vocabulary intervention for economically disadvantaged pre-K children: A randomized trial. A report prepared for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.
6 KidPoint, LLC. (2011, March). Math Is Everywhere Evaluation Report.

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