Parents' Guide to

The ABCs of COVID-19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Upbeat special helps empower kids during uncertain times.

TV CNN Educational 2020
The ABCs of COVID-19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids Poster Image

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These excellent presentations feature medical experts, education professionals, and the cast of Sesame Street helping children make sense of the pandemic. It also offers parents information and advice on how to support them. Specific things that kids can do to help stay safe and healthy, like hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask when outside, are repeated consistently throughout the program. Ways they can work through their sadness, fear, frustration, and other emotions, are also explained in very simple, concrete, and non-judgmental terms. Meanwhile, parents are offered advice and resource information about things like distance learning and limiting kids' screen time. Conversations geared towards adults also address ways to talk to children about some of the more complex issues surrounding the pandemic. This includes understanding the rising numbers of sick people in Black and Latinx communities, and the loss, and ongoing fears, of losing loved ones.

Just like Sesame Street, experts promote speaking to children gently, but honestly, about these issues, and about the fact that they don't have all the answers. But what makes this town hall especially helpful is that it communicates a strong, clear message to children that they can help their families and communities by being kind, telling loved ones they care, saying "thank you" to helpers, and following the recommended steps to protect themselves. In doing so, it gives these acts a larger sense of purpose, and empowers children by making them feel that they are helping to solve the problem in some way. Overall, The ABCs of Covid-19 is a sweet, positive, and constructive viewing experience that goes far in helping all of us understand that we have the ability to weather uncertain times if we work together.

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