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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The ABCs of Covid-19 is a series of virtual town hall meetings hosted by Sesame Street and CNN that answer kids' questions about the Covid-19 pandemic. Questions are posed by young children around the world, which are answered by experts who provide simple, clear explanations that they will understand. Advice and resources are also offered to parents to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their children. With the help of the Sesame Street characters, the interactions are upbeat, positive, and designed to help children have a better understanding of what is going on around them, and how to cope with it in healthy ways.
What's the story?
THE ABCs OF COVID-19: A CNN/SESAME STREET TOWN HALL FOR KIDS are special televised meetings for kids and their parents to help them manage the changes in their lives thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. CNN anchor Erica Hill, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Big Bird moderate the virtual community discussions about what the virus is, why we need to take precautions, and ways to stay healthy. Folks from Sesame Street, including Elmo, Rosita, Cookie Monster, and Abby Cadabby ask questions, talk about the range of emotions they feel about the changes in their lives, and share the different things they are doing to occupy their time while sheltering in place. Special guests like Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez, talk about their experiences, too. With the help of doctors, school officials, and other experts, questions posed by kids and parents around the world are answered.
Is it any good?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how they are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. What advice does The ABCs of Covid-19 offer for keeping your family safe and healthy? What precautions has your family taken? Why is doing so important?
How is washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing masks helping others during a pandemic? What about being kind? What kinds of character strengths are you demonstrating when you do these things?
Navigating the changes in our lives due to COVID-19 and other unexpected phenomena can be challenging. Here are some great resources to help your family through it.
- Premiere date: May 19, 2020
- Cast: Sanjay Gupta, Erica Hill
- Network: CNN
- Genre: Educational
- Character strengths: Communication, Compassion, Courage, Curiosity, Empathy, Gratitude, Humility, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-control, Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Last updated: June 15, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love staying healthy
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