DIRECTIONS FROM SESAME STREET: To catch up to his or her peers with low risk factors, a high-risk child would need to make nearly twice as much progress in the kindergarten year. So tell the disheartening results of Kindergartners’ Skills at School Entry, a report from the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street. The report evaluates how four risk factors--single parent households, mothers with less than a high school education, a household income below the poverty line, and a household without English speakers--affect student skills when they enter kindergarten, based on direct child assessments and teacher reports.
The Sesame Workshop also shared the Sesame Street Educational Framework for School Readiness. The guide, used internally to construct Sesame Street content, outlines how preschoolers should be developing according to 20 core school readiness skills, from the alphabet to curiosity to emotional self-regulation. Clearly, Sesame Street is doing something right to prepare children for kindergarten according to academic, social, and personal skills, both in the U.S. and beyond: As reported on the Sesame Workshop’s website, kids who watch local, culturally specific versions of the show do twice as well on gender equity measures in Egypt, and are four times more likely to have knowledge of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.