My short bio:

Hi! As you may know, Sesame Street is produced by Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit organization which helps kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We take education very seriously – we have lots of researchers and experts in early childhood education who make sure that when your kids are watching (or reading or playing), they’re also learning.

And now, we’ve put it into a book! Ready for School! is the first-ever parenting guide based on Sesame Street's curriculum. Children learn best when they’re having fun, and this book helps parents (or aunts and uncles, or grandparents) find the age-appropriate learning moments in preschoolers' everyday play and routines -- just like we do on the show. Take mealtime: you can ask a child to hand you the smallest measuring cup or the biggest tomato while you're cooking, practice geometric shapes by setting the table with round plates and rectangular napkins, and so much more. But it’s not just ABCs and 123s … playful learning also builds the curiosity and resilience that help kids thrive.

Ready for School! comes out today. I hope you’ll all read it, and realize how much valuable learning happens when you’re on the floor playing with your kids, making memories together!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/sesamestreet/status/1171448906208534528

Comments: 78 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

Me_CookieMonster18 karma

Hi Doctor Truglio! Me Cookie Monster and me have question for you: Will you be in office next week? Me trying to schedule snack time meetings.

DrRosemarieTruglio11 karma

I'm around all week! But please don't eat my phone again.

HomocusPocus7 karma

Maybe phone looks like cookie?

DrRosemarieTruglio9 karma

I've known Cookie Monster a long time and trust me, it doesn't matter if the phone looks like a cookie. He'll eat anything. We're trying to have him control his impulses and eat a more balanced diet, but phones shouldn't be on the menu ever.

CloudyBeep1 karma

Do any of the people working on the show regret or resent the Cookie Monster character because it encourages bad eating habits?

DrRosemarieTruglio5 karma

Yes Cookie has an obsession, but he gives us the opportunity to promote eating healthy foods and to teach self-control and eat cookies as a sometimes food!

bionicfeetgrl10 karma

What core things do children face today that they didn’t 35 years ago? What is the same? Sesame Street was one of the 2 shows my mother allowed when I was a kid (35+ years ago). The other was Mister Rogers...

I still love Sesame Street....

DrRosemarieTruglio9 karma

I think the main difference is that there's a tremendous amount of stress and pressure around children today. We need to give them tools to help them build resiliency in the face of challenges.

What's the same? Children still go through the same stages of development as they grow. They flourish in safe, nurturing environments. It's really important that a child feels loved and supported.

trioprice7 karma

Are you the same person who was on those Sesame Beginners DVDs back in the day? My kids loved those!

DrRosemarieTruglio7 karma

Yep! That's me! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed those because they were designed for you, as a parent, to inspire you to create your own interactive playful learning moments with your child :)

nathexela5 karma

Hi Dr. Truglio!! Thank you so much for doing this ... I could use some advice! My kid just started preschool to weeks ago and sh is havng a hard time sharing with the other kids. What can I do??

DrRosemarieTruglio5 karma

Sharing is hard. (Even for us grown-ups.) The best advice I can give is to model what sharing looks like and feels like. Share things that are important with you, giving them a turn and then asking for it back. Or make a healthy snack for yourself and give her some, explicitly showing her that you're "sharing" when you do it.

Also, special items -- they don't need to be shared! You should make sure your daughter's favorite toys don't go to school, and you may even want to put them away before playdates come over to make sure nothing happens to them.

BouquetOfPenciIs3 karma

Hello, Dr. Truglio!

I'm so excited for this new book, it's exactly what my family needs right now. My kids love Sesame Street and are very receptive to the teaching strategies used, so I'm really looking forward to reading this book and being able to implement these strategies myself. How I love Cookie Monster for teaching them "think it through" and "focus" etc. <3

They love all of the characters, but their favourites are Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and Grover. Although Cookie Monster and Grover get plenty of "air time" I feel like Bert and Ernie aren't. Are there plans to give them more content? Also, we all love the old Sesame Street shows from the 70s through to the 90s, can we perhaps look forward to being able to buy an extensive collection of those shows in the future??

Thank you, so much, for doing this AMA and especially for the AMAZING work you've done with Sesame Street! ❤💙💛

DrRosemarieTruglio7 karma

Wow! Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words!

We always are looking for the best content for all of our characters and we all love Bert and Ernie here, too! (But I have to admit, Grover is my personal favorite.)

As for older content, there's actually a collection coming out this fall called "Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting" that includes favorite segments from every decade. It, and my book, are part of our year-long anniversary celebration!

brendalee12293 karma

Hello Dr! I love how over the years the inclusion of special needs is being shown. Correct me if I’m wrong, currently there hasn’t been a deaf character or episode. Will there be in the future?

DrRosemarieTruglio4 karma

Hi! We've had many segments with children and adults alike who are hearing-impaired. Here's one of my personal favorites.

brendalee12291 karma

Thank you ❤️ my kids will love this!

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

❤️

trioprice3 karma

My kid has trouble sitting through storytime... anything I can do?

DrRosemarieTruglio6 karma

It helps to make the story a dynamic, interactive experience. Just reading the words or even pointing to the pictures may not be enough. You want to get them involved. Ask them to predict what's going to happen next, ask them why a character feels a certain way, etc. And using voices doesn't hurt either! :)

oles_mechanic2 karma

how you come across dark sesame Street memes before ?

DrRosemarieTruglio7 karma

Not really, but I've seen the Elmo with fire behind him gif. I'm not a fan of it because I hope a child never comes across it.

Chtorrr2 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

DrRosemarieTruglio6 karma

People always ask what kids can learn from Sesame Street, but no one ever asks me what parents can learn.

The actors -- we call them "humans" (because they're not puppets!) -- are great models for what we, as grown-ups, can do to help the children in our lives get ready for school and reach their highest potential.

parabellum12342 karma

What do you think the impact on today's children is from having a single parent and being left in front of the television to baby sit them as infants?

DrRosemarieTruglio3 karma

This isn't just a single-parent issue -- how parents use screen media in their homes is something all parents have to address. We know that children learn best when engaged in hands-on interactions, and when choosing content for young child, our recommendation is to choose curriculum-driven.

etbillder2 karma

How has Sesame Street's educational stuff changed over the years?

DrRosemarieTruglio7 karma

The curriculum is very dynamic. It evolves based on the current research on childhood development and best practices in early childhood education. We always take an annual review of our goals and we highlight very specific educational, health, or social/emotional issues in the lives of children to address their educational needs.

In the early years, we were more focused on "academic" skills like letters and numbers. Today, we take a lot more comprehensive approach for school readiness, looking at how kids process information and manage their emotions -- we want to build empathy, resilience, problem-solving, and executive function skills.

etbillder1 karma

So a followup to that would be were there in the past aspects of the curriculum would not just be irrelevant but run counter to the curriculum of today?

DrRosemarieTruglio3 karma

There are definitely things that have changed, but I wouldn't say that there are things that "run counter." For example, we try not to focus on rote learning now; instead of just saying "this is what the letter A" looks like, we'll also talk about the sound the letter A makes and the words that begin with A. Now, segments are a meaningful learning experience for children because we're talking about all aspects of the letter A. (The same is true for the other letters and yes, for numbers, too!)

mssaturninus2 karma

Thank you for doing this, Dr. Truglio. What advice do you have to give to parents of toddlers when it comes to phones? Our daughter always wants to grab ours because she knows it can show pictures and videos.

DrRosemarieTruglio1 karma

Thanks for joining us!

I think we should all be mindful of our own use of phones etc. in front of our toddlers, but there's nothing wrong with showing them pictures on the phone so long as you do so together. It's all about the togetherness.

zanimum1 karma

Are there any topics that Sesame Street couldn't address? The original divorce episode was never released, but you were able to develop a toolkit and video.

DrRosemarieTruglio7 karma

We can't address everything through the television show because it reaches a mass audience. For sensitive topics (which we've always embraced) we often create content in a way which is targeted to those who need it. It's also always-on, available for free online, so you don't have to wait for that episode to air or remember to program the DVR.

By the way, if you or anyone else can use these resources, they're at http://sesamestreetincommunities.org.

lookingupnow11 karma

Do you have any recommendations for parents with an only child? We were blessed with a great son, but for various reasons are unlikely to have another.

I grew up in a big family so I can't imagine not having siblings.

I haven't found any well regarded books that seem to cover what I am looking for.

DrRosemarieTruglio1 karma

I don’t have a book recommendation, but I can speak from my own experience. I also have an only child, a great so who is now 15 yrs old. I come from a big family and hoped there would be a sibling for my son. My advice – spend time with extended family, especially if there are cousins close in age and plan social activities with friends.

NCTrumpFan1 karma

Has moving to HBO impacted your job in any way? How has the move made your job easier or harder?

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

No impact on my job. HBO and PBS Kids are both fabulous distribution partners, and we're fortunate to have the show on both!

MayorOfDipshitCity1 karma

Dr. Truglio, Thank you for doing this. I love watching the show with my preschooler and have ordered the book.

My question for you is, how awesome is Gonger?

DrRosemarieTruglio1 karma

Thanks!

Gonger is supreme awesomeness. He's the best. (Don't tell Grover.)

frickinruby1 karma

Hello, well i wrote this once but never before didn’t realise i needed to put a question mark. but i want to get into the psychology field when i’m older , so how did you get into it and what are the disadvantages and advantages of any? thank you for all your work and helping people, one of the most generous jobs !!

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

Psychology is a fabulous field and I have a rewarding career in creating content to have a positive impact on children and families. Do well in school and when you get to college, take a range of classes in psychology to see which course you are most interested in pursuing as a major and career.

funfilledfun1 karma

Hello, do you also work with sesame place? As far as developing their shows that they put on in the theme park?

DrRosemarieTruglio1 karma

Yes! We take our mission very seriously at Sesame Workshop and we make sure everything is age-appropriate and educational. That goes way beyond the TV show and definitely includes the experience at Sesame Place. They're a great partner and I hope you have lots of fun next time you go!

Bukkake_Bakery1 karma

Hey Dr.Truglio

Why are songs used so often in Sesame Street? Are they more effective at educating and keeping the attention of small children? If so, at what point do you think these songs transition from something that kids enjoy to something they don't like?

Thanks for the AMA!

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

Children love music and songs and repetition. We use songs as a way to teach a range of lessons, including lessons around music. It comes full circle! And we also have songs about circles!

HomocusPocus1 karma

Which resident of Sesame Street is the greatest teacher?

DrRosemarieTruglio1 karma

They're all great teachers, and I'm not just saying that because I work here. Our characters are designed to help children better understand the world around them, and different characters help teach different things. Even Oscar the Grouch: he shows that we can see things differently but still get along with one another.

Firstclass301 karma

Have there ever been any episodes in which the topic was originally rejected (either by producers, your department, etc.) only to be later approved?

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

Yep! There was a lot of disagreement over whether we should address bullying. Many people thought that preschoolers didn't engage in intentional acts of aggression toward one another, and therefore, it wasn't appropriate for the show. But further research showed us that bullying does occur at young ages, and we ended up addressing the topic a few years later.

Oscarfan1 karma

Do you recall a particularly memorable experience regarding a celebrity guest visiting?

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

It was a thrill to meet and work with Whoopi Goldberg. She and Elmo talked about loving the skin (or fur!) you're in. It's really powerful and I'm proud to have had a part in it.

And the will.i.am song we made a few years ago is great, too; it talks about all the wonderful characteristics that make you the special person you are. (Plus, it's catchy.)

Nino4771 karma

How important is the childhood for later dicepline, mental health. Is it the most important thing in life? Should more resources be put in this field in order to insure a good life as an adult

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

Absolutely! Brain growth and development is rapid during the first five years of life, and laying the foundational skills is critical for putting children on a positive path for life.

TheBestHuman1 karma

Hi Dr. Truglio,

What is the interaction like between you and the show runners? Do you write scripts and plotlines? At what point in the writing process does education come into play?

Also can you please not include that "What are we going to play today?" sequence in so many episodes? It's been stuck in my head for months.

DrRosemarieTruglio2 karma

Hi! Thanks :)

What is the interaction like between you and the show runners? Do you write scripts and plotlines? At what point in the writing process does education come into play?

I don't write scripts but we're involved in every part of the script development, from concept to taping and we even review during post-production. The goal of Sesame Street is to educate, after all.

Also can you please not include that "What are we going to play today?" sequence in so many episodes? It's been stuck in my head for months.

If it's stuck in your head, it's probably educating your child :)