Identity is an important part of who we are, and together, we make up a whole rainbow connection of experiences and personalities.
Sesame Workshop is helping families explore this concept — particularly in the context of social justice — through its new “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources. These resources are a part of the pre-existing Coming Together initiative, which includes racial justice educational framework, ongoing research, and a rolling release of new content, featuring familiar Sesame Street characters.
The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources provide families with the tools they need to have constructive, open conversations about race with their kids. Strategies to answer tricky questions about racism are formed with age-appropriate language to help kids better understand.
One of the resources includes a music video, in which the Sesame Street Muppets celebrate their unique identities. The song “Giant” encourages all kids to feel “strong in their skin” and aims to teach kids about racial diversity and develop self-esteem. Another video features two new Muppets, 5-year-old Wes and his father Elijah. Elmo asks Elijah why Wes’s skin is brown, to which Elijah explains the concept of melanin and the relationship between skin color and identity. Watch it below.
Included in the “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources is a self-portrait coloring page, titled “Beautiful Me.” It inspires kids to embrace their identity on the outside and inside. Parents can use the provided conversation prompts to ask kids to describe their skin color, where they’re from, and — most importantly — what makes them themselves.
Additional resources include talking points and conversation starters, including an article that delves into the awareness of race by age and another article that explains what racial literacy is. Both foster the knowledge and skills needed to talk thoughtfully about race, as well as understanding the role racism plays in society. One video features real families discussing their experiences with race and identity, which you can watch below.
The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources are available for free at sesameworkshop.org. The resources — available in both English and Spanish — will also be distributed to national and community providers that are involved with the “Sesame Street in Communities” initiative.