- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2013

PBS’s “Sesame Street” is taking on the tough task of teaching children how to cope when mommy or daddy lands behind bars, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The program, titled “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration,” began distributing “tool kits” to schools, community centers and jails in 10 states yesterday to help kids ages 3 to 8, organizers told the Post.

Included in the tool kit is a list of tips to help caregivers prepare little ones for visiting their parent in jail.

“Before you visit your incarcerated loved one, let your child know some of the things she can expect to happen. For instance, ‘We won’t be able to sit in the same room with Mommy, but we can see her through a window and read a story together,’” one tip reads, according to the Post.

“Phone calls are a great way to reach out,” reads another. “Help your child to think of something she’d like to tell her incarcerated parent, and give her a photo of her parent to hold during the call.”

According to the Post’s report, a video in the kit features two Muppets, Abby and Rosita, who help a little Muppet boy cope after admitting that his dad is in jail.

About 105,000 children in New York alone have at least one incarcerated parent, the Post reported.

Tanya Krupat, program coordinator for the New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, told the Post that they’re “thrilled” about the new initiative.

“It’s a population that’s in the millions that people usually don’t focus on,” she said.

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