Early Childhood Learning Helps Children Learn Life Skills

Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, describes how nurturing early childhood learning helps children build important skills to succeed in school and in life.

9/23/17 #3023






"She's back by popular demand! [laughter] She is Doctor Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. Thank you so much for having me. You know you're one of our favorite guests, right? Oh my goodness! You know you are one of my favorite shows. And to be here, it's such an honor. I'm sorry, did you say I was your favorite host? Host and show. I'm sorry! [laughter] I will stop fishing. Host and shows! No. No. [laughter] More to the point, we are talking about growing up great, we're talking about some of the work... by the way, put Sesame Workshop into context. Who are you? What do you do? Because we think we know. Oh. Well maybe you don't know all of us. Sesame Workshop is a non profit organization, believe it or not, whose mission is to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. And to do it around the world. We, believe it or not, target 183 million children in over 140 countries. That's important work, to say the least. And the last time you were here, you were talking about this wonderful character on Sesame Street, her name is Abby? Abby, yes. Who was dealing... has autism? Well, it's Julia. I'm sorry, Ju...? Julia. Yes. Julia. And Abby is her wonderful friend, as is Elmo. Well thanks for... okay. Both... both of them are. They're wonderful. And introduced Julia, who is... Julia is the one who is...? Who has autism. She's a four year old little muppet who has autism. And Abby is her good friend? And Abby is her good friend. But Elmo is the one who really guides both Big Bird and Abby to understand Julia's autism. Now why is it that Elmo always bring people together? Oh! Because he's three and a half, curious, and just very sensitive. And understands friendship. Just like all three and a half year olds. Yeah. Well, one of the things we want to talk about is this initiative, one of the newest initiatives you're involved in with your colleagues that does make a difference. It's called Words Are Here, There, and Everywhere. What is it? Absolutely. It is a wonderful partnership with PNC Grow Up Great, who is a bank that has made an investment, a tremendous investment, in improving the quality of early childhood education. So with this particular initiative, it's really scaffolding on the long term effort that we have around school readiness for children birth to five years of age. And in this particular initiative, we're looking at how important vocabulary is in helping children understanding the world, but also getting ready for school. And understanding that words are all around us. But..."