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Story

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Submitted By vanditam
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Vandita Manyam
Professor Daniel Lao
Engl 1A/ Section 05
12 April 2012
Fantasy and Reality
Sesame Street (NET/PBS 1969-1992/1992-Present) has been one of the many reasons for equality and assisted to educate children from a young age. However, today Sesame Street has inspired many other children worldwide. The groundbreaking friendly show increased recognition of the diverse population by including various individuals to be a part of one team, known as Sesame Street. The program uses a combination of fantasy and reality by using monsters and puppets to stimulate real life situations and to create an educational program that educates preschoolers. Michael Davis’ Street Gang illustrates not only the ways in which Sesame Street was conceived of as a learning tool for urban American kids, but how it grew to influence global audiences.
In 1969, Sesame Street initially aired on National Education Television (NET), which ultimately increased the respect and recognition of minorities in America. Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett the creators of Sesame Street mentioned their central focus was to create a children's television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them” (Davis 157). When depicting a scene from any television series, a deeper message is hidden beneath the surface of the screen. Although there are not many controversies in the show, the guests that come on the show to help creatively engage the children are selectively chosen by the directors, creators and producers. Not only the guests but also, the Muppets that are used in the show represent the multi-cultural people that our society has accepted but the public did not (148,156). One example of hidden messages in the show remains in the theme song. The creators use the theme song as an entrance to welcome kids on Sesame Street and use it “as transition gateways from the reality of the street to our puppet or animations pieces” (160). Sesame Street was probably seen as a new world for these children where “everything’s A-OK” (160) without harm or terror, where “every door will open wide” (160). After viewing a wide range of happiness and a stress free life on Sesame Street, every young child asked the question “can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street” (159) because the children thrived a world full of happiness and acceptance. Sesame Street was the “best way (of the portrayal) of inner city life” (169) where many concluded that accepting a multi-cultural world is not so bad after all.
As Sesame Street provided the recognition of minorities, it was also conceived as a learning tool that helped many. Creators of Sesame Street took it to their “own interest of reaching people in the inner city” (152) and “to provide opportunities for urban youngsters” (155). The program was set to promote children of lower incomes with a chance to gain the educational value that they need. Cooney and Morrisett set forth to create a program known for its’ “educational content and values” (154). Thus, they acknowledged that it is important to give respect to all those by providing them with an educational learning tool. They primarily focused on the “educational development of young children” (151) and created an environment similar “used in preschool settings” (155). Innovative programs were developed because their target audience, children of low-income families and inner-city homes, did not traditionally watch educational programs on television. The targeted audience was not familiar with educational programs because traditional promotion and advertising was ineffective. This program was seen as the main stepping-stone in providing education for children, regardless of race or background. Not only did it promote education for children but also delivered the importance that education has in our society.
After it was established in the US, Sesame Street inspired many other television shows around the world to follow their footsteps. The combination of fantasy and reality helped the television program to gain more success and became a learning tool for global television worldwide. The theme song for Sesame Street was a big hit and for “years, the theme became siren song for preschoolers” (161) and is even “played in packed houses throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas” (161). Sesame Street has not only inspired the US but also was able to influence many other areas of the world due the concrete educational and equality platform that it shares. As a non-controversy television show it aimed to increase the educational levels of young children. By 2006, there were independently produced versions, or co-productions, of Sesame Street broadcast in twenty countries. In 2001 there were over 120 million viewers of various international versions of Sesame Street. Sesame Street has been a program that impacted not only the US but also reached out to the global audience as well.
Michael Davis was successful in illustrating a beautiful television series, Sesame Street that introduced a learning tool that had an educational influence primarily on urban children around the world. Sesame Street had a positive impact around the world and helped gain recognition to many minorities and spread equality around the globe. The idea of providing tools for urban city kids provided intense competition for other shows and was an inspiration to the whole world. Sesame Street has been running on television screens for over four decades and still continues to influence, inform, and educate young children across the globe.

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