Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tune-in of the Day: Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change

The tagline for Sesame Workshop is, "the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and so much more." When people ask me where I work I always say that we're the producers behind Sesame Street, but I also emphasize the so much more part, because I think the work that we do beyond the 30 minute TV show you watch with your kids is really what makes this organization shine. Tonight's prime time PBS special, called Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change, is one of those examples. Sesame Street and the Workshop are not just about teaching kids their ABCs or how to share. It's also about tackling the big and timely issues in this world, and how children are feeling the effects of those issues as well as the adults.

Tonight's special, featuring Queen Latifah and John Mayer, focuses on returning veterans and their families, and how they're coping with injury, stress, and re-integration into life after war. It's a glimpse into a world most of us don't know much about- how things like an amputated limb, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression affect children as much as the adult suffering from it. I got to watch a screener of it yesterday, and it's really powerful and uplifting, though it doesn't necessarily promise happy endings. What it does say, is that open and honest communication, patience, and understanding are the keys to picking up the important pieces of life, and who better than Elmo, Rosita, and their friends to teach us that? And, though I kinda hate John Mayer's song "Say," I have to admit that it fit perfectly into the theme of this special.

Coming Home airs tonight on PBS at 8PM. If you have like 30 minutes, I totally recommend you take the time to watch it.