NEW YORK, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Research shows that 483,514 children of active duty military members and 177,888(1) children of Reserve and Guard members are less than five years of age. In response to these facts, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today announced a major partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. Through a donation of nearly $1 million from Wal-Mart, Sesame Workshop will develop an outreach project to help young children of the United States Armed Services, National Guard and Reserves deal with the various stresses of military life. The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) will also serve as a partner, offering additional support. The announcement was made in Washington, D.C. at the project's first advisory board meeting moderated by Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Vice President, Content Design for Education, Research and Outreach at Sesame Workshop.
This project, launching in July, will help military families manage common challenges they face, including the possible stress caused by a parent's deployment or reunion after a period of absence, frequent relocation and other difficult issues these children face. The project will enable Sesame Workshop and Wal-Mart to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who have a parent serving in the military by creating DVDs and online and print materials targeted to these children and distributed directly to them.
The resources will consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) kit with a DVD for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street and a print guide and poster for children, parents and caregivers. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 125,000 of these kits at no cost to schools, child care programs, family support centers and other organizations serving the needs of military families. A particular emphasis will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard.
A bilingual Public Service Announcement and online content will also be available. Wal-Mart and Sesame Workshop will explore additional ways to share the project materials with other organizations and programs that support military families.