Dr. Betancourt is the Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. She directs the development and implementation of community and family engagement initiatives making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. These research-based initiatives are designed to impact children’s early learning, health and well-being, and provide strategies and resources to counteract the effects of trauma while fostering the critical connections that adults have on children’s lives.
Join us for an inside look at how Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC) uses research-based strategies and materials to cultivate young children’s development and well-being while engaging the important adults in their lives. Building on Sesame Street’s 50-year commitment to addressing children’s developmental, physical, and emotional needs, SSIC offers resources to engage children and adults in everyday moments and daily routines – from teaching early math and literacy concepts, to learning how to manage emotions, to building resilience in the face of traumatic experiences. We know that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have long-term negative effects on a child’s brain development and future wellbeing, especially when confronted with repeated traumatic experiences, such as bullying. But we also know that children are remarkably resilient, and one of the best ways in which we can counteract the effects of traumatic experiences is by fostering nurturing connections between children and the grownups in their lives, including parents, caregivers, educators, and community service providers. With the help of our loveable Muppet friends, SSIC is connecting and empowering these important grownups to build a “circle of care” to help children – especially the most vulnerable – get off to a strong and healthy start.