Sesame Street in Communities

Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC) supports parents and caregivers in the healthy development of their children.

Kansas City, Missouri was the third city in the nation selected by SSIC as a location to begin doing outreach work, with Kansas City, Kansas following soon after. When the KC Chamber was asked if we wanted to partner with SSIC, the answer was, “Wow! Of course!”


Kansas and Missouri, along with nearly every state in the U.S., have now issued statewide school closures due to COVID-19.  We’ve compiled a set of resources from experts like Sesame Street in Communities and Getting Smart to support at-home learning, to help families connect in this time of crisis, and to support caregivers and kids’ mental and physical health.


One of the KC Chamber’s Big 5 goals for our region is to make sure every child is kindergarten-ready. Unfortunately, one in three Kansas City youngsters doesn’t have the tools they need to succeed when they begin school.

1 in 3 KC kids starts kindergarten behind.

Meanwhile, research shows that a child’s earliest years are the most important for brain development, and children from lower-income families often suffer most, as Sesame Street’s The Count and Fox 4’s Dhominique Ricks explain:

Sesame Street in Communities and the Chamber partnered in the Pre-KC campaign to show there are learning opportunities for children everywhere!

Finding Circles with Whit Merrifield

Finding Letter K with Chris Conley

Counting K's with Elmo and The Count

Counting Circles with Elmo and The Count


Part of the Pre-KC campaign included Sesame Sessions on different aspects of early childhood education and the popular Sesame Boxes filled with Pre-K resources and mailed monthly to more than a thousand children.

Child opening a Pre-KC box
Child with Pre-KC box


Experiencing trauma affects a child’s brain and, if not dealt with, carries a lifelong legacy. The death of a parent, witnessing domestic abuse, an incarcerated family member, or physical, emotional or sexual abuse scars that young child in ways that show up later in life. They’re 1,535 percent more likely to attempt suicide; 555 percent more likely to become an alcoholic; and 222 percent more likely to be obese.

The KC Chamber and Sesame Street in Communities partnered in the Resilient KC campaign, working to raise awareness of the impacts of trauma on the greater community.

To help provide resources to parents and caregivers, Sesame Street in Communities created these helpful videos.

Helping Kids Grieve

Coping with the death of a loved one brings enormous challenges for the whole family. Grieving may never completely end, but working through the difficult feelings can become easier with time. Through support, open conversations, and finding ways to keep the person’s memory alive, families can begin healing together.


Community Violence

Community violence is violence that happens around you, but not to you. Sadly, our world is full of scary, disturbing news about people harming others, such as school shootings and acts of terrorism. It’s hard to know how to explain such events to young children, or how much to share. Whether children have been exposed to traumatic events in your neighborhood or across the world, you can help them feel safer and more secure…and build hope and healing for a more peaceful, kinder future.

Traumatic Experiences

When a child endures a traumatic experience, the whole family feels the impact. But adults hold the power to help lessen its effects. Several factors can change the course of kids’ lives: feeling seen and heard by a caring adult, being patiently taught coping strategies and resilience-building techniques, and being with adults who know about the effects of such experiences. Here are ways to bring these factors to life.


Discover games, activities, videos and more on topics important to you and your child on the Sesame Street in Communities website. Subjects cover everything from math and language skills to coping with difficult subjects. All created for caregivers and parents and based on years of research.


Two of the KC Chamber’s Big 5 ideas revolve around kindergarten readiness and revitalizing urban neighborhoods. We understand that we cannot move our region forward without building a solid foundation for our kids, particularly kids who may have experienced trauma and poverty in their lives.

Sesame Street in Communities gives our members and partners the tools to help children build resiliency and strengthen connections with their communities. It’s important to the KC Chamber not only to create a community where businesses can thrive, but also where children can grow to be successful, productive, and healthy members of our workforce.

Our partnership with Sesame Street in Communities has allowed us to broaden our reach in our community-based work. We have connected with an audience on projects around resilience and early childhood education that would not otherwise be possible.

Thank you!

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