Sesame Street in Communities Partnership

Memphis Caregivers Gain an Important Ally Against Chronic Trauma


Every child deserves to grow up with a strong connection to a caring adult and a loving family. But for as many as one in four kids in the United States, positive connections to a parent figure aren’t so easy to come by. The legacy of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) — ranging from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; the loss of a parent through illness, death, divorce, or incarceration; or domestic violence or substance abuse within the family — looms over their path to adulthood. As the number of ACEs a child has experienced increases, so too does the risk for a range of negative outcomes as children grow up, such as depression, school failure, addiction, obesity, diabetes, and the adoption of risky adult behaviors that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

But ACEs aren’t destiny. In fact, research has proven that giving adults better tools to recognize trauma and help children in their care to feel safe and secure is extremely effective when it comes to buffering children who’ve experienced ACEs from those impacts. 

That’s why the ACE Awareness Foundation and their Universal Parenting Places (UPPs) are so excited to announce a new partnership with Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC).

Sesame Street in Communities provides bilingual resources (English and Spanish, with Spanish in its own unique version) to national and local organizations serving young children and their families, especially those who are most vulnerable to risks to their healthy development.  SSIC has been piloted in three communities—Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; and Guilford County, North Carolina—where program staff worked with key stakeholders, helped develop action plans, and provided a timeline for integrating SSIC resources and the model into the work of various providers in the selected organizations. SSIC also promotes community events and activities through its website while providing technical assistance and professional development.

The program focuses on the whole child (birth to five years) with information and resources on how to promote nurturing connections between the important adults in children’s lives in all areas of their development. It addresses the most difficult challenges that young children may face, always approaching issues from a strength-based perspective, and includes ways to employ strategies that can carry over throughout children’s development.

ACE Awareness Foundation and Porter-Leath will integrate Sesame Street in Communities into their programming, in-person events, and trainings. The ACE Awareness Foundation will embed the Sesame Street in Communities resources into programming at its four Universal Parenting Places (UPPs) sites in Memphis.

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