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When Families Grieve

Katie Couric (center), Jessie (left) and Elmo (right) help families cope with the death of a parent.
Philippe Cheng © 2009 Sesame Workshop
Katie Couric (center), Jessie (left) and Elmo (right) help families cope with the death of a parent.

Airs Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

"When Families Grieve" features several families coping with the death of a parent. This special, starring Katie Couric and the "Sesame Street" Muppets, performs a valuable service to families everywhere -- in both the military and the public at large -- by creating awareness of the courageous struggles of parents and children, and sharing the strategies that have helped them to move forward while keeping the memories alive.

"When Families Grieve" is a continuation of Sesame Workshop’s award-winning Talk, Listen, Connect outreach initiative launched in 2006 that provides resources and emotional support to military families with young children, ages 2 to 8, coping with challenging transitions in their lives, such as deployments and when a parent comes home with a combat-related injury. Sesame’s outreach initiatives harness the power of the Sesame Street Muppets to aid the communication between adults and children through strategies and language that are child-appropriate and useful for the whole family.

“Death and loss are a part of life, but they are very difficult for adults to discuss, much less children,” said Katie Couric. “I’m honored that Sesame Street, with its long history of tackling difficult issues with sensitivity, caring and warmth asked me to be a part of this important project. I hope that it will provide families with the tools to help them cope, begin the healing process and ultimately adjust to their ‘new normal’ in the healthiest way possible.”

“Sesame Workshop has always been at the forefront of creating resources for families with young children to help address some of life’s most difficult issues.” said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “When Families Grieve is Sesame Workshop’s contribution to all those who face the daunting challenge of helping a child cope and heal from the painful reality of a death of a loved one. We are honored to work with Katie Couric and all our supporters and especially the families who share their very personal stories so others can learn and benefit from their journeys."

Visit beginning April 15, 2010, to watch streaming video of the "When Families Grieve" primetime television special plus DVD video content, and download print resources.

Video Excerpt: When Families Grieve