Sesame Street celebrates Autism Awareness Month by launching anti-bullying Kickstarter for kids
The Yellow Feather Fund, Sesame Street’s nonprofit committed to helping children, is working to expand its autism initiatives.
With “Help Prevent Bullying,” the organization’s first-ever Kickstarter campaign, Sesame seeks to raise awareness of autism and help people better understand it, while also tackling the issue of bullying among children.
According to Sesame, an estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. Despite autism’s prevalence, misunderstanding and miseducation often lead to bullying.
“Research shows that children with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than their neurotypical peers,” Sesame Street explained in the Kickstarter.
The campaign, which launched Monday, aims to use its goal of $75,000 raised to provide families with support and helpful resources needed to educate kids on autism and help prevent bullying.
Any contributions made to the campaign will fund the creation and distribution of an informative and engaging digital storybook about the effects of bullying on members of the autism community. The money will also fund recording sessions with Sesame Street cast to provide audio for the digital book, language translation, and other supplementary materials to address bullying.
Sesame will also use the $75,000 to collaborate with expert advisers from autism organizations in an attempt to “ensure they’re telling the right story in the right way.”
Each $10 donation will secure you an advanced PDF copy of the digital storybook, and other donation amounts come with additional resources.
The Kickstarter campaign is Sesame’s latest effort in the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative, which was introduced in 2015. In 2017, Sesame Street introduced Julia, an autistic Muppet, as a regular member of the show’s cast, and earlier this month Sesame Place opened as the world’s first theme park designated as a Certified Autism Center.
In addition to the campaign, the organization announced a special new episode of Sesame Street starring Julia that will air on HBO and PBS KIDS on April 9, as well as a new storybook that introduces Julia’s parents and big brother.
Sesame aims to raise its goal of $75,000 by Friday, May 11, so anyone interested in the cause can donate over the course of the next month. And if the initial $75,000 is raised, Sesame hopes to reach $150,000, which would allow them print the digital storybook and distribute it to 40,000 kids with the help of its partners.
What better way to celebrate Autism Awareness Month?