By Lina Satele, Fort Stewart Public AffairsOctober 17, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- More than 2,500 Soldiers, Family Members, retirees, Department of Defense Civilians and especially their children were treated to The Sesame Street Experience for Military Families, Oct. 10, on its opening night at Fort Stewart's Newman Fitness Center. There were also three more showings, Oct. 11, with crowds filling the basketball court area of Newman.
"This year's tour began last April and with military Families going through multiple deployments, the show is designed to help children cope," said Josh Bourque, Sesame Street Experience performance director.
The Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, and the United Service Organizations partnered to bring the "experience" to Families at 43 military installations across the country, Fort Stewart being number 35.
The free, traveling tour included a 60-minute experience and featured a 25-minute live Muppet performance, giveaways from outreach organizations providing materials for the military Family community, and a group photo framed by the Muppets.
The tour was exclusively for military Families on the installation and a part of Sesame
Workshop's "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative - a military outreach program that launched in 2006.
"I think that this is great because my children have been wanting to see Elmo ever since they could say it," said Spc. Misty Brown, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment.
Her husband Spc. Theodoore Brown, Company D, 4/3 Avn., felt that "It's also great that we didn't have to pay to see the show."
The bilingual, multimedia show provided an eye full with dancing and singing, all inclusive with a skit focused on coping and support with significant guidance to military Families with young children between the ages of 2 and 5 experiencing the effects due to multiple deployments.
"Being on this tour has helped change my perspective and opinion about the military," said Bourque.
"I really have respect for the military now and I speak for the whole cast and crew when I say this, we are here doing this for the Families."
The Sesame Experience's next stop is Fort Belvoir, in Alexandria, Va. For more information on the Sesame Workshop and to learn more about the tour visit www.sesameworkshop.org, www.sesamestreet.com, and www.uso.org.