Newest “Sesame Street” Muppet Karli helps talk about addiction


  • New characters in special episodes are being introduced in the American TV series ‘Sesame Street’ in a bid to help children deal with difficult circumstances.
  • A green Muppet called Karli appeared in “Sesame Street in Communities” to speak on behalf of children in foster care.
  • The “Sesame Street in Communities” project is designed to give free video content to help children through life’s challenges.

In a move to help America directly address the opioid crisis, “Sesame Street” has introduced the little yellow-haired green Muppet named Karli, who is in foster care while her mother is suffering from addiction.

Often ‘Sesame Street’, the American educational television series and a longtime favorite of children and adults, has featured new characters and special episodes to help children deal with tough circumstances they can innocently fall prey to. Earlier this year, Karli was brought into the show to represent kids in foster care.

The Muppet will explain on “Sesame Street in Communities” that “her mom was away because she had a grown-up problem.”

Designed for children who are often the unheard victims of addiction, the “Sesame Street in Communities” project provides free additional information to providers, parents and caregivers.

“How they’re impacted by addiction is often something that we don’t hear about or, more importantly, don’t hear [in] a children’s voice or perspective,” said senior vice president for U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, Jeanette Betancourt.

Sesame Street is a production of Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization.

“I love my mom so much” but “she couldn’t take good care of me because she was having such a tough time,” Karli told NBC News.

Karli’s situation is similar to 10-year-old Salia Woodbury’s story. Her parents have also battled opioid addiction but are now in recovery. In some of the episodes, Salia joins Karli in consoling children of addicted parents that they’re not alone.

“We all feel, like, our big feelings inside,” but we’re strong, and we can all work together to go through it,” Salia said.

Her mom, Jaana Woodbury said the special series wipes out the stigma and the judgment and urges people to be more open-minded.

In a special episode in 2011, Lily, who lives in poverty, was introduced to tackle issues on childhood poverty and food insecurity. Last year, she was featured as a homeless Muppet in some ‘Sesame Street in Communities’ videos.

Alex became the first Muppet with a dad in jail in 2013, followed by 4-year-old Julia, who is on the autism spectrum in 2015.


Source: NBC News

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