Well, as most of you know by now, Big Bird is on lock-down. That’s right, Sesame Street’s new “Little Children, Big Challenges” educational kit provides parents resources to help children cope with the incarceration of a parent.
This is both bold and timely, given the close to 2.7 million children who currently have a parent in prison, and the disproportionate number of African Americans who contribute to those numbers.
Sounds like a positive program.
Well not so fast say some people who argue that this effort promotes the ‘normalcy of having a parent in jail’ and therefore could send the wrong message to the same disadvantaged populations it is trying to help.
In other words, focusing too much attention on this harsh reality may, according to some, actually encourage it.
So I guess the question is whether Big Bird is helping or hurting?
One thing is for sure, the problem is here – whether we choose to address it or not 2.7 million children are affected by either mommy or daddy not being present in their daily lives because of incarceration, and this is a challenge.