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S Is For School: Sesame Street Gives Kids An Academic Head Start, Says Science

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sesame streetI do not remember much from preschool, but I definitely remember my favorite Sesame Street sketches. When I think about my first memories of learning letters or numbers, I don’t remember school. I remember Sesame Street. Bert and Ernie and Kermit and Grover and The Count have been teaching kids about cooperation, letters, numbers, and being decent people since the 1960s, and apparently it is working, because science says Sesame Street gives kids a measurable head start in school.

According to Yahoo Parenting, studies of kids who watch Sesame Street have shown that the show can help kids raise their test scores and master their letters and numbers, and a new research paper indicates that a background including Sesame Street helps kids perform at the right grade level for their age.

The study indicates that kids who watched Sesame Street were 14 percent less likely to fall behind in school later than were their peers who did not watch Sesame Street. While that research studied the kids who were starting school back in the early 70s when Sesame Street first came out, the study authors say research indicates that kids today are getting the same benefits we did from singing, “1-2-3-4-5, 6-7-8-9-10 … 11 12.

“The study demonstrates that the creators of the show fulfilled their goal, which was to help kids learn, particularly kids from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Melissa Kearney, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, in an interview with Yahoo Parenting.

I can’t say I’m surprised. I always hoped Sesame Street was actually educational, even though I remember it as being purely entertaining. And I still remember all the songs from Big Bird Goes to Japan.

And speaking of Sesame Street sketches that stick with us and teach kids important lessons, the “Women Can Be” song gets me absolutely every time:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpjmeyI2pfI]

What’s your favorite Sesame Street sketch? Share them in the comments, because we all need something to procrastinate with today.