Military Families Near and Far
Military Families Near and Far is an initiative funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and developed by the Sesame Workshop to provide military parents and their young children with multimedia educational resources to cope with the transitions of military life.
The website offers the highly successful Talk, Listen, Connect portfolio of video skits with Muppet characters Elmo and Rosita portraying military children dealing with a variety of situations including having a parent deployed, homecomings where a parent has been injured, or the case of the death of a parent. The website also provides creative tools to improve parent-child communication by promoting self-expression of military children and through connecting the children with their deployed parent on a family-based social network.
A family of mobile applications bring the resources and tools of Military Families Near and Far to the mobile environment. The Big Moving Adventure mobile app is an interactive story that emotionally prepares preschoolers for the common occurrence of military moves. The award-winning Feel Electric! mobile app teaches military children, through educational games, to identify feelings so they can more easily express their feelings related to the challenges of deployment. The Sesame Street for Military Families mobile application consolidates the Talk, Listen, Connect multimedia content for access by smartphones and tablets.
Each of these DoD-funded resources were developed with the professional and educational knowledge of psychologists, child development, military life and technology experts. The Talk, Listen, Connect multimedia content has been shown to increase the confidence of young military parents and the well-being of their children through improved communication around the difficult topics related to deployments.