Washington, Wellesley, Mass. and College park Md. Research coauthored by Wellesley College economist Phillip B. Levine and University of Maryland economist Melissa Kearney finds that greater access to “Sesame Street” in the show's early days led to improved early educational out-comes—supporting that television can have a positive societal impact.
"With so much emphasis on early childhood interventions these days, it is quite encouraging to find that something so readily accessible and inexpensive as ‘Sesame Street’ has the potential to have such a positive impact on children's school performance in particular for children from economically disadvantaged communities,” Kearney said.
“Drs. Kearney & Levine's research reaffirms the intention Joan Ganz Cooney and the team that created ‘Sesame Street’ set out to accomplish. We are thrilled to see the positive effects of ‘Sesame Street’ as a population-based intervention – especially for those less privileged," Dr. Jennifer Kotler Clarke, Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Sesame Workshop, said.