According to the findings of a recent academic study (though of little surprise to anyone who has ever watched), the benefits of Sesame Street are as powerful as the ones kids get from attending preschool.
The paper from the University of Maryland’s Melissa Kearney and Wellesley College’s Phillip Levine finds that the show has left children more likely to stay at the appropriate grade level for their age, an effect that is particularly pronounced among boys, African Americans and children who grow up in disadvantaged areas.
After “Sesame Street” was introduced, children living in places where its broadcast could be more readily received saw a 14 percent drop in their likelihood of being behind in school. Levine and Kearney note in their paper that a wide body of previous research has found that Head Start, the pre-kindergarten program for low-income Americans, delivers a similar benefit.
In an age where we’re constantly debating screen time and the quality of programming offered to our kids, it’s reassuring to know the beloved classic we’re passing to them is as enriching as we remember it be.
Read the full article on the Washington Post: Study: Kids can learn as much from ‘Sesame Street’ as from preschool – The Washington Post