This article is brought to you by the letter “B,” because after all these years, “Sesame Street” is still one of the best shows for your kids to watch.
A recent study by two economics professors found that kids who watch “Sesame Street” today get an academic boost in school.
If you consider yourself an alumni of a ‘90s childhood, odds are you remember hanging out with Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch and the gang on PBS in the morning. Just like it was back then, learning is still hot on the “Street.”
Economists Philip Levine of Wellesley College and Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland found that spending an hour a day watching “Sesame Street” helped young children — especially boys, African American children and kids of low-income families — perform better in school. Levine explained in the study:
“Our analysis suggests that ‘Sesame Street’ may be the biggest and most affordable early childhood intervention out there, at a cost of just a few dollars per child per year.”
Because “Sesame Street” is played on basic channels, Levine and Kearney looked at residential areas where families received UHF (ultra-high frequencies) channels, which “Sesame Street” plays on, and areas where UHF signals are weak. They found that the children who lived in areas where “Sesame Street” came in strong and clear were more likely to perform at grade level in elementary school than the children who lived in areas with weak or no “Sesame Street” signal.
According to CNNMoney, even in the 1970s (“Sesame Street” first aired on November 10, 1969), “Sesame Street” still made a difference in the academic success of young children. Today, the study suggests, online educational programs can have low-cost beneficial impacts, but “Sesame Street” is still the best deal out there.
So go ahead, let your kids watch an hour of “Sesame Street” (or plan on your kids learning their numbers with Count von Count), because nothing is better than being able to say, “I got my education on the Street … Sesame Street.”