Your Children's Neighborhood,
John P. Murray, PopPolitics.com
It's so often that we hear about television's negative effects on children that TV's efforts to teach kids positive lessons are often overlooked. Many programs have always dealt with kids' timeless feelings and fears, and some shows additionally tackle issues unique to today, writes John P. Murray in
South African Sesame Street recently announced plans to include an HIV-positive character on its show to teach tolerance and reduce children's fear of the disease that is so pervasive in their country. The American Sesame Street, meanwhile, has dealt with plenty of post-9/11 issues through episodes focused on firefighters and fire safety as well as grief and loss--the latter themes addressed through the story of Big Bird losing his adopted turtle, and working through his sadness with the help of friends.