Friends Lend a Helping Hand on Sesame Street

New DVD/VHS Features Elmo and His Friends to the Rescue When Storm Damages Big Bird's Home

Forecast Calls for Mix of Laughs and Learning With Highs Around the Importance of Friendship

First Sesame Street DVD to Feature Audio Description for Visually Impaired Children


Fair-weather friends don't live on Sesame Street. Amid high winds, heavy rains and clucking chickens, the whole neighborhood -- from Elmo to Zoe -- joins together to prepare for a big storm. Coinciding with the height of hurricane season, Friends to the Rescue, a new video and DVD release by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Sony Wonder will provide parents with the tools necessary to help their children deal with tough emotions like feeling afraid, while also entertaining and teaching preschoolers about friendship and teamwork.

(Photo: )

Available in DVD and VHS format, Friends to the Rescue runs 53 minutes and arrives at retail on August 2. Suggested Retail Price is $12.98 for the DVD and $9.98 for VHS. DVD bonus features include games, Rebuilding Big Bird's Nest Game and Weather Game, as well as Kid-Friendly Instant Play, in which the program starts automatically and plays continuously.

  Program highlights include:
     * "Blow-by-blow" storm forecasting from weatherman Al Roker
     * Appearances by the whole Sesame Street ensemble from Elmo, Snuffy,
       Big Bird and Zoe to Gordon, Maria and Luis
     * Big Bird learning to express his feelings of sadness about the storm
       and damage to his nest
     * Nest planning by Three Little Pigs architectural firm --
       Pig, Pig & Pig

"On Sesame Street, fun is always in the forecast when teaching young children, even when dealing with tough issues. This topic allows us to address the emotions that children feel when they are faced with any kind of natural disaster, whether it's a flood, fire or storm," says Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Research, Sesame Workshop. "In this video, we show how adults can validate children's feelings and provide strategies to help them. As always, the Sesame Street muppets provide fun, laughter and learning even when faced with challenging situations."

A First for Visually Impaired Children

Friends to the Rescue is the first Sesame Street DVD to feature Audio Description -- a feature that makes the program accessible to children who are blind or have low vision. Visually impaired children will have the opportunity to "see" the images through descriptions of the visual elements and finally be able to embrace the full educational value of the program. The detailed process provides concise and vivid descriptions of a program's visual elements, enabling viewers to more fully experience colors, costumes, settings, facial expressions, gestures and actions.

Weather Proof Your Child

As its release coincides with the height of hurricane season, Friends to the Rescue also features storm-related parenting tips. Parents can learn ways to make severe weather less scary and stressful for a child, including ideas for inside activities to take a child's mind off the storm and tips for making them feel safe and comfortable.

"Serious weather can be frightening to children as well as adults," says meteorologist Al Roker. "In Friends to the Rescue, the Sesame Street gang can help alleviate those fears and give kids good information to help them cope."

Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in children's lives around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like Dragon Tales and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat, and ground breaking multi-media productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. These are among many Workshop endeavors recognized for their deep understanding of children's developmental needs and the most effective ways to address them. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street, Dragon Tales and Sagwa products right back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at

Sony Wonder is the children's and family division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment


SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT is a global recorded music joint venture with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars, as well as a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. Sony BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT is 50% owned by Bertelsmann A.G. and 50% owned by Sony Corporation of America.

Photo: NewsCom:
AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN4
PRN Photo Desk,


CONTACT: Tamara Jacobs of Element Six, +1-770-971-0677, for Sony BMG

Web site: