A Penn professor was recently elected to the board of trustees of Sesame Workshop, the organization behind the children's show, "Sesame Street."
An expert in the effects of educational media on children, Amy Jordan, the associate dean for undergraduate studies at the Annenberg School for Communication and a communication professor, will serve as the chair of the education subcommittee on the board. She will provide feedback to groups developing educational tools for kids.
Founded in 1966, Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization that develops media to help with international child development.
Jordan has edited various books concerning children and the media, is the co-editor of the "Journal of Children and the Media", and won the 2016 Senior Scholar Award from the International Communication Association.
In a press release from the Annenberg School for Communication, Jordan said that as a trustee, she will have "the privilege of learning about the research behind Sesame Workshop’s programming, and to understand the ways in which their initiatives meet their mission."
The Sesame Workshop has implemented numerous programs and initiatives including Sesame Street in Communities, a program that seeks to help children develop strategies to overcome tragedy and hardship, and Sesame Seeds, a multi-part initiative launched with the International Rescue Committee to help support children living in war-affected areas of the Middle East, which was selected as a finalist for the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change grant.
In April 2012, Penn's Annenberg Public Policy Center presented its Award for Excellence in Children and Media to Sesame Street.
Jordan notified the producer of the show in an letter, stating that the "Sesame Process" "underscores the importance of research in ensuring that all Sesame Workshop properties are educationally beneficial."
According to the Annenberg press release, Jordan said that she hopes to use her background in scholarly research to help Sesame Workshop achieve its goals.