Sesame Street’s furry red monster inspired dozens of children to spread kindness and caring during a special Inquirer Read-Along session at Inquirer’s main office in Makati on Tuesday.
Elmo joined veteran storyteller Rich Rodriguez of Ang Pinoy Storytellers in reading Liwliwa Malabed’s “Super Ningning,” the story of a young girl who wished for superpowers to defeat school bullies but later realized that kindness and compassion mattered more.
About 50 pupils from Sophia School in Meycauayan, Bulacan, were delighted to interact with the 3½-year-old Muppet character with an orange nose and high-pitched voice during the storytelling.
Andro, 9, learned to be good to others. “Help your friends if they are in trouble or if there is something that they need,” he said.
Amanda, 7, said in addition to helping others, she also learned making new friends.
Elmo is visiting the country for the first time to launch his “Spread Kindness, #ShareTheLaughter” campaign, a year-long global multimedia project of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind the children’s show Sesame Street.
Throughout the campaign, Elmo will ask friends to spread kindness around the world through the universal language of laughter with his #ShareTheLaughter tell-a-joke challenge.
“Sesame Workshop recently conducted a national survey that found parents and teachers are worried that children are living in an unkind world and that people don’t go out of their way to help others,” said Scott Chambers, senior vice president/general manager of North America Media and Licensing.
“The world could use a little more kindness,” Chambers said in a statement. “Elmo, and all of us at Sesame Street, have resolved to spread as much as we can through a fun, kid-friendly campaign that anyone can join.”
As Sesame Street launches its 47th season this year, fans will find kindness-themed episodes through its new classic videos and songs celebrating kindness on Sesame Street’s social media channels.
Kids will learn from Elmo various acts of kindness like giving, speaking in appropriate language, helping others, showing gratitude and being a friend to others.
Beginning Sept. 18, Sesame Street will air on Knowledge Channel, Monday to Friday at 7:30 a.m. with replays at 6 p.m. —Rafael L. Antonio and Mary Beatrice Ponce