The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Partners with Sesame Workshop to Launch Early Literacy Initiative for Young Children

Pledge of $750,000 is IICF's Largest Single Grant Contribution To-Date

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit, educational organization behind Sesame Street, today announced a partnership to launch an early literacy education initiative for underserved children. To support this effort, IICF's National Grant Committee has pledged $750,000 to Sesame Workshop over a period of three years, starting March 2013 through March 2016. This is the IICF's largest single grant pledge to-date since the inception of the organization in 1994.

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The partnership will develop a program that provides parents, caregivers, and facilitators with tools to support young children's development of essential literacy skills around rich conversations, reading, and writing. The initiative will target low income communities within IICF's four regional divisions; Midwest, Northeast, Texas/Southeast, and the Western United States and will also engage volunteers in all of these regions.

Launching in fall 2013, the program will consist of a multimedia campaign that provides tools to support young children's literacy development. Components will include:

  • Sesame Street video segments;
  • Downloadable materials for parents, educators, and IICF facilitators and volunteers to engage in fun, educational experiences to help advance literacy for pre-kindergarten children; and
  • A dedicated section on the Sesamestreet.org website and the Sesame Street mobile site where materials can be accessed.

"As the literacy level gap among young children continues to grow, Sesame Workshop is always working on establishing a strong language foundation in the early childhood period as we know this is critical for the success of our children in the future," said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, "Our partnership with the IICF will create an initiative that addresses these critical development needs and provide the resources available to help underprivileged children achieve what is needed for them for great preparedness and success in school and in life."

"We are committed to combining the collective strengths of the insurance industry to positively impact communities at the local and national level, specifically young children at risk of illiteracy, "said William Ross, Chief Executive Officer of the IICF. "It's an honor and privilege to be working with the Sesame Workshop, an organization that is passionate about making an educational impact for children in the communities in which we work and serve. Through this program, we are hoping to create a meaningful difference by creating an impactful literacy foundation for the underserved children in this country."

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children's television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows including The Electric Company, to help bridge the literacy gap. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and resilience. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is directed and funded by the insurance industry. The Industry Foundation helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. The Industry Foundation has contributed over $19 million and 166,000 volunteer hours to community nonprofits. IICF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

SOURCE IICF



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