There’s a new kid on the block in Sesame Street in the shape of Karli – a young muppet in foster care living with her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem.
New videos, a storybook and interactive activities have been released featuring Karli and her foster parents.
The introduction of Karli is part of a new initiative from the show to offer support to children, foster parents and providers.
One video shows her struggling with feeling left out at a pizza party.
Another features Elmo’s dad chatting with Dalia and Clem about how they are finding fostering.
Karli is also seen sharing an art project with Elmo that shows that even though she might feel like her heart is breaking, it can get bigger at the same time when more love is added.
Digital resources such as books and art activities have also been made available by Sesame Street and there are also tips for foster parents.
‘Reflecting real life’
Karli is the latest character to be introduced as part of the show’s community initiatives.
Last year, it welcomed homeless character Lily, a seven-year-old girl whose family comes to stay with friends when they lose their apartment.
In 2017, Julia, a little girl with autism, made her Sesame Street debut.
Characters from Sesame Street have also been used to help teach children displaced by war in Syria.
The Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee won a $100m (£75m) grant to help with the “toxic stress” on child refugees.
It is being used to help children in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.
“Throughout its 47-year history, Sesame Street seems to have always embraced diversity and inclusion,” wrote Taylor Pittman in the Huffington Post in 2017.
“[The show] has had its Muppets and their human friends discuss important issues (like bullying and divorce) and reflect people kids actually see day to day (like children whose parents are in the military).”