CNN and ‘Sesame Street’ to host a town hall on going back to school

Momshies, how are you and your kids adjusting to learning in the New Normal?

As families try to navigate school amid a deadly pandemic, “Sesame Street” and CNN are teaming up for the “The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families.”

From staying safe in classrooms to making the most of virtual learning, the 60-minute special will provide tools and information for families dealing with unique circumstances of school in the era of coronavirus.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Erica Hill will moderate the hour. They will be joined by Sesame Street Muppets and school-aged children in a variety of learning environments, with Elmo going to preschool during the week, Big Bird in hybrid learning and Rosita fully remote.

The trio will be joined by Abby Cadabby and her brother Rudy, Super Grover and other friends from Sesame Street, along with Sesame Workshop’s Vice President and Education Publisher for Sesame Learning Akimi Gibson.

This special airs Saturday, September 12 at 10pm on CNN (SKYcable ch 27SD | 181HD in Metro Manila and ch 503SD | 705HD in regional areas).

CNN and Sesame Street’s townhall showed parents how to talk to kids about racism

These are very disturbing and confusing times. Adding to difficulties that the global community is facing because of COVID-19 are the difficult issues of racism in the US, as well as the Anti-Terrorism Bill and other concerns locally.

We may or may not choose to discuss these issues with other adults but children may be looking at us, their parents, to shed some light on the things they hear about when they turn on the TV, hear the adults talking or when they speak among themselves.

In a 60-minute TV special titled “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” CNN and Sesame Street answered questions from kids and parents alike regarding racism and the recent US-wide protests as well as called for embracing diversity, empathy and understanding.

Joining hosts CNN commentator Van Ross and CNN anchor Erica Hill are Sesame Street characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Gordon and Maria, as well as resource persons such as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, American Academy of Pediatrics Chair on Minority Health, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, authors Dr. Beverly Daniel-Tatum and Jennifer Harvey, Ph.D., among others.

Sesame Street hasn’t shied away from dealing with and explaining difficult concepts to kids. I remember that one of my first encounters with the concept of death was when the adults in the show explained to Big Bird that Mr. Hooper has died and will not be coming back. Maria, David, Bob and Susan all supported and reassured Big Bird through his confusion and sadness, a good example for parents to follow when explaining the death of a family member to young kids.

Through frank yet gently put discussions on topics from how to act when encountering racist acts to expressing support and empathy to people of color encountering racism, the show hand-held kid viewers and their parents as they navigated through a complex issue.

This show has made me wonder: what complex issue are we facing as a nation, and how do we explain it to our children? Would we have the same sensitivity and care in broaching and discussing such topics to out kids.

“Coming Together: Stand Up to Racism” was aired on CNN (SKYcable ch 28 SD | ch 181 HD) on June 6, 10pm. The full town hall may be viewed online at CNN’s website.

Well-loved cartoons on-the-go on HBO GO

On long road trips, did you ever wish that you can keep your kids entertained?  Well, with these new additions to HBO GO’s line up of programs, the little ones will be happy and content at the backseat of the car or wherever your family is as they join their animated friends on merry adventures.

These new shows are part of HBO Asia’s commitment to provide quality content and programs to viewers of all ages.  New family-friendly content – from animated series to children’s puppet series, as well as educational live action series – will be available to viewers, both young and old, at their convenience anytime on HBO GO.

Starting this December, HBO GO users in Asia will be able to stream and download popular and beloved family-friendly series including Cartoon Network hits ADVENTURE TIME, BEN 10: OMNIVERSE, DEXTER’S LABORATORY, FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS, REGULAR SHOW, STEVEN UNIVERSE, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS and WE BARE BEARS, as well as FRAGGLE ROCK and SESAME STREET, anytime, anywhere.

These well-loved kids programs join HBO GO’s roster of content which also include blockbuster movies and HBO Originals from the U.S. and Asia available for video streaming.

These programs include:

ADVENTURE TIME (Seasons 1 – 5)

Kids Shows on HBO GO

Finn, the human boy with the awesome hat, and Jake, the wise dog, embark on a series of bizarre and unique exploits as they explore the kooky land of Ooo. Whether it’s rescuing a princess from an Ice King, or de-corpsenating dead candy people, one thing’s for sure: it’s always adventure time.

BEN 10: OMNIVERSE (Season 1)

Kids Shows on HBO GO

Ben will have a new character design that pays homage to his past and he will have a whole new batch of aliens to battle. Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers enemies from his past looking for a re-match, while a mysterious hunter is hot on his trail.


Kids Shows on HBO GO

Dexter is a typical 8-year-old boy – other than the fact that he is a genius with an enormous secret laboratory, complete with computers, experiments and machines hidden beyond his bedroom wall. Despite sneaking to the lab when he can, he still cannot get away from his big sister, Dee Dee, who loves to dance her way into Dexter’s well-ordered world, disrupting his inventions and annoying him beyond belief.


Kids Shows on HBO GO

8-year-old Mac discovers Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends when his mum tells him he is too old for his trusty imaginary friend Blooregard (aka Bloo). Full of fantastic creations outgrown by children, Mac takes Bloo to Foster’s to provide him with a safe place to live, while still being able to visit every day.

FRAGGLE ROCK (Seasons 1 – 4)

Kids Shows on HBO GO

This wonderfully inventive program was designed to entertain while encouraging an understanding and embracing of diversity. Through the fun adventures of the Fraggle gang – Red, Gobo, Wembley, Boober, Mokey and Uncle Travelling Matt – the show features a unique mix of music that includes a number of genres, from folk, blues and gospel to country and rock.

REGULAR SHOW (Seasons 1 – 2)

Kids Shows on HBO Go

The series revolves around the lives of two working-class friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby – both employed as groundskeepers at a local park. They usually try to solve a simple problem, but it often leads to surreal, extreme and supernatural misadventures.

SESAME STREET (Season 40 – 41)

Kids Shows on HBO GO

It’s another sunny day on Sesame Street, with its famous furry cast, celebrity guests and trademark mix of live-action, animated and wondrous fun. Sesame Street addresses the spectrum of children’s learning: ABCs and 123s, health, mutual understanding and more. Here, children build essential skills, use their imaginations, and respect people’s differences. It is a proven recipe for success in school and life. Sesame Street is the world’s most honored children’s television show and has captured over 150 Emmy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

STEVEN UNIVERSE (Seasons 1 – 2)

Kids Shows on HBO GO

Steven is the proverbial “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity, the Crystal Gems. Steven may not be as powerful or as smart as the Crystal Gems and he may not have any control over the magical powers that come out of his belly button but that doesn’t stop him from joining Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl on their magical adventures, where Steven always finds a surprising way to save the day.


Kids Shows on HBO Go

When Professor Utonium set out to create the perfect little girls, he mixed in all the right ingredients: sugar, spice and everything nice. But when a fourth ingredient, Chemical X, was accidentally added, he created The Powerpuff Girls – three of the cutest, little kindergarten superheroes. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup dedicate their lives to fighting crime and the forces of evil, all before bedtime.

WE BARE BEARS (Season 1)

Kids Shows on HBO Go

The Bears are an adoptive family of three bears doing their best to try and fit in with human society in America – no easy task for bears! Set in the San Francisco Bay area, the series follows Grizz, the oldest of the three, and definitely the most fun-loving, Panda, a social media enthusiast who is easily embarrassed, and Ice Bear, who is the youngest bear but of the strong, silent type. Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear may seem like an unlikely trio, but their friendship is strong to the core.

So on your next road trip when you find your kids harassing you with “Are with there yet?,” just whip out your mobile device and stream these shows for their entertainment, and your own peace of mind.

About HBO GO

HBO GO is an internet-based service that allows subscribers unlimited access to stream and download anytime, anywhere, a wide range of Hollywood blockbusters, all-time favourite kids’ programmes as well as unedited original versions of all HBO Original content from the U.S. and Asia, at the same time as they premiere. Live TV streaming of HBO Asia’s bouquet of channels are also available. The service is accessible on all mobile devices through the HBO GO App and on computers.

In the Philippines, HBO GO is exclusively available to SKYcable subscribers. For more information, visit

Show details and image provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.