Co-creator of Sesame Street Joan Ganz Cooney, spoke to NPR this morning about how in 1969 she came up with the idea for the show that changed children's television forever.
Cooney says the cheap cartoons and pie-in-the-face violence of children's television in the '60s spurred her to create a "Laugh In for kids" set in an urban environment. "We decided not to have it in some magic house the way most children's programs are set in a fantasy setting of some kind or in the suburbs," says Cooney, "we were trying to reach all children, but the bulls eye of the target was inner city youngsters." She says now the Children's Television Workshop is looking for ways to use new technology like video games and cell phones to teach. "You have to go where the kids are," says Cooney, "it's a tougher world to find a way of having impactful educational value for children." [NPR]