Sesame Street launches its first crowdfunded campaign, to prevent autistic kids from being bullied

This looks like a worthy cause — Sesame Street is seeking $75k to fund its Autism Initiative to prevent bullying.

We've mapped out a multi-step plan to address bullying as it affects the autism community – starting with an enhanced digital storybook. Drawing on an extensive body of research, we'll create a kid-appropriate story about understanding differences using everyday activities and play. Like our other Julia storybooks, it will offer parents and caregivers a safe and accessible starting point for deeper conversations with their children.

Contributions to the campaign will fund:

  • Rigorous work with expert advisers across some of the 250 autism organizations that helped us build the See Amazing initiative, ensuring that we're telling the right story in the right way

  • Writing, editing, and illustrating an uplifting story that models inclusive play, starring the beloved Sesame Street Muppets
  • Supplementary materials for kids and adults, including articles for parents and caregivers that will address bullying in a direct and empowering way

  • Recording sessions with the Sesame Street cast to provide audio for the digital storybook

  • Translation work and additional recording sessions to version the storybook, articles, and other materials in Spanish (and potentially other languages) adjusting for cultural and linguistic nuances

Our initial goal of $75,000 will allow us to do the above. But there's more we can do, too. If we reach our first stretch goal — $150,000 — we'll be able to create a printed storybook version of the story that we'll distribute free of charge to 40,000 kids via our growing network of partner organizations. We'll get all these resources in the hands of kids and families by April 2019.