Sesame Street's Elmo Visits T2 Booth at Kids' Celebration

Sesame Street's Elmo Visits T2 Booth at Kids' Celebration

Posted by T2 Public Affairs on May 10, 2017

It’s not often that you get a chance to hang out with Elmo. Although the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) partners with Sesame Workshop on the Sesame Street for Military Families website, T2 staff doesn’t work directly with any of the beloved Sesame Street characters. But to celebrate April as the Month of the Military Child, Elmo, the fuzzy red Muppet, made an appearance at the annual Kids’ Fest held in April at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. Other visiting characters included Spider-Man and the character Jet Propulsion from the animated PBS show “Ready Jet Go!”

T2 headquarters is located right on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), and T2 staff manned a booth at the event to promote the Military Kids Connect (MKC) website. They handed out stress toys, magnets, stickers and information, and talked with over 200 parents and kids about MKC.

JBLM serves both Army and Air Force personnel, and Kids’ Fest featured free food, musical performances, crafts booths and a book giveaway. Games included a children’s version of a popular, cooking competition TV show where kids created meals using ingredients from Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) kits.

At the T2 booth, many kids had their pictures taken with their heads poked through cut-outs of posters proclaiming "I am proud to be a... kid".

“Kids and parents really enjoyed getting photos with the service boards,” said Molly Johnson, T2 usability lab consultant. “I would say the “Army” and “Military” boards were the most popular — we even had one Coast Guard participant!”

Kelly Blasko, psychologist and mobile web program lead at T2, said that the kids seemed really proud to be a military child. “Many grandparents came to the event and enjoyed learning more about MKC as a way to help share resources with their grandchildren,” said Blasko.

A T2 staffer placed dots on a map of the United States in the T2 booth corresponding to where visitors to the booth were previously stationed. “Kids really loved telling us all the places they lived,” said Blasko. “They seemed really excited to be asked.”

“Working at Kids’ Fest is such a joy, I love seeing the families that we serve and hearing what they have to say about MKC,” said Heather Fixler, program manager for Military Kids Connect.” My favorite part of Kids’ Fest this year was hearing kids say that they were familiar with our website and enjoyed the resources. They especially liked the videos featuring other military kids.”

“The event was a lot of fun — so many happy kids walking around with cotton candy, popcorn, big smiles and lots of energy,” said Johnson. “Elmo was a huge hit with the adults and children,” she said, proving that it’s never too late to hope for a photo op with your favorite Sesame Street character.

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