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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Media Advisory
August 20, 2013
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Institutions to Host Sesame Street Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Event During Visitation on Saturday

~Region III Correctional Facilities will hold events and activities to help the 64,475 children of Florida inmates.~

The Florida Department of Corrections Region III facilitates will hold Sesame Street Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration events and activities on Saturday, August 24, 2013, during regularly scheduled visitation. Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration is a new resource for children and their families to help them cope with the reality of incarceration.

Florida is one of 10 pilot states launching the resource and the Florida Department of Corrections has partnered with Sesame Street on this project, with no cost for the DOC. The total number of minor children reported by Florida inmates is 64,475.

At some institutions, media is invited and will be given the opportunity to speak with inmates and visitors participating in the day’s events and activities. Media will need to RSVP to the Communications Office prior to the event.

WHAT: Department of Corrections Region III facilities holding Sesame Street Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Activities

Events and activities will be held to entertain children and families and strengthen family bonds.

WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 2013

Times vary by institution. Contact the Office of Communications to confirm the institution and time you wish to attend.
WHERE: All Region III Department of Corrections Facilities (institutions with web pages are in blue)      

RSVP: If you wish to attend the press conference, you must contact the Department of Corrections’ Office of Communications at (850) 488-0420 prior to the event on Saturday to submit a Media Access Form, as background checks will need to be completed. All members of the media need to bring a photo ID.

No video or photos may be taken without the prior consent and approval from Department staff at the event. No cell phones will be permitted inside the institution.
WHY: The number of children with an incarcerated parent has increased nearly 80% in the past 20 years. Nearly 2.7 million children have a parent in state or federal prison, 64,475 in Florida, yet few resources exist to support young children and families with this life-changing circumstance.

Sesame Workshop is working closely with advisors and partners in the pilot states to distribute and integrate Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration resources into correctional facilities and organizations that specialize in early childhood education, mental health and counseling, parenting programs, foster care, and organizations that have missions specific to helping families cope with the incarceration of a loved one. 

The partnership between the Department and Sesame Street Workshop is a collaboration that will allow for the dissemination of these much needed resources in Florida institutions for incarcerated family members, children, caregivers and loved ones.

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration is designed to:
  • support, comfort, and reduce anxiety, sadness, and confusion that young children may experience during the incarceration of a parent;
  • provide at-home caregivers with strategies, tips, and age-appropriate language they can use to help communicate with their children about incarceration; and
  • inform incarcerated parents themselves that they can parent from anywhere, and provide them with simple parenting tips highlighting the importance of communication.

The Department has created a resource page on our web site with a variety of resources and materials which you can preview at http://www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/children/.

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As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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