“Sesame Street” is reaching out to a new demographic by introducing a muppet whose father is in prison. The character’s name is Alex, and he is being used to reach out to the 1 in 28 children in the United States who have a parent behind bars.
Though Alex won’t be introduced on the “Sesame Street” television series any time soon, he is being included in an online teaching kit called, “Little Children, Big Challenges.” The kit will be shipped to prisons in 10 states, including New York where an estimated 105,000 children have an incarcerated parent.
In his scene, Alex tells his friends that his dad won’t be able to help him build a toy car, The New York Daily News reports. Though he initially says he doesn’t want to talk about why his father isn’t around, Alex eventually reveals his parent is in prison.
“I just miss him so much,” the muppet says. “Sometimes I just feel like I want to pound on a pillow and scream as loud as I can.”
Then a human friend shows up to tell Alex that her father was also incarcerated. “Sesame Street” executives feel that this clip will be useful for children ages 3 to 8 who will feel like Alex is a kid going through the same experience they are.