Sesame Street Apps for children launch for the first time in India

Two New Apps Bharat ka Bag and Grover ka Number Special available this week to help children learn about numeracy and counting in their local language India debut and worldwide roll out on Windows Phones and Nokia Symbian^3 Debut in Microsoft Market place and Nokia Store

Sesame Workshop India, the organisation behind Galli Galli Sim Sim, the beloved children’s television program on Cartoon Network and POGO, the leading children’s TV channels in India, today announced the launch of the first official Sesame Street Apps in Hindi — Bharat ka Bag and Grover ka Number Special — for Windows and Nokia Symbian^3 Phones.

This is part of the worldwide roll out where both Windows and Nokia mobile users can share in the lovable eccentricities of Bert and Grover with the two new Apps available from the Microsoft Marketplace for Windows mobile phones, and the Nokia Store for Nokia Symbian^3 mobile phones across the United States, and countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe

The Apps, Bharat ka Bag and Grover ka Number Special include original Sesame Street video content and encourage visual discrimination, counting, and number recognition, with a choice of English and one of five different local languages: Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, Dutch, and German. The Apps will be available in over forty countries in both their national languages and in English.

In India, both Apps Bharat ka Bag and Grover ka Number Special will be available in Hindi and English. They are being launched at a special introductory sale price of Rs. 5/- and Rs. 55/- each, from the Microsoft Marketplace and Nokia Store for Windows or Nokia Symbian^3 Phones, or at www.windowsphone.com/marketplace and store.ovi.com.  Regular prices of Rs. 15/- and Rs. 160/- each will apply after this temporary introductory period.

Sesame Workshop in India is constantly engaged in creating innovative content that maximizes the educational power of media to help all children achieve their highest potential. Since 2006, the Workshop has created content across television (the Galli Galli Sim Sim TV show), radio, community radio and print.  It has recently entered the preschool area by launching Sesame Street Preschools and Sesame Street afterSchools, which will use Sesame Street and Galli Galli Sim Sim multi-media and print content. The first centre opened in Jaipur, Rajasthan last month and many more centres are on the anvil in cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Meerut etc.

Galli Galli Sim Sim has pioneered the use of technology as a tool for learning. The mobile phone has been an amazing medium accelerating the pace of innovation for children whose education cannot wait. Our mobile modules led by our much loved Muppets have been playing a stellar role in becoming an agent of education for all Indian children” said Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop India Initiatives. “Now with Grover and Bert being available at the touch of a button, it opens another huge world for children across India who can learn, have fun and much more as part of their everyday lives.”

In the first App-Grover’s Number Special, Grover who has held countless jobs on Sesame Street, most commonly as a waiter at Charlie’s restaurant, can now wait tables around the world. When Charlie, the cook, doesn’t come into the restaurant and the customer wants his lunch right away, Grover, our cute and lovable waiter, needs help in Grover’s Number Special!  Join Grover in the kitchen to catch—and count—ingredients to make delicious and nutritious meals.  All users have to do is tip their device back and forth to move the tray.  Grover tells you how many ingredients to catch, and then counts the items with you.

And then in the second App, Bert in Bert’s Bag will bring his quirky collection of bottle caps and other treasures overseas, all the while helping children everywhere learn about numeracy and counting. Bert’s eclectic collections are kept in brown paper bags.  To discover what’s inside, users must open the bag and shake out the contents to find out.  Helping Bert count the silly and surprising items including marbles, coins and, of course, bottle caps in each bag is another way to hone one’s numeracy skills.

“Ultimately, people want to be spoken to in a voice they understand.  As large brands become global publishers, like Sesame Workshop, they can leverage Nokia’s resources around the world to increase the availability of world class localized content.” said Chris Surowiec of Nokia, Global Partner & Business Development Head for Kids, Family, and Education content.

Grover’s Number Special and Bert’s Bag were developed with IDEO, an award-winning design and innovation consultancy.

Notes to editors:

About Sesame Workshop India
Sesame Workshop India, the organization behind Galli Galli Sim Sim, uses the power of the media to help children reach their highest potential. We develop and distribute high quality and engaging content through television, radio, community radio, print, digital and outreach, to reach children aged 0-8.  Our content aims to facilitate young Indian children’s basic academic and life skills, while celebrating India’s rich cultural diversity, in order to promote their overall cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development. Galli Galli Sim Sim, the television series, has been watched by 10 million children each year since its debut in 2006 and is currently broadcast on two of India’s leading children’s channels, Pogo and Cartoon Network. Its educational messages are extended through a radio program aired on All India Radio and community radio stations, extensive community outreach, and applications on new and emerging media such as cell phones and internet.  Recently we have entered the school education space through the launch of Sesame Schoolhouse whose curriculum and methodology integrates hands-on project-based learning, with creative approaches to foster critical thinking and problem solving, laying a strong foundation to promote lifelong learning. For more information on all, log on to www.sesameworkshopindia.org and www.sesameschoolhouse.in.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

For further information please contact:
Ms Shobha Kapoor: Shobha.kapoor@sesame.org