for immediate release: Dec 1, 2015
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Marissa Pierre
Phillips Foundation
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Guilford County Selected to Host “Sesame Street in Communities” Pilot

Phillips Foundation Convenes Community Partners for New Sesame Street Initiative

GREENSBORO, N.C. (December 1, 2015) — Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has selected Guilford County as one of three pilot communities for research, development, and the eventual national rollout of its new initiative, “Sesame Street in Communities.” This effort provides online resources to US children in three areas that are critical for their growth and trajectory for success: social-emotional well-being, health, and early learning. “Sesame Street in Communities” is designed to connect vulnerable families and at-risk-children from birth through age six to a comprehensive digital portal that is home to Sesame’s various social impact resources. Guilford County, Los Angeles, and Kansas City have been selected to participate in the supporting research and development phase, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“When Phillips Foundation learned of the vision behind ‘Sesame Street in Communities,’ we immediately saw how the work could benefit our community and believed Guilford County was ready to accept their investment and collaborate as a partner in this national effort,” said Elizabeth Phillips, executive director of the Phillips Foundation. “We are grateful that Guilford County was chosen as a pilot site and eagerly await the outcomes of the initial phase as well as the broader rollout to follow.”

“We chose Guilford County as one of our pilot locations because of its strong network of collaborative community partners and proven track record of empowering vulnerable families,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “The amount of support the initiative has already garnered in Guilford County is an indication of the impact Sesame can have in communities across the nation.”

Phillips Foundation convened an advisory meeting on Nov. 2 with co-organizers, United Way of Greater Greensboro and UNCG’s Department of Counseling and Educational Development, to kick off the R&D phase in Guilford County. Sesame Workshop executives engaged Guilford County community organization leaders and city and county officials in a discussion about challenges vulnerable families face and effective ways to support healthy development in children. Intensive focus groups with additional participants will be held throughout the winter as a follow up to the advisory meeting.

As a result of the advisory meeting, several Guilford County social service organizations have already begun incorporating Sesame resources for vulnerable families into their service platforms.




About Phillips Foundation

In 2005, local business leader Kermit Phillips created the Kermit G. Phillips II Charitable Trust to provide funding to non-profit causes as elected by the Phillips family. The trust’s endowment recently gained the majority of its funding and now operates as the Phillips Foundation. The current board is regionally focused on the Greensboro community with five target areas: housing and homelessness; economic development; arts and culture; child and family services; and education and learning enrichment. For more information, visit

Phillips Foundation currently does not accept unsolicited grant applications.

About Sesame Workshop Sesame

Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve. For more information, visit us at