Good news for parents of children who love to watch Sesame Street: a new study has confirmed that the show does play a powerful role in educating kids. The University of Maryland researchers focused on preschoolers who watched Sesame Street when it first came out in 1969 and found that children who had access to the show did better throughout elementary school than the children who did not. And kids who watched the 45-year-old program were more likely to have peers closer to their age, which means they weren't being held back in school.
In the process, researchers also found that the group who received the most positive impact were children from disadvantaged communities. One of the authors of the study, Phillip B. Levine, said, "Our analysis suggests that Sesame Street may be the biggest and most affordable early childhood intervention out there, at a cost of just a few dollars per child per year, with benefits that can last several years."