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'Sesame Street' to air its hurricane special on Friday

Superstorm Sandy left a lot of damage in its wake, and now, it's touching down on "Sesame Street" Friday. The show's hurricane special, "Sesame Street Gets Through a Storm," which first aired in September 2001 as a five-part series, and again in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, is returning to help educate children.

Sesame Workshop

A hurricane comes to "Sesame Street."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Sesame Street's" supervising producer Nadine Zylstra said that the hurricane special "was designed to stand alone as a piece." 

"When the show had originally been written, it wasn't intended to go after a devastating disaster," she added. Zylstra also noted that it was a preparation tool.

" 'Sesame Street' is based on a whole child curriculum, and so we focus not only on the cognitive skills, but social and emotional skills for children," Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, the VP of education and research for Sesame Workshop, said in an interview with WNYC in October. "We wanted to have a community show like this where we could model for parents tips -- so that we could model how you prepare for a storm and how you get through the storm with activities ... and keeping your child calm and safe."

The original special shows the residents of Sesame Street learning about hurricanes with the help of TV reporter Kermit the Frog and meteorologist Al Roker. Later the characters go about making preparations for the big storm and explain how certain tasks done ahead of the hurricane can help keep them safe. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, Friday's airing has been edited to exclude the preparation work. The tweaked special will take a look at the destruction of Big Bird's nest and his attempts to repair his home with the help of good pal Elmo. (The little red guy tried to comfort his young fans shortly after Sandy hit by speaking to his audience on WNYC.) Big Bird's friends will also be helping him deal with his emotions and offer whatever aid they can.

Parents and caregivers who would like extra tools for helping children understand hurricanes, or to watch the original special in its entirety can visit SesameStreet.org.

To find out when "Sesame Street" airs in your area, check PBS' TV schedule.

Will you be watching "Sesame Street's" hurricane special with your children? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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