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November 18, 2019

Dina Borzekowski, research professor in the behavioral and community health department, found that watching the Indian version of Sesame Street helps children reach higher levels of literacy, numeracy, health and socio-emotional development, the Diamondback reported. 

The show, Galli Galli Sim Sim, features a puppet named Chamki, an advocate for girls education, and Raya, who teaches children how to prevent sickness with good hygiene. 

Borzekowski told the Diamondback that Chamki’s character encourages girls to think bigger. 

“What we’re seeing is we can use media to reach some of the most impoverished children in the world,” Borzekowski told the Diamondback

Borzekowski is a research professor of behavioral and community health and the interim director of the School of Public Health’s Global Health Initiative. She is an internationally recognized expert in the area of children, media and health. 

In her study, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology in August, Borzekoswki found that preschoolers who watched Galli Galli Sim Sim were better at reading and working with numbers than those who watched other shows, like Dora the Explorer or Tom & Jerry, the Diamondback reported. The preschoolers understood health and emotional issues better. 

Borzekowki has been working with the nonprofit behind the show, Sesame Workshop, for about 20 years, according to the Diamondback. She is currently building a team in India to operate without her. 

Related Links

The Diamondback: Sunny Day: A UMD researcher found the Indian version of Sesame Street helps kids

Indian “Sesame Street” Show Improves Preschoolers’ Skills

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Dina Borzekowski