Growing up on Sesame Street

By Whitney Grunder

LUFKIN, TX(KTRE) - Sesame Street is celebrating it's 40th year with its largest audience yet. And, although the program may have made some changes since it started in 1969, it remains a beloved show combining education and entertainment.

You know them well: Big Bird, Oscar, Bert and Ernie. And, who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Cookie Monster of course! Old and young love and appreciate the Sesame Street crew.

"Sesame Street really framed our childhood," said Sheila Adams, the Marketing Director for St. Cyprian's Episcopal School. "I mean, when you think back, you know, not only did we learn our letters and our numbers, but we also were taught how to treat people and you were also taught that everyone doesn't think like you do, and to be nice to others. And, it really framed a lot of our values that we know today."

The show has evolved over time, but it's basic intent remains to educate and entertain. It seems everyone has a personal favorite.

"My favorite is Elmo," said Tristan Minguez. "Because he's red and he loves his fish."

"[My favorite is] probably Big Bird," said Larry Thornhill. "Because he's big and he's yellow."

"Cookie monster is my favorite," said Collin Ross.

"[My favorite is] probably Oscar the Grouch," said Angela Snelson. "He's just kinda, he has his own little attitude."

And, even with new educational programs as it's competition, the street stays hot. And, so does Sesame Street merchandise.

"They're pretty timeless," said Kris Hoepfner, a Target Manager. "They're toys that carry through the generations."

When talking about the beloved show, one can't help but sing the classic melody.

"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?"

Today, Sesame Street is practically world wide, airing all around the globe in many languages.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.