LOCATION: Royhinga Refugee Camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
DATE: October 31, 2018
SUBJECT: Family, Families, Home
CREW: Photographer: Ryan Donnell
NY Producer: Jennifer Rupnik
Local Producer: Ghazal Javed
Marketing: Meredith Jacobson
Local: Sesame Workshop Bangladesh (Khalil Rahman)
Performers: Sayma Karim (Tuktuki); Elmo and Grover (Shuvankar Das Shuvo);
Ryan Donnell
LOCATION: Royhinga Refugee Camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh DATE: October 31, 2018 SUBJECT: Family, Families, Home CREW: Photographer: Ryan Donnell NY Producer: Jennifer Rupnik Local Producer: Ghazal Javed Marketing: Meredith Jacobson Local: Sesame Workshop Bangladesh (Khalil Rahman) Performers: Sayma Karim (Tuktuki); Elmo and Grover (Shuvankar Das Shuvo);
Now playing
01:18
How the Muppets are helping refugee children
e-skin wearable health someya spc intl_00001205.png
e-skin wearable health someya spc intl_00001205.png
Now playing
03:09
Electronic skin could track your vital signs
AirTag
Apple
AirTag
Now playing
01:17
See AirTag, Apple's new device for tracking your lost stuff
ABC/Fremantle North America/19 Entertainment
Now playing
01:27
Katy Perry consoles 'Idol' contestant after he flubs lyric
NASA/JPL
Now playing
01:29
Watch the Ingenuity helicopter's first flight on Mars
Marvel Entertainment
Now playing
01:13
Marvel introduces first Asian superhero in new trailer
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Now playing
01:08
Video shows child getting caught under Peloton treadmill
CNN
Now playing
02:56
Watch Anderson Cooper belly laugh with Cheri Oteri
US Navy
Now playing
01:28
Pentagon confirms UFO video is real, taken by Navy pilot
Now playing
01:24
How Kyra Sedgwick got the cops called on Tom Cruise
Fancy Feast/Purina
Now playing
01:06
Cat food company makes a cookbook ... for humans
Google Earth's new timelapse feature
Google
Google Earth's new timelapse feature
Now playing
01:09
Google Earth's new Timelapse feature shows 40 years of climate change in just seconds
Twitter | @brady9dream
Now playing
02:10
Pet owners pitch their pups to be dog brew's 'Chief Tasting Officer'
FOX/"The Masked Singer"
Now playing
01:23
'The Masked Singer' reveals identity of The Orca
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:10
Bitcoin has an energy problem
The new all-electric Mercedes-EQS
Mercedes-Benz AG
The new all-electric Mercedes-EQS
Now playing
01:05
See the new all-electric EQS luxury sedan from Mercedes
(CNN) —  

It’s no secret that creativity plays an essential role in a child’s education. And what better way to teach Rohingya and Syrian refugee children than to bring them Muppets?

The LEGO Foundation announced Wednesday it is awarding a $100 million grant to Sesame Workshop for a mass-media program to help educate millions of refugee children.

The number of displaced people last year hit a global high, according to the UN Refugee Agency, which said that more than 68 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2017 as a result of war, violence and other forms of persecution. Among them are 25.4 million refugees – about half of whom are under the age of 18.

The always lovable Grover plays with a boy at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
Ryan Donnell/Sesame Workshop
The always lovable Grover plays with a boy at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

“Learning through play can change a child’s life,” say the LEGO Foundation and Sesame Workshop, who believe their program will give these vulnerable kids a leg up during what is an unsettling time for them. Sesame Workshop is the educational organization behind the PBS kids’ show “Sesame Street,” which features Muppets characters.

“Early adverse experiences negatively affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health,” said John Goodwin, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, in a statement.

The program will include a play-based curriculum that will bring critical early education – like reading and counting – via Sesame Street videos, storybooks, games, puzzles and safe spaces to play. Organizers hope it will help mitigate some of the long-term effects of displacement and trauma.

“Play is essential for a child’s healthy development and fosters the natural curiosity to learn through engaging interactions with caring adults,” Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, told CNN.

Ameena, a teacher, works with Tonton the muppet during a kindergarten class for Syrian refugee children at the Fneish camp in Lebanon.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for the International Rescue Committee/Sesame Workshop
Ameena, a teacher, works with Tonton the muppet during a kindergarten class for Syrian refugee children at the Fneish camp in Lebanon.

Westin said that interaction between adults and children is all the more important for kids who have experienced the trauma of displacement. Sesame Workshop content is designed to appeal to both children and their caregivers, which enables that playful engagement the children need, she said.

This is LEGO Foundation’s first humanitarian project. The funds will strengthen Sesame Workshop partnerships with Bangladeshi relief organization BRAC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and New York University’s Global TIES for Children – allowing them to reach some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

“This extraordinary grant is so meaningful both because of the children we will reach and because it’s the kind of bold philanthropy needed to transform the way the humanitarian system serves the youngest refugees,” Westin said. “Less than 3% of global humanitarian funding goes to education, and only a sliver to early childhood, despite all we know about the value in investing in a child’s early years.”

Sesame Workshop focuses on the importance of early childhood development.
Ryan Donnell/Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop focuses on the importance of early childhood development.

According to Sesame Workshop, “Sesame Street” reaches children in 150 countries while the IRC provides services to over 26 million people in 40 countries. The two have been working together since 2017 after receiving a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, and with the LEGO funding they will be able to expand their efforts.

The new program will use animated and nonverbal formats to address the needs of displaced children no matter where they live or what language they speak.

“We believe that this work is vital in assisting children to develop the resilience they need to thrive, and we sincerely hope that other actors in the global community will join us in changing how humanitarian response works so that the youngest victims of crises have a brighter future,” said Sarah Bouchie, Head of Learning through Play in Early Childhood at the LEGO Foundation.