On Wednesday, the Department of Education hosted an advance screening of a new episode in the popular PBS Kids cartoon series, “Sid the Science Kid” called “Getting a Shot: You Can Do It!” regarding the H1N1 vaccination. Seated on colorful reading mats and oversized bean bag chairs, children from across the Washington, D.C., area participated in learning activities about nutrition and wellness; enjoyed healthy snacks; and—along with “Sid the Science Kid”—discovered the basic science behind germs, viruses, and why vaccines are so important. Special guest hosts for the evening included CEO of the Jim Henson Company Lisa Henson, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Dr. Anne Schuchat, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Produced by the Jim Henson Company, the “Sid the Science Kid” series uses cartoon characters and comedy to answer questions children have about basic scientific principles. Secretary Sebelius noted, “In this special episode, Sid explains how vaccines work and shows millions of children what they can do to prevent the spread of the flu.” She added, “Sid will be a great messenger as we continue to find new and creative ways to reach out to children, adults, and families about how to stay healthy during flu season.”
The special H1N1 episode will premiere on PBS on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, with subsequent airings through November and December. Additional information and interactive tools for children, caregivers, and adults can be found online at www.PBSKIDS.org/sid. For information about the seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses and vaccinations, please visit www.flu.gov, the government-wide “one-stop” Web site for flu-related resources, managed by the Department of Health and Human Services.