From the producers of Sesame Street, Through Our Eyes was designed as a co-viewing experience for adults and kids ages 8 and up. Each stand-alone 30 minute film is directed by an award winning filmmaker.
An inspiring journey into the lives of American families, from the perspective of children themselves, as they and their families navigate formidable yet all-too-common challenges.
Episode 1: APART
America has the world’s largest prison population, and 1 in 14 children in the country will experience the incarceration of a parent. The first episode, Apart, follows Lyric, Eric, and Nnadji as they contend with the incarceration of parents with whom they maintain a deep connection despite physical distance.
Directed by: Geeta Gandbhir and Rudy Valdez
The incarceration of a loved one can be overwhelming for children. Perceived stigma can lead to silence—but open and honest conversations can answer kids’ big questions, help them understand that they are not alone, and promote healing. These organizations can offer a place to start.
- We Got Us Now is built by, led by, and about children of incarcerated parents. Their curated list of books for all age groups invites families to learn more.
- The Osborne Association works to prevent and reduce the damage caused by crime and incarceration. They offer a wide range of resources for children of incarcerated parents
- Alliance for Justice for Families is a NY State organization for criminal justice reform that has a family support unit with information on individual and family counseling.
- Hour Children works to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women with children successfully rejoin the community, reunify with their families, and build independent lives.
- Sesame Workshop provides free, bilingual resources to help the caring adults in children’s lives guide them through difficult moments with love and support.
1 in 14 American children will experience parental incarceration, and 2.7 million children have a parent in prison right now.
Episode 2: UPROOTED
Since 2016, millions of people in the United States have been displaced by weather-related disasters that are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity due to climate change. In Uprooted, two families with young children grapple with climate-related crises.
Directed by: Talleah Bridges McMahon
Climate change is often a tough topic to discuss with children in a way that is both honest and reassuring. For families experiencing displacement due to climate change, helping children navigate the issue and their own feelings can be especially challenging. These organizations can offer a place to start.
- The National Resources Defense Council is an advocacy organization. To help families and caregivers answer challenging questions, they have created a Guide to Talking With Kids of All Ages About Climate Change.
- NASA created Climate Kids for upper-elementary-aged children. The site has games, activities, and articles that make climate science accessible and engaging.
- The CDC offers guidance on how to prepare for a natural disaster and how to help a child cope in the aftermath.
- The American Psychological Association has also put together a list of tips to aid children in their emotional recovery from natural disasters.
- SBP is dedicated to helping families across the country prepare for disaster and have created this short video of five tips to ensure your home and family are protected.
- The Child Development Institute lists tips for how to help children adjust to a new home–helpful when families are displaced because of a severe weather event.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics hosts a site dedicated to helping parents raise healthy children that offers advice on How Families Can Cope with Relocation Stress After a Disaster.
- Sesame Street in Communities provides free, bilingual resources for children and families as they prepare for an unexpected emergency or recover from one—helping caregivers provide reassurance and comfort even on the toughest days.
A “climate displacement” occurs each time someone is forced from their home due to a climate-related disaster. Since 2016, there have been more than 6.5 million climate displacements in the United States.
Source: The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) data for the United States.
Episode 3: HOMEFRONT
In the US, more than three million children live in homes with servicemembers and veterans who rely on caregiver support. Gabby, Terry, and Luther all have parents who were injured while serving, and each family has found a way to heal the wounds of war.
Directed by: Kristi Jacobson
When a veteran requires caregiving at home, the whole family often takes on support roles—including children. Little is understood about the impact of caregiving within military families, but there is a growing understanding that better support systems are needed. These organizations can offer a place to start.
- The Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s programs provide military and veteran caregivers the support they need at the local, state, and national levels.
- Hidden Heroes provides support, resources, and community for military caregivers and raises awareness of the pivotal role that they play in nurturing veteran families.
- Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers provides free and confidential coaching for the families and friends of returning service members and veterans to manage difficult transitions.
- VA Caregiver Support: offers services for caregivers including online and in-person classes and telephone and in-person support.
- Veteran Caregiver Support, created by Operation Homefront, cares for wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans and fosters connections among caregivers.
- Blue Star Caregivers: programs for caregivers including social events, peer support, coffee chats, and digital resources.
- America’s VetDogs trains and places skilled guide dogs with military veterans who experience both invisible and visible wounds.
- Sesame Street for Military Families: Caregiving is an initiative to support military and veteran families as they care for a wounded, ill, or injured parent or relative.
In the US, there are 1.9 million service members and veterans relying on caregiver support. 3.4 million children live in the homes of these caregivers.
Episode 4: SHELTER
The homelessness crisis can feel distant until seen through a child’s eyes. Shelter follows 3 unhoused children and their parents in L.A. as they seek steady shelter. Skylar’s family lives day to day: in the car, the woods, or the rare respite of a motel room.
Directed by: Smriti Mundhra
Losing one’s home brings enormous challenges, yet families can build a sense of hope and learn ways to cope. These organizations can offer a place to start.
- Reclaiming Our Homes is the movement started by housing activist Martha Escudero in California.
- The Mom’s 4 Housing collective of homeless and marginally housed mothers works to fill empty houses in Oakland and the Bay Area with people who need shelter.
- The Children’s Defense Fund is a national organization with many resources including the annual State of America’s Children, which includes a chapter on homelessness & housing insecure youth.
- SchoolHouse Connection is a national nonprofit working to overcome homelessness through education.
- School on Wheels supports unhoused kids through tutoring, providing learning equipment (like chromebooks) and ongoing community building and mentorship.
- My Friend’s Place has a wide range of resources and programs for youth experiencing. homelessness, especially those no longer living with parents or guardians.
- Homeless Children’s Network has a family support unit focusing on casework, mental health awareness, and therapy for children.
- Family Promise helps homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence by providing prevention, shelter, and stabilization services.
- Sesame Street in Communities provides free bilingual resources to families in crisis and providers who support families and children coping with shelter insecurity and difficult transitions.
At least 1 in 6 homeless people in the US are children.
Over 100,000 children in America don’t know where they’ll be sleeping tonight.
Five award-winning and -nominated filmmakers delve into children’s perspectives on some of today’s most challenging issues – homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement.