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Plaza Sésamo (Spanish: Sesame Square), is one of the first international co-productions of the American children's television program Sesame Street. Its first season premiered in Mexico in 1972, and was immediately a ratings hit. It also aired throughout Latin America, to a potential audience of 25 million children in 34 countries.

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  • Plaza Sésamo (Spanish: Sesame Square), is one of the first international co-productions of the American children's television program Sesame Street. Its first season premiered in Mexico in 1972, and was immediately a ratings hit. It also aired throughout Latin America, to a potential audience of 25 million children in 34 countries.
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  • Plaza Sésamo (Spanish: Sesame Square), is one of the first international co-productions of the American children's television program Sesame Street. Its first season premiered in Mexico in 1972, and was immediately a ratings hit. It also aired throughout Latin America, to a potential audience of 25 million children in 34 countries. Unlike some of the earliest co-productions, which consisted of dubbed versions of Sesame Street with local language voice-overs, Plaza Sésamo was a true co-production. Half of the show was adapted from the American show, and half was original material, created in Mexico by Mexican writers, performers, and producers. The first season consisted of 130 half-hour episodes. The show's goals, similar to the process begun in the U.S., were developed by local experts in television, child development, and early education during curriculum seminars in Caracas, Venezuela. Plaza Sésamo's goals emphasized problem solving and reasoning, and also included perception, symbolic representation, human diversity, and the child's environment. Other goals included community cooperation, family life, nutrition, health, safety, self-esteem, and expressing emotions. Early reading skills were taught through the whole language method. The show's budget for the first and second seasons was approximately US$1.6 million.The show's set consisted of a typical neighborhood square (or plaza) found throughout the region. New Muppets and human characters were created. In all, four seasons of Plaza Sésamo were filmed. The first season resulted in some of the highest ratings in Mexico. The fourth season, filmed in 1995, was broadcast in the U.S., making it the first foreign-language co-production shown in the U.S. Studies conducted after the first season of Plaza Sésamo showed that it had a demonstrable impact on the educational achievement levels of its young audience. Highly significant difference were found in tests about general knowledge, letters, and numbers after children were exposed to the show. Significant gains were made in several cognitive and perceptual areas by regular viewers, even in subjects that were not taught by the show. Characters from the show participated in campaigns promoting health and nutrition; in 2009, the Sesame Workshop, the organization responsible for the American show, was awarded the "Champion of Health" award by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for its efforts.Sesame Workshop recently produced Sesame Amigos for Spanish-speakers from the United States.
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