Environmental Elmo: "Green" Lessons from a Familiar Furry Friend

courtesy of google imagesWe may not own a Tickle-Me-Elmo or watch PBS anymore, but I’m sure we can all recognize the familiar lyrics, “sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away...”

For over 40 years, Sesame Street has been an iconic children’s television show advocating education and interaction skills. But, who says only children can enjoy the lessons taught on 123 Sesame Street?

Laura Gillespie, senior anthropology and communications major at Temple University, used to watch Sesame Street as a child and will now bring the show to life at Temple University in the performance of “Elmo’s Green Thumb,” debuting at the Liacouras Center on Saturday, March 12. Gillespie, who will play the role of Elmo’s friend Abby Cadabby, a spunky “fairy in training,” is exicted to be performing for her friends and family in Philadelphia.

“Knowing that I am in an arena not only close to home, but one that is a part of my university is very exciting," says Gillespie. "I know I will be full of adrenaline knowing that my family and friends are in the audience. " 

“Elmo’s Green Thumb” chronicles the Muppet pals’ adventure in learning and exploring how plants grow. When Elmo realizes that his new floral friend, Sunny the Sunflower, is too big for her flower pot, he and gal pal Abby Cadabby transplant Sunny into Big Bird’s garden and cast a spell on the flower to make her grow faster. But, when Abby’s spell goes awry, the friends end up learning more about nature and the organic process of growing.

“I think the show does a great job of teaching kids about the environment and conservation,” Gillespie told the Times Leader. “We talk about saving water and looking at the soil and taking care of Mother Nature.”

The performance will take place Saturday through Monday, March 12-14th at the Liacouras Center, located on the corner of Cecil B. Moore and N. Broad Streets. For more information, visit the Liacouras Center's website.