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SPEECH TITLES AND/OR TOPICS   Click Here for Detailed Description

  • Sesame Street and the Emotional Life of Children: From Crying Over Spilt Milk To Military Deployment: Helping Children Cope With Change And Crises
  • Diversity
  • The Impact of Television on Children
  • The Empowerment of Women
  • Literacy
  • How Staffs Should Function
  • Would Elmo Make A Good Board Member?
  • Can Muppets Read?
  • Can Muppet Be A Health Nut?
  • 123 Who Let Latin On TV?
  • Critical Thinking and Public Television
  • Families/The First Teachers
  • My Immigrant Story


Diversity | Education | Entertainment | Media


Sonia Manzano has been a presence on Public Television since the 1970's. Raised in the South Bronx, she attended the High School of Performing Arts. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show, Godspell.

Within a year Ms. Manzano was cast as "Maria" on Sesame Street. After ten years as an actress, she began writing scripts for the series and has fifteen Emmy Awards as part of the Sesame Street writing staff. She also wrote for the Peabody Award winning children's series, Little Bill, for Nickelodeon and for a short time wrote a parenting column for the Sesame Workshop website called Talking Outloud.

Sonia Manzano has returned to the New York stage starring in The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated.

Ms. Manzano has received awards from The Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington DC and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and she received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Notre Dame University in 2004. Closer to home, she was inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2005.

Sonia Manzano was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as "Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series."

Ms. Manzano's first picture book No Dogs Allowed! was published in April 2004. General Mills gave away 1.5 million copies of No Dogs Allowed! in boxes of Cheerios, as part of their Spoonfuls of Reading program. No Dogs Allowed! was turned into a musical that was presented by the Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, Florida on June 2006.

Sonia Manzano's second book A Box Full Of Kittenswas published June 2007. Currently she is writing a blog for Catalina Magazine and working on a memoir.

Ms. Manzano enjoys traveling the country on the lecture circuit, infusing humor into serious topics. She lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter.

BOOKS    Search For A Book

  • A Box Full of Kittens
  • No Dogs Allowed

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