Giuliana Bertelloni

Giulana Bertelloni asks a question on a CNN/Sesame Street back-to-school town hall last Saturday.

Giuliana Bertelloni wants to know when we can have birthday parties again.

The 6-year-old Rutlander got a chance to pose the question on CNN last Saturday during the network’s “The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families” special.

The network has aired several similar kid-friendly specials in recent months covering grownup topics such as COVID-19 and racism.

Saturday’s special, moderated by CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill, focused on returning to school amid the coronavirus pandemic. It featured several popular Sesame Street characters, including Elmo, Big Bird and Rosita.

Giuliana’s father Joe Bertelloni said they had watched the previous specials and knew that viewers could submit questions.

“I wrote in the question that Giuliana has been asking since her birthday on May 9,” he said on Monday.

Giuliana is a first-grader at Christ the King School in Rutland.

According to Giuliana’s mother Francesca Bove, the family organized a birthday parade for their daughter back in May with family, friends and classmates, but it was no substitute for a party with her friends.

“She remembers it, but wants the real thing,” Bove said.

Bertelloni said he had forgotten about submitting the question until he received a phone call from someone at CNN last Thursday asking him to record a video of Giuliana asking it.

Pediatrician Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez answered Giuliana’s question, reminding viewers that small gatherings can be safe if proper safety measures are taken.

“I think it is OK to have playdates and birthday parties, but we’re going to have to have them outside,” she said. “We can’t let our guard down, not even when we’re celebrating.”

Giuliana said the experience of being on national television brought out a lot of “happy feelings.”

“I was shocked, and I was so happy and excited, and it’s just a lot of feelings combined,” she said.

“It was really good to see someone being represented from Rutland,” Bertelloni said.

“And surprising, too,” Giuliana added.

Undeterred, Giuliana is still holding out hope she can get her party before her next birthday rolls around.

“We’re trying to work out something with my friends,” she said.


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