Students at School Number 12 in Rochester recently saw their gym transformed by the Rochester Children's Theatre.
The company performed "Sweet House: Hansel and Gretel with a bold new flavor." It's all about helping children make healthy choices.
Producing Artistic Director Deborah Haber said "This is such a big topic. It is such a crisis in the nation for our younger generation to eat healthy, do to exercise, healthy choices."
Last year five Rochester city schools saw the children's theatre company perform at Nazareth College. The company plans to travel to all 40 city elementary schools in the next few months. The goal is to inspire young students through performance.
Haber added "That's our message - just try a little bit. You know, go and have an apple or an orange instead of chips today, or just go outside and run around the block today, and that way you start that way of thinking."
The message is getting through.
Aryana Dykes is a 5th grader at School Number 12. She said
"I learned that you don't need to eat sweets all the time, but sometimes but you can get really overweight. And it's really, really healthy to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits to keep your body going each day."
Students also got on their feet to reach for the sky, reinforcing exercise.
Dykes added "I'm an all-star cheerleader. I cheer for core athletics. So every Saturday when I cheer, I workout."
Haber says the impact on students should last well beyond each performance. Each teacher receives a video and there are follow up evaluations.
Haber "If it's catchy, if it's contemporary, which I think some of this music is really hip. We're really proud of it, and I really think it's making a dent."