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Vegetable Circus Stage Shows & After-School Programs!

A Vegetable Circus stage show uses movement arts and circus skills to teach children about healthy eating and living. The performers are cool role models who visibly demonstrate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, while keeping the audience captivated with their skills. We would start with a revamped stage show that tours underprivileged elementary schools across the country. Along the way, we can recruit and train new talent to lead shows and after-school programming, through which we can integrate many of the other most important concepts presented here on OpenIDEO. This concept not only promotes healthy eating and food knowledge, but also thinking for one's self, anti-peer pressure and bullying, healthy activities, physical fitness, and trying new things, while including the parents in the process.

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Written by DeletedUser

1) Define the curriculum for the stage show, to ensure that we're getting as many of the most important messages to the kids as we can, with the help of Jamie Oliver and other respected health experts. Include the creation of take-home messages for parents so they can follow up on our main points with their children.


2) Refine the script with help from health & theater experts; then do some small practice shows to work out the kinks with a real audience; use their responses to do final refinements to the show.


3) Book a free stage show tour for the poorest schools in the nation; perhaps include an appropriate children's musician to accompany us, and get our message out there!


4) Use the buzz from the tour to recruit young, relatable talent across the country to lead their own chapters of the Vegetable Circus; host some training camps and then help book our new chapters at after-school programs, elementary schools and community events. We could include many of the other best concepts into these programs; a focus on food education and cooking would accompany a variety of movement arts training.


5) Produce a television show that can teach these ideas to the masses!


There is already a network of Vegetable Circus performers on both coasts, who have paved a lot of the initial groundwork, and experimented with these programs for about 6 years now. It's been a non-profit endeavor from the start, and we think with Jamie's help, we have a theme here that kids across the country can really relate to! To learn more about the Vegetable Circus, check out: http://www.alliedwellness.org/vegetable.html

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far

1. Food Knowledge - To what extent is this concept teaching people about food knowledge?

It's teaching people a great deal about food knowledge - 50%

It's teaching people a moderate deal about food knowledge - 16.7%

It's teaching people a little about food knowledge - 33.3%

It's not focused on food knowledge - 0%

2. Cooking - Is this concept focused on getting people to cook?

It's all about getting people to cook - 33.3%

It's moderately about getting people to cook - 16.7%

It's getting people to cook a little - 33.3%

It's not focused on cooking at all - 16.7%

3. Originality - How original is this idea?

This idea is extremely original - 66.7%

This idea is somewhat original - 33.3%

This idea has some originality about it - 0%

I have seen this idea before - 0%

4. Scalability - How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This idea can be scaled across many communities and places - 33.3%

This idea can be scaled but needs some work - 33.3%

This idea will take a fair bit of work to scale - 33.3%

This idea cannot scale at all - 0%

32 comments

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This has an educational, emotional, social and fun aspect. I love your idea!

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I believe the best way for kids to learn is to make if fun fun fun!! Positive and learning experience!

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DeletedUser

There are a bunch of other concepts that I believe would work very well with the Vegetable Circus: After School Cooking is Fun Club & Role Model Chefs, 17 of the 21 of the points from EAT Educate All the Time, plus the Hero Food Movement and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Stickers and Tattoos (their concepts could blend together well I think!). And perhaps Smoking and Junk; I think its presents a potentially useful strategy if used carefully. Those are my favorites!

(P.S. my previous post was cut-off, but I also really liked Demian's comment below about a Summer Camp; a great long-term dream!)

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DeletedUser

We live in a Country where 2/3 of the adult population is overweight/obese and childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years (among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008, and among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%). Fast food joints abound and most school lunch programs do not follow guidelines of daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The Vegetable Circus is a creative initiative that intend to change the tide by communicating directly with the children, and by consequence their parents, using ludic activities with educational purpose. As a Chemist/Biochemist that works in one of the USDA Human Nutrition Centers I applaud their concept and give them full support do develop this program further.

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DeletedUser

Positive role models are always a good way to influence desirable behavior change amongst children. I believe that there are many good opportunities for story telling here. We all love good stories with positive outcomes.

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DeletedUser

FoodPlay is a great program; our goals are similar, though our methods vary some. A couple of our friends performed for FoodPlay, and they were kind enough to help us make sure that our program is both significantly different and, hopefully, an improvement on some levels. Here are some of our guiding principles:

Our shows are currently built on modules of information, so that each performance can be formatted to fit the needs of the schools we visit; we insist on each performer being genuine, and speaking their lines in a way that they're comfortable with; our shows are designed to be as dialectic and interactive as possible, resulting in us often going off-script in a controlled manner; we're part of a 501c3 non-profit, which distributes

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DeletedUser

Sorry for posting so many times...here's a link to FoodPlay's website: http://www.foodplay.com/

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DeletedUser

This reminds me of my friend Barbara Storper's traveling educational troupe called "Food Play". They incorporate hip-hop music, dance and dialogue to persuade school children to stay away from junk food and adopt a healthy diet. They've been around for a long time and have made a huge impact on the lives of countless children across America.

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DeletedUser

This reminds me of my friend Barbara Storper's traveling educational troupe called "Food Play". They incorporate hip-hop music, dance and dialogue to persuade school children to stay away from junk food and adopt a healthy diet. They've been around for a long time and have made a huge impact on the lives of countless children across America.

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DeletedUser

This reminds me of my friend Barbara Storper's traveling educational troupe called "Food Play". They incorporate hip-hop music, dance and dialogue to persuade school children to stay away from junk food and adopt a healthy diet. They've been around for a long time and have made a huge impact on the lives of countless children across America.

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DeletedUser

It is important to have a longer presence with the kids than just 1 show, Demian; please note that this Concept's title includes "...After-School Programs", which we're running again in Somerville, MA now, this time for 3-5th graders.

This concepts starts with the Stage Show tour as a mechanism for us to recruit young talent for such Food Circus Clubs. Including cooking lessons in these clubs would be the big change from how they stand now; gardening lessons as well would be a great fit (thanks Ian!)

A summer camp...now that's a nifty suggestion! Another long-term dream next to the TV show perhaps, but realistic methinks! Online communities are low-priority for us right now, but could be another piece of the puzzle. Thanks everyone!

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It sounds like the Vegetable Circus could have lots of entertainment potential. The trick, to me, would be in continuing to develop kid's interest in and knowledge of food after the performance. The love of vegetables and understanding about healthy eating will need to be nurtured in kids on a long term basis if it is going to have a lasting effect on their life styles. Could the circus performance be the genesis of 'Food Circus Clubs' that kids join and continue to be involved in into the future? Could there be an online community built around the Circus concept? Maybe a Summer Circus Camp? Some good developmental potential there. Thanks!

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DeletedUser

This is a fantastic idea. My granddaughters don't particularly like vegetables, but they are influenced by their friends, kindergarten teachers, and circus. Hope you make it to their school.

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DeletedUser

What I like best about The Vegetable Circus is that it makes learning about and eating vegetables fun. It's an interactive model full of energy and people who really care about healthy eating and promoting active lifestyles. A group poised to create big and positive impact!

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DeletedUser

WOOT go west coast vege-circus... wait when you win does that mean you'll become multi-coastal?

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DeletedUser

What a great idea. I've seen this group perform on the west coast -- they are talented, fun, and really have a way to get through to children. Want to get kids to think that fruits, vegetables, water, and exercise are fun, the Veggie Circus have talent (and calories) to burn.

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DeletedUser

These guys rock! Spread the word.

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DeletedUser

I'm very impressed by your proposal - especially because you mention parents. I think that too many "bright ideas" in education fail because they don't recognize the extent to which success in cultivating healthy habits starts at home.

I also concur with the folks who've commented about incorporating an element about cooking, and would like to encourage the Vegetable Circus to think further "up the food chain" and think about ways to incorporate gardening lessons too!

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DeletedUser

I love the Vegetable Circus!

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DeletedUser

Pearing food with circus fun will be a great carrot to lead kids to healthy eating! Shoot, it leaves me (s)peachless! This will definitely be fruitful.

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DeletedUser

You folks are just plain awesome!!!

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DeletedUser

Throwing in a cooking show and field trips about edible wild plants and I am on it!!!

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DeletedUser

What a great way to make eating vegetable "cool".

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DeletedUser

The combination of circus and healthy eating is a winner. Circus arts can help support healthy eating behaviors by helping the kids become more aware of and confident in their own bodies. This sounds wonderful!

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DeletedUser

I'm intrigued!

This program sounds like it is effective and easily replicated, not to mention COOL because of the interactive components of both the circus tricks and the cooking/ food education. I would have loved this program when I was growing up!!

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DeletedUser

After examining the other most popular concepts, I believe that we should add cooking education to this program. We could have that be a primary element of the initial take-home interaction with their parents, and also integrate it into the after-school programs.

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DeletedUser

So many struggle with eating habits,making it fun to learn is the best principle !!!!!! And involving the whole family and starting with kids is great. They are often the ones that motivate us adults the most. GREAT job !!!! Keep on it !!!!!

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DeletedUser

The Vegetable Circus wants to bring the magic of Vegetables and healthy living into communities in all 50 states and beyond. Lets help these veggie-angels do more of what they are already doing!

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DeletedUser

the kids love being able to participate in these kinds of veggie circus shows! it really leaves an impact that is palpable and memorable!

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DeletedUser

I like your TV show idea too, but I think starting with a national tour of stage shows would be a good way to stir up enthusiasm first.

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DeletedUser

The shows are so much fun, and really get the kids moving, and thinking. There is such a good, strong message behind this program...

Let's help The Vegetable Circus grow!!

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DeletedUser

This is a good idea because it is interacting with kid's on a more personable/ Real world level.
Two thumbs up!!