ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local nonprofit called Sing Out! is looking to get back on its feet in full force, after the pandemic.

The program invites kids across Monroe County to explore song and dance, while giving back to the community.

Director Kimberly Romach McManus said the program has been going strong for more than 30 years.

It started in the ’90s, when her mom wanted to honor a friend who had passed.

Over time, word-of-mouth has brought hundreds of kids through the program.

But the last few years of the pandemic have prevented them from resuming a normal schedule, with full-fledged performances.

This year, McManus is hoping to come back stronger than ever, though. The charity of choice for 2023 is Mary Cariola’s music therapy program.

The program’s motto is, ‘kids helping kids.’

“A lot of the times, the children they’re helping will come to the rehearsals and the shows. They get to actually meet the kids they’re helping, and a lot of that, for some kids, are very emotional,” she said. “Like, they never really worked so hard for something that’s made such a positive impact on someone.”

McManus said it’s a beautiful thing, seeing the kids explore talent, face fears and make a difference through charity.

“Sing Out! is very unique, we don’t turn anyone away,” said McManus. “Some kids come in looking for something new, or don’t feel like they have a place to belong, so they’re looking for that. Then we have the kids that come in and are amazing singers, dancers, have been doing this for years and they just want another way to express their talents.”

Those interested can register online at Registration is extended through January, for kids in grades 8-12. No performance experience is necessary.