VICENZA, Italy- Most of us know that honesty is the best policy, but how do you teach that lesson to youngsters who can't always tell the difference between fantasy and reality? At Vicenza Elementary School, the play's the thing to bring that lesson home.

A tale most children know as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," has been adapted by Nancy Hacker's second-grade class as part of their Character Counts instruction. In the play, shepherd Clarence Reeves, a second-grader, tells his fellow villagers that a wolf is attacking his three sheep. The villagers, who want the name of their village to remain anonymous to avoid a drop in tourism, repeatedly go out to the fields to help him.

"My favorite part about being in the play was that it taught us how to not lie and tell the truth, and be trustworthy," said villager Sophia Durrett. She said she had butterflies in her stomach at first, but later enjoyed performing for younger classes at school.

The wolf, played by Landyn Gray, said he liked scaring the sheep.

"I have been in three plays this year and I like acting out different things we learn in class," said Gray.

"This play complements our students' character education, which is a vital part of the DoDEA educational philosophy," said Hacker. "VES doesn't just stand for Vicenza Elementary School, but also Values, Excellence, Success, which builds a strong foundation for lifelong learning."

Hacker's students had three performances running five minutes each and helped teach several hundred VES students that the morale of the story is: "No one believes a liar, even when he tells the truth."