“These skills have students knowing, not only how to stand up to bullying, but to stand up for others.”
– Joy Lonsdale-Calkins, Cremona School
The students at Cremona School learned how to chill this week, thanks to Val Hilliker and her posse of puppets. Hilliker, a ventriloquist and anti-bullying advocate with Val Hilliker Comedy, was at the K-12 school to kick off National Bullying Awareness Week, which began Nov. 17 and will run until Nov. 23.Through the use of puppets, Hilliker teaches students the skills to recognize
bullying and stand up for themselves. “ H i l – liker calls them Chill Skills,” remarked Joy Lonsdale C a l k i n s , who works as a
family- school wellness worker at Cremona School. “These skills leave students knowing, not only how to stand up to bullies, but to stand up for others. These l e s s o n s help kids to e m p o w e r themselves. The “ Chill Skills” represent five tools students can use when facing a bully or a conflict: chill, help, ignore, look up, and leave. Lonsdale Calkins said she hopes Hilliker’s message will set the tone for the remainder of “Stand Up To Bullying Week.” The school’s leadership group has come onboard for the week of awareness — creating a “Take What You Need Board” which will provide positive affirmations and words of encouragement for the more than 350 students at the school. The Cremona School Enhancement Society sponsored the presentation.