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Teaching bullies how to chill

Bullies learn to chill out with ventriloquist Val Hilliker and her teamof puppets as she spreads awareness and helps kids conquer bullying ina new way.

Bullies learn to chill out with ventriloquist Val Hilliker and her team of puppets as she spreads awareness and helps kids conquer bullying in a new way.

Hilliker uses her puppets and ventriloquism skills to demonstrate peaceful methods of dealing with bullies called the chill skills (chill, help and ignore), which makes it more interesting and gets the message across in a positive way.

“Not only do kids learn about the chill skills, but also how to use them effectively, so they work.”

Hilliker also works with parents and teachers to find the root of the problem when a child is acting out or bullying others, because she said 90 per cent of children model behaviour they learn from parents.

During Bully Awareness Week from Nov. 15 to 21, Hilliker will visit Calgary schools to talk with kids from kindergarten to Grade 12 about bullying prevention, and what to do if it happens to them.

“Kids don’t even realize they are learning because they are laughing and having so much fun watching and listening,” Hilliker said.

Hilliker has been a ventriloquist for 33 years and a bully-prevention advocate for eight.