Ma­gi­cian gives anti-bul­ly­ing show

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Wal­ton School chil­dren learned how they could be heroes at school last week when a top New Zealand ma­gi­cian came to visit.

El­gre­goe, aka Greg Britt, has per­formed in schools across the coun­try, spread­ing his anti-bul­ly­ing mes­sage to more than 700,000 stu­dents.

His show, sup­ported by TrustPower, is themed around be­ing a hero at school and has a strong em­pha­sis on anti-bul­ly­ing.

‘‘I never tire of do­ing the school shows – stu­dents love the show and the teach­ers love the mes­sage re­in­forc­ing the anti- bul­ly­ing mes­sage in a dif­fer­ent and mem­o­rable way,’’ Mr Britt said.

El­gre­goe and his as­sis­tant and wife, Sue, use tricks, pup­pets, ven­tril­o­quism, mu­sic, songs and a va­ri­ety of props, in­clud­ing live birds, to spread his mes­sage.

He chal­lenges chil­dren to form car­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and en­cour­ages them to build good re­la­tion­ships and make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to their school.

The El­gre­goe dream be­gan 16 years ago when a school prin­ci­pal chal­lenged the con­jurer to make bul­ly­ing dis­ap­pear.

Af­ter re­search­ing the is­sue of bul­ly­ing in schools, El­gre­goe de­cided to cre­ate a unique way of chal­leng­ing stu­dents to have a good at­ti­tude at school.

TrustPower part­nered with El­gre­goe in 2005 to en­sure more Kiwi kids get his anti-bul­ly­ing mes­sages.

‘‘TrustPower is proud to sup­port this anti-bul­ly­ing pro­gramme as it re­ally con­nects with stu­dents and em­pow­ers them to make the right choices,’’ com­mu­nity re­la­tions co-or­di­na­tor Suzi Luff said.

‘‘Feed­back from schools is that his mes­sage is get­ting through and mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence.’’

In 2009 the Queen ap­pointed El­gre­goe a Mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion.

In the same year, he also re­ceived The Va­ri­ety Artists Club of New Zealand’s Top Chil­dren’s En­ter­tainer Award and The Grand Mas­ter of Magic Award.

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