Juggling, plate-spinning, unicycle-riding and character skits were part of an ongoing lesson about not bullying at the Nickerson School Jan. 6.

As part of the school’s mission statement to “reach out in friendship,” the elementary school hosted students from Frankfort Elementary for the first time since SADs 34 and 56 consolidated to form RSU 20 last summer.

NES Principal Abigail Frost said Library and Media Specialist Cindy Boguen heads up monthly anti-bullying events to show students the difference between tattling and telling, and how to defuse a bully before someone’s feelings get hurt.

“We teach them about the power of peers,” said Frost. “Bullying can be doubly or triply hurtful when your peers laugh.”

And Boguen said she also teaches how standing up to a bully, if a student sees it happening, is far better than standing by and doing nothing.

“Who’s stronger, one bully or two friends?” she said.

Enter Randy Judkins, a former high school math teacher who now operates the Maine Hysterical Society in Portland along with two other performers, Barney Martin and Steve Underwood.

Judkins describes what he does at schools as inspirational presentations.

“Or, wicked good presentations, for short,” he said with a smile.

In educational systems, he uses his crazy characters — which all have a Maine flair — to provide fun and interactive ways to help youths recognize bullying, and to offer them the tools they need to combat it. Juggling, storytelling, magic tricks and even a unicycle are all a part of the act, but perhaps the best part is Judkins himself.

As he took to the stage, his tall, thin frame moved with a foolish grace around the room, movements that dovetailed with his ever-changing facial expressions and accents, all of which changed every time he introduced a new character.

One skit had Judkins playing himself as an awkward eighth-grader who had just learned to juggle. On a loud speaker, Judkins’ altered voice came across as a would-be bully who tried to make the youthful Judkins feel inadequate at his new found talent. Through interacting with the children, the young Judkins learned to communicate his feelings with the bully. The children told him if that doesn’t work, he should tell a teacher.

Throughout the hour-long presentation, Judkins evoked laughter often— from both the students and the faculty — and involved the students constantly.

One student, Haylee Simpson, was invited on stage to learn to juggle with the encouragement of her classmates. Another student, Miles Eels, was shown how to spin not one, not two, but three plates, with Judkins’ comical assistance.

Boguen said because NES staff anticipated that Judkins’ presentation would bring down the house, inviting students from the neighboring Frankfort School to join them was, well, elementary.

“We reached out in friendship to our neighbors in Frankfort,” said Boguen.