Copyright © 2010 Roberta Newman ~ Newroads Consulting
Division of Cape Charles Development Co.
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Keynote Addresses:
Roberta speaks at national, regional and state conferences on issues related to child care, youth development, family support and involvement, community building, and professional and organizational development.  A partial list of topics is shown below and topics can be customized to suit your organizations requirements.

Click on any of the topics listed to view a description

     1.   Keys to Quality in School-Age Care and Youth Programs
     2.   Telling Stories Out of School....Lessons Learned from Kids in School-Age Programs
     3.   Bonding with Parents to Benefit Children and Youth
     4.   Successful After School Partnerships.....What it Takes to Make Them Work
     5.  Tapping in to the Rhythms of Summer
     6.   Motivating for Quality
     7.   Fostering Creativity in Yourself and the Kids
     8.   Building and Sustaining Teams That Work
     9.   Creating Program "Response-Ability" to Individuals in Group Settings
     10. The Ten C's of Professionalism in Out of School Programs
Keys to Quality in School-Age Care and Youth Programs

Organizations across the country have used Roberta's training package Keys to Quality in School-Age Child Care to plan, launch, and implement quality after school programs in their communities.  In this address, Roberta outlines and describes four keys that can provide the foundation for quality:
1) Planning Programs with Children in Mind (focus on the needs, interests, and concerns of children and youth),   2) Organizing for Diversity and Choice (focus on appropriate activities, environments, scheduling, and staffing),    3) Viewing Parents as Partners (focus on the needs, interests, and concerns of parents), and    4) Collaborating with Others Who Can Help (focus on strategies for working effectively with program hosts and maximizing community resources).  Drawing on her extensive experience, Roberta uses stories and vignettes from actual school-age programs to bring the four keys to life with humor and insight.

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Telling Stories Out of School…..Lessons Learned from
     Kids in School-Age Programs

In this presentation, Roberta uses storytelling to paint a vivid picture of life in out-of-school programs.  Her stories highlight the valuable lessons we can learn as we observe kids in action and take the time to listen and talk with them with open minds.  Her stories encompass a wide range of feelings, insights, and lessons to be learned.  Some are humorous and light hearted.  Some are poignant and touch the heart.  Some are a call for advocacy and action.  Some reveal the pure wisdom and joy of childhood.  Some speak to the best in each one of us; others reveal what happens when we overlook what children and youth need and what they are trying to tell us.  Some portray practicality and common sense in action.  Others speak to the achievement of lofty ideals and goals.  Having collected stories throughout her years of experience with children and youth, Roberta weaves them into a rich tapestry that warms the heart, inspires commitment, and gently, but powerfully, reminds us why working and playing with children and youth is both a unique privilege and an awesome responsibility.

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Bonding with Parents to Benefit Children and Youth

Drawing from her book, Building Relationships with Parents and Families, and anecdotes from years of experience, Roberta provides an in-depth look at effective strategies for building positive relationships with parents and families.  She presents 4 Steps to Parent Involvement -  1)  Examining Attitudes Towards Parents, 2)  Assessing the Needs, Interests, and Concerns of Parents, 3)  Accommodating the Needs, Interests, and Concerns of Parents, and 4)  Building Alliances with Parents - and provides engaging examples of how these for steps can be used as systematic tools for strengthening the bonds between staff and parents.  Roberta examines what it means to play the vital role of parent in today's challenging world.  She shares research on the developmental stages of parenthood and humorous stories that illustrate how these stages play out in real life.  To conclude, Roberta shares her perspectives on a host of practical strategies programs can use to create a "family friendly" atmosphere that strengthens families and benefits children and youth.

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Successful After School Partnerships .....What It Takes to Make Them Work

Very little of what any of us does is done alone.  Almost every aspect of our lives requires our positive involvement in building and nurturing partnerships that will help us face challenges, solve problems, grow and live in mutual harmony with others.  Although we sometimes take each other for granted, we are truly interdependent upon one another.  This has never been more evident than it is today.  Without effective collaborations with others, many school-age programs fail.  Through partnerships and collaborations we can draw strength, energy, and inspiration from others who share our commitment and dedication to children, youth, and families.  In this program, Roberta draws from her wide experience with coalition building to explore these issues and outline compelling reasons for building trusting relationships that benefit children and youth.  She emphasizes the organic development of collaborations from human needs, identifies the characteristics of collaborations that work, and shares real-life experiences to stress the importance of coalition building and illustrate systematic strategies for creating partnerships with diverse groups and organizations.

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Tapping in to the Rhythms of Summer

Instinct tells us that summer is special.  Poets have captured its mystique in phrases like "What is so rare as a day in June?"  Musicians sing the praises of summer with lyrics like "Summertime, when the livin' is easy" and "Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer."  With it's accompaniment of jack hammers making street repairs, the classic pop song from the 70's captures the special feel of a steamy, sticky, urban summer day as the singers blast out the lyric, "Hot time, summer in the city."  Summer often evokes a unique combination of associations.  It can be a time to explore, to dream, to imagine, to kick back, to relax, to play, to enjoy life with friends, to reflect and learn about ourselves, to be adventurous, to be entertained, to learn new things we didn't learn in school, to deal with boredom by finding something to do when there's nothing to do!  In this presentation, Roberta calls up these special associations of summer and explores the possibilities for infusing them into today's school-age summer programs.  She shares childhood reflections of summer and invites attendees to think back to their own childhood summertime experiences as she points the way for working with staff and kids to co-create summer experiences that are magical, marvelous, and memorable.
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Motivating for Quality

Motivation is an inside job; individuals are most highly motivated when they have opportunities to build on their talents and abilities, pursue their heartfelt interests, follow their dreams, and participate in setting and achieving priorities and goals.  Leaders strive to create workplace environments where it is possible for each person to learn and grow, develop their strengths, feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, and link their personal goals to those of the organization.  In this presentation, Roberta explores these issues and how leaders act as motivators who create workplaces people don't want to leave.  Her remarks draw upon research conducted at the University of Chicago which identified eight shared values of the workplace:  1) Trust, 2) Truth, 3) Honesty, 4) Openness to New Ideas, 5) Risk Taking, 6) Mentoring, 7) Caring, and 8) Giving.  Based on her own experiences as a manager and team leader, Roberta offers systematic strategies for making these eight values operational in programs serving children and youth.  With humor and warmth, she also shares practical tools and insights for motivating individuals and teams to perform at peak levels.
Note:  Roberta also offers a two-part follow- up workshop on motivation:  Creating a Workplace Environment People don't Want to Leave, Staff Motivation Workshop, Part 1 AND Understanding and Motivating People at Work, Staff Motivation Workshop, Part 2.  These workshops provide participants with in-depth opportunities to explore the tools, techniques, and strategies introduced in the Keynote Address.  See Descriptions of Workshop Presentations.

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Fostering Creativity in Yourself and the Kids

Having a creative spirit is at the core of what it means to be fully alive.  Creativity is not just for the arts; it is an invigorating force that helps us dream and bring our dreams to life.  Creative minds are playful, spontaneous, inventive, and optimistic.  Creative people tend to be possibility thinkers.  They see old problems in new ways and discover fresh, new solutions.  They look at what's tried and true and use their creativity to think up new things to try!  People who are genuinely creative are not only good at generating ideas; they know how to shape their ideas, set priorities, project their possible success or failure, and work hard to bring their ideas to fruition.  But as the years progress, we can lose our creative edge; the events and challenges of daily life can wear down our creative energies and capacities.  Creativity has to be fed and nurtured to help it live, grow, and flourish.   
In this engaging presentation, Roberta raises these issues and invites attendees on a journey of the imagination to explore the value of creative thinking and action in every day life and in programs for children and youth.  She uses anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate the nature of creativity and to lay out strategies for minimizing roadblocks to creativity.  She engages attendees in mind-stretching creativity boosters to stimulate creative thinking and also shares a variety of tips and techniques for renewing and reinvigorating a playful, creative approach to life and work.  By sharing examples of success stories in out-of-school programs, she describes strategies for designing program environments that foster creativity and infusing program experiences with opportunities for children and youth to discover and build on their creative potentials. 
Note:  Roberta also offers a follow-up workshop:  The Leader as Creative Thinker.  This workshop provides participants with opportunities to explore the ideas, techniques, and strategies introduced in the Keynote Address.  See Descriptions of Workshop Presentations. 

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Building and Sustaining Teams That Work

Effective teams are living organisms that feed on the environments where they live.  Negative, controlling environments can stifle and destroy efforts to create and sustain cooperation and teamwork.  Environments characterized by trust, mutual respect, caring, openness, and creativity empower efforts to develop highly performing teams.  Environments that support teamwork are flexible and capable of change.  When it comes to team building, there is no such thing as a permanent solution - a dream team frozen in time.  This is true because change is really the only constant as we work and play together.  As team members and leaders in child and youth programs, we experience success as we work together to reach milestones, complete projects, solve difficult problems, reach our goals, achieve accreditation, even win championships and awards.  But as soon as one challenge is overcome, life presents us with another one to take its place.  In this program, Roberta explores these issues and discusses team building as an ongoing dynamic process of change that is continually affected as new people join the team, as leaders come and go, and as new problems, situations, projects, and challenges emerge.  Through vignettes and examples from child and youth programs, Roberta presents systematic strategies for creating and sustaining flexible environments as a foundation for teamwork and presents a four-step process for building and guiding teams that can maintain a high performance level even as they grow and change in response to changing circumstances. 
Note:  Roberta also offers a follow-up workshop:  Creating a Climate for Cooperation and Effective Teamwork.  This workshop provides opportunities for participants to explore ideas, techniques, and strategies introduced in the Keynote Address.  See Descriptions of Workshop Presentations.

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Creating Program "Response-Ability" to Individuals in Group Settings

The biggest challenge in out-of-school program development may be:  how to create and implement programs that can accommodate and respond to both the characteristic developmental needs AND the individual differences among school-age children and youth in group settings.  Even children and youth in the same age group have many differences among them - differences that may be related to temperament, abilities, talents, interests, skills, family and cultural background, and many more factors.  In this program, Roberta addresses the critical importance of understanding, managing, and responding effectively and appropriately to individual differences.  She outlines the use of effective communication skills as strategies for building relationships with children and youth.   And she stresses the use of effective assessment, observation, and information gathering techniques for learning about each child and youth as a unique and special person worthy of attention, guidance, and caring.  Throughout her presentation, Roberta uses entertaining stories and anecdotes to share valuable insights, perspectives, and ideas for creating out-of -school programs that truly bring out the best in each child and youth.
Note:  Roberta also offers a follow-up workshop:  Understanding and Responding to Individual Differences in Group Settings - Creating Program "Responsibility."  This workshop provides in-depth opportunities for participants to explore and apply the ideas, tools, and techniques introduced in the Keynote Address.  See Descriptions of Workshop Presentations. 

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The Ten C's of Professionalism in Out of School Programs

Is school-age child care a profession?  Can those who work with children and youth during out-of-school hours be considered professionals?   When does a job become a profession?  In this program, Roberta addresses these questions as she explores "Ten C's" that characterize professionalism in all professions:  1) Competence, 2) Confidence, 3) Collaboration, 4) Communication, 5) Creativity, 6) Change, 7) Compensation, 8) Courage,  9) Compassion, and 10) Commitment.  Roberta links these "Ten C's" directly to the field of school-age care and shares experiences, trends, and research that illustrate the viability of school-age care as an emerging profession.  Throughout the address, Roberta weaves in anecdotes, vignettes, and personal experiences to paint a vivid picture of the dynamic role staff and administrators can play in growing a profession that provides a critical support in the lives of today's children, youth, families, and communities.  Note:  This address is based on Roberta's article, The Ten C's of Professionalism:  When Does a Job Become a Profession? which appeared in the fall 2002 issue of School-Age Review, the Journal of the National School-Age Care Alliance.  Arrangements can be made to provide attendees with copies of the article. 
Roberta also offers a follow-up workshop on The Ten C's of Professionalism.  See Descriptions of Workshop Presentations.

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