Copyright © 2010 Roberta Newman ~ Newroads Consulting
Division of Cape Charles Development Co.
Communicating and Connecting with Children, Parents, Co-workers, and Other Program Stakeholders: What Helps? What Hurts?
Communicating effectively is an essential human relations for child care and youth development staff from the front line to the Director's office. This workshop explores the communication process and stresses the importance of developing a wide variety of listening skills to promote mutual understanding through "learning conversations." The workshop also examines common barriers to listening effectively and strategies for preventing communication breakdown. The session incorporates "hands-on" experience with effective communication techniques. It includes a variety of role play exercises where participants practice using effective communication techniques. It also includes opportunities for participants to observe and analyze skits illustrating typical communication problems and human relationship conflicts.
The workshop is appropriate for varied groups: program directors, managers, program leaders, and front line staff. Offered in Half Day and Full Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.
Guiding Children's Behavior
Guiding Children's Behavior is the most frequently requested training topic from front line child care and youth development staff and program administrators. This workshop provides a comprehensive exploration of steps staff can take to create an environment that encourages children and youth to engage in the program in positive and productive ways. The session begins with a discussion of why children and youth need guidance and the differences between positive guidance techniques and negative discipline techniques that involve force or punishment. Through discussion, problem solving activities, and small group exercises, participants examine the following strategies and skills:
- How to use knowledge about child and youth development as a tool for guiding behavior.
- How to create a program environment that sets the tone for positive Interactions.
- How to help children and youth learn self-discipline - the ability to control and direct their own behavior
in positive and productive ways.
- How to work with children and youth to develop mutually acceptable rules, limits, and consequences
when rules and limits are not observed.
- How to help children and youth understand and express their thoughts and feelings appropriately.
- How to give effective feedback that will help children and youth manage their own behavior effectively.
- How to anticipate and prevent potential problem behaviors - common causes of conflicts in child care
and youth programs.
- How to assess and respond effectively to behavior problems related to extremes in individual
temperaments - aligning expectations with the capabilities and needs of each child and youth.
- How to assess and improve your conflict management style.
- How to handle conflicts successfully when they do occur.
o Using step-by-step problem solving techniques
o Developing individualized tips and techniques for minimizing conflicts
The workshop is appropriate for varied groups: program directors, managers, program leaders, and front line staff. Offered in Full Day Format. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.
Real World Connections: Creating Successful Clubs and Activities with Older Kids
Based on the program guide of the same title, this workshop offers an array of theme-based resources and activities for working with 9 - 12 year olds. Roberta was the primary contributor and writer for this program guide that was developed and produced with funding provided by IBM Corporation through its Funds for Dependent Care Initiatives. The primary purpose of the guide is to provide training and tools to help after school programs develop quality programs to maintain interest and enthusiasm of older school-age kids. The companion training package includes the following components:
- Creating Developmentally Appropriate Activities - connecting developmental needs to program
planning, including planning tools and resources.
- Creating a Democratic Environment for Program Activity.
- Engaging Kids in Program Planning.
- Minimizing and Avoiding Conflict Among 9 - 12 Year Olds.
- Marketing and Promoting the Program to Older Kids.
- Intentional Programming
- Creating Clubs with Kids
- Theme Areas and Activities - Stand Alone Activities, Activity Progressions, and Independent Activities
related to the following themes:
1. Community Connections: Kids Making a Difference
2. Money Matters and Living Skills
3. Communication Capers
4. Fitness Frenzy and Sports Spectacular
The workshop is designed for program directors, on-site program leaders, and front line staff. Train the Trainer sessions are also available. Offered in Full Day and Two Day Formats. Text Required for each participant: Real World Connections. Text Price based on number of participants.
Integrated Developmental Enhancement Activities for Programs Serving Older Kids
Based on Roberta's book of the same title, this training offers a unique approach to creating a balanced program of activities. It is based on the seven developmental needs of early adolescence as identified in research conducted at the Center for Early Adolescence at the University of North Carolina:
1. The Need for Physical Activity
2. The Need for Competence and Achievement
3. The Need for Self Definition
4. The Need for Creative Expression
5. The Need for Positive Social Interaction
6. The Need for Structure and Clear Limits
7. The Need for Meaningful Participation in the Real World
An original planning model - The Developmental Planning Wheel - is used to link program experiences directly to these seven needs. Through small group exercises and discussion, participants learn how to use the Developmental Planning Wheel as a tool for generating ideas for successful out-of-school experiences that provide youth with opportunities to:
* help design, shape, and implement the program work independently and in small groups
* interact and develop positive relationships with peers and adults in a variety of activities
* develop life skills and long-term projects and interests and to develop a sense of accomplishment
* connect with the world beyond the program
* serve others within and outside of the program
* have an impact on the world around them
Participants learn a step-by-step approach to designing an effective program infrastructure to support and enhance these activities. They examine a variety theme-based activities developed through the use of the Developmental Planning Wheel. Each theme features a sample Launch Activity, Long-Term Activity, Club Activity, and Independent Activity Center. Participants also have an opportunity to experiment with the Developmental Planning Wheel and other planning tools to develop ideas for their own programs.
The workshop is appropriate for front line staff, program leaders, and program directors. Train the Trainer sessions are also available. Offered in Full Day and Two Day Formats. Text Required for each participant: I.D.E.A.s.....Integrated Developmental Enhancement Activities for Programs Serving Older Kids. See Order Form for Pricing Information.
Foundations for Fun: Games and Activities for School-Age Programs
Engendering a spirit of fun is one of the major goals of quality child care and youth development programs. This workshop includes a wide variety of games and activities designed to provide fun experiences and foster cooperation and creativity as children and youth work and play together. Throughout the training, participants have first-hand experience learning and playing games and activities in the following areas:
Getting to Know You Games and Activities: ideas for helping children and youth get comfortable with each other.
Anytime, Anywhere Games and Activities: a pocket full of ideas for no prop, low prop activity ideas you can do on the
spur of the moment.
Games for Moving On: quick games and activities for minimizing waiting and helping kids move through transition
times with ease.
Games for Cooperative Skill Building and Cooperative Problem Solving: ideas for helping children and
youth communicate effectively and learn practical skills and strategies for making group decisions,
negotiating disagreements, and working through conflicts and challenges.
Games from Other Cultures: ideas for promoting understanding through children's games from around the world.
Theme-Related Activities: a sampling of ideas for adapting games and activities for use with program themes.
Dramatic Play Activities: ideas for stimulating imagination and creativity through dramatic play activities.
In addition to experiencing a variety of games and activities, workshop participants learn effective step-by-step procedures and techniques for getting the attention of the group and introducing and leading games and activities effectively. During the training, participants experiment with these ideas to develop personal styles that will make them successful leaders of games and activities.
The workshop is designed for front-line staff and program leaders who work directly with children and youth. Offered in Half Day and Full Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.
Setting the Stage for Success in Shared Space
Vast numbers of after school programs take place in shared space - that is, space that is used by someone else at other times during the day. And some programs operate simultaneously in shared space; other groups and activities use the space at the same time the program is operating. Operating in shared space presents many challenges for program leaders and staff, but with creativity and imagination, these challenges can be overcome. This workshop offers a wide range of ideas and strategies for creating effective, inviting environments in shared space situations. Through large and small group discussion and small group exercises, the workshop focuses on the following issues and challenges:
Identifying Special Concerns in Shared Space: set up and take down, storage of materials and equipment and belongings of kids and staff, security of property, display of children's work and projects and information for parents, food service, administrative work space for staff, telephone service, janitorial arrangements, impact on "host" of space, interface of host/program policies, and more.
Developing Management Strategies for Success in Shared Space: making a commitment to program goals; developing a systematic approach to communication, coordination, collaboration, and problem solving; developing mutually acceptable written guidelines and contracts; creating a program advisory committee for systematic program monitoring and feedback between program and host.
Exploring Resources for Shared Space: identifying furniture, equipment, storage containers, and other items that can help programs maximize the use of shared space to create quality programs.
Exploring Strategies for Creating an Attractive, Inviting, Dynamic Environment in Shared Space: examining and experimenting with creative ideas for designing, setting up, and taking down shared space environments on a daily basis, including special tips for developing portable interest areas.
The workshop is appropriate for program directors, managers, program leaders, and front line staff. Offered in Half Day or Full Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.
Exploring Music with Children and Youth ----Anybody Can Do It!
All children and youth possess a natural inclination for music making. In fact, listening to music, moving to music, and playing or singing music is high on the list of things kids enjoy doing when they're not in school. Yet, many out-of-school programs struggle with how to include music in their program of activities. Often program staff feel they don't have the skills to lead music activities. Sometimes programs have a hard time figuring out how to offer music in a way that doesn't disrupt and disturb other activities that may be going on at the same time. And in other situations, the noise from other activities like carpentry or dramatic play makes it difficult for children who are trying to concentrate on music activities. This workshop offers many ideas for overcoming these challenges as well as a wide range of creative ways to make music a vital part of program experiences. The workshop provides opportunities for participants to engage in the following activities:
* Exploring where music comes from - how music and movement are natural expressions of the human body.
* Discovering music all around us - discovering musical sounds in nature and in our "man-made" surroundings.
* Exploring the contrast between sounds and silence.
* Exploring the difference between music and noise.
* Exploring the voice and musical instruments to experiment with the "materials" of music - rhythm, melody,
harmony, tone, dynamics, tempo, and more.
* Inventing and building musical instruments.
* Creating musical "environments" where children, youth, and adults can compose, perform, conduct, and
listen to music together.
* Learning about many different styles of music from many different cultures.
* Playing games that increase musical awareness and skill.
* Examining how music supports intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.
* Creating music to enhance familiar stories and tales - performing musical shows.
* Creating original ways to record and write down musical ideas.
* Connecting music to other program activities.
* Exploring resources and ideas for improving acoustics for music activities and minimizing disruption to
other program activities.
The workshop is appropriate for front line staff and program leaders who are looking for ways to incorporate music into child and youth programs. Offered in Half Day and Full Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant. Purchase of some supplementary materials for instrument making required.
Roles Staff Play in Quality Programs for Children and Youth
School-age professionals in quality programs function like highly skilled Air Traffic Controllers: They know who's taking off, who's coming in for a landing, who's in a holding pattern, who's running out of fuel, who's experiencing turbulence, who's having engine trouble, and who's been sitting on the runway too long. Performing their diverse responsibilities effectively requires them to play many different roles. This workshop focuses on helping staff develop and use the skills and abilities associated with roles such as:
* Problem Solver
* Role Model
* and More
Through discussion and small group exercises, participants identify activities, events, and situations where each role could be effective. They also identify and practice skills that must be developed in order to play each role. The workshop also provides opportunities for staff to assess the extent to which they play different roles and develop strategies for increasing their ability to play multiple roles effectively while working and playing with children and youth.
The workshop is appropriate for front-line staff, program leaders, directors. Train the Trainer sessions are also available. Offered in Half Day, Full Day, and Two Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.
Help for Homework Help
An important component of many after school programs is providing support and assistance for children and youth who need to do Homework during program hours. Based on research on the purpose of Homework and successful Homework support practices, this workshop provides a systematic approach to making Homework time productive, enriching, and fun. It examines the challenges of providing Homework support and explores Homework from different perspectives (children and youth, parents, school professionals, program staff). Through discussion and small group exercises participants explore a wide range of tips, tools, and strategies for Homework support:
- How to develop Homework support that meets the needs of children and youth, parents, parents,
school professionals, and program staff.
- How to create a Homework club.
- How to select appropriate Homework tools and resources.
- How to create an environment that supports Homework.
- How help children and youth learn how to organize, plan, and monitor their Homework responsibilities.
- How to provide Homework support for children with different learning styles and different
types of intelligence.
- How to provide Homework support for children with special needs.
- How to offer meaningful incentives for completing Homework.
- How to use enrichment games and activities to enhance Homework and learning.
- How to communicate with parents and school professionals about children's Homework
needs and experiences.
The workshop is appropriate for front line staff, program leaders, and directors. Offered in Half Day, Full Day, and Two Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant in Half Day sessions.
Easing Stress for Children and Adults
Both children and program staff experience pressure or stress in varying degrees at various times during the day. Stress can be beneficial or counter-productive. This workshop presents insights into the causes and introduces ways to minimize the negative aspects of stressful experiences and conditions. Through individual reflection exercises, small group activities, and group discussion, participants learn to:
- use a stress and tension log to recognize and track the symptoms of stress in themselves.
- recognize the effects of stress in themselves and others.
- assess the effectiveness of their current strategies for coping with stress.
- use quick physical relaxation techniques.
- use visualizations, breaks, games, music, and art activities as antidotes to stress.
- use information about effective coping strategies to develop a personalized plan for coping with stress.
- communicate effectively under stress.
- identify human relations skills that are helpful in stressful situations.
- use effective strategies for managing stressful conflicts.
- cope effectively with difficult or angry children under stress.
The workshop can be provided for single focus OR mixed groups: program directors, managers, program leaders, and front line staff. Offered in Half Day and Full Day Formats. Handout provided for duplication for each participant.